Pilot Proficiency Center at AirVenture

The EAA Pilot Proficiency Center (PPC) is a skill-building and gathering area for those with a desire to increase their knowledge, hone their abilities, and network with other passionate pilots. The PPC promotes, showcases, and encourages the use of training, tools and activities to help pilots maintain year-round proficiency, beyond the week at Oshkosh.

NEW LOCATION FOR AIRVENTURE 2022: EAA Aviation Center's NEW Pilot Proficiency Center (New facility connected to EAA Aviation Museum)

NEW PROGRAMMING: FREE half-day PPC clinics with keynote presentations, interactive and engaging breakout sessions, skills enhancement, and challenging scenario-based training exercises in one of EAA's Redbird Advanced Aviation Training Devices. Each half-day clinic is limited to 66 participants, so be sure to sign up early and reserve your seat.

EAA Aviation Center Pilot Proficiency Center Exterior Rendering

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED AND INCLUDES:

  • Admission to one half-day clinic
  • A pickup breakfast (morning clinics) or lunch (afternoon clinics)
  • A keynote and orientation/pre-briefing
  • Multiple interactive and engaging breakout sessions, one in a Redbird Advanced Aviation Training Device in the role of either Pilot in Command or Observer
  • Each registrant is limited to 1 clinic in 2022

Clinic Options

  1. CFI to CFI: Flight Instruction

    Prerequisite: Flight Instructor Certificate

    The CFI to CFI clinic focuses on issues that have led to a significant number of aviation accidents, including those with CFIs onboard the aircraft. The decision whether to continue or abort a takeoff must be made during every flight, and power losses on initial climb are a distinct risk, yet in many cases these topics receive little attention during training. On the other hand, crosswind landing technique and go-arounds are commonly taught, yet pilots continue to have accidents. This clinic shares instructional methods and using hands-on exercises, instills training skills that help to improve CFIs' proficiency in teaching dynamic takeoff decisions, low-altitude power loss scenarios, crosswind landings, and go-arounds.

    Register Now

    Takeoff, initial climb and landing accidents continue to dominate accident statistics. Flight instructors are a vital component to improving aviation safety and with added focus on these key phases of flight, accident rates can be lowered.

    Karen Kalishek is a FAA DPE, ATP-rated pilot, and independent flight instructor, flying aircraft from J-3 Cubs to Pilatus. Her own aircraft is an RV-6. She is a NAFI Master Instructor, with CFI/CFII/MEI/CFIG and FAA Gold Seal Instructor credentials. A FAASTeam lead representative, Kalishek was honored as the 2019 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year. She is a major in the Civil Air Patrol, active in numerous aviation organizations, serves on the General Aviation Joint Safety Committee (GAJSC) and FAA working groups, and is the National Association of Flight Instructors board chair. Prior to her aviation involvement, Kalishek had successful careers as a bank executive, graduate school instructor, and also worked in 37 countries as president of her own international consulting corporation.

    This session focuses on selecting abort points on takeoff, as well as planning for and surviving low-altitude engine trouble. Factors such as weight, center of gravity, density altitude, power setting, leaning for best power, runway length, terrain, obstacles, field conditions, and other issues combine to make the takeoff roll and initial climb more complex than many pilots realize. Low altitude engine trouble leaves so little time to act that pilots need a specific plan in mind prior to advancing the throttle. This interactive session will cover techniques that teach pilots how to make sound go/no-go decisions on the takeoff roll and to handle initial-climb engine trouble.

    Philip Mandel has been a pilot since 1981 and currently holds CFI, CFI-I, MEI, AGI, and IGI certificates and ratings. Through the years, he has owned airplanes ranging from a C-150 to a Piper Apache and is now the proud owner of his 10th airplane, a Thorp T-18. Phil is an active flight instructor based in Oregon and a popular speaker at events ranging from local aviation gatherings to EAA AirVenture and national webinars. Phil was the FAASTeam Rep of the Year for the Portland, Oregon, FSDO in both 2021 and 2022.

    Landings are by nature a dynamic phase of flight. Add in a crosswind and the situation can become quite challenging for pilots, sometimes resulting in bent metal. While going around is a clear alternative to landing, it also carries risk. This interactive session will cover instructional considerations and methods to improve pilot skills in crosswind landings and avoid botched go-arounds.

    David St. George is an FAA DPE (Sport to Multi ATP) and a Part 135 charter pilot flying the Pilatus PC-12 in the NYC area. He is a 12-time Master Instructor. Formerly a 141 chief instructor for over 25 years, he is a Gold Seal CFI and has provided more than 12,000 hours of instruction. David started flying at age 16 and has logged more than 15,000 hours. He owns a 1946 7AC Aeronca Champ and serves as executive director of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators.

    Crosswind landings at Spicewood, Texas / Obstacle appears on runway during final approach / Aborted Takeoff / Short strip with trees at the end.

  2. Killer Procedures: Managing Risk in a Risky Environment

    Prerequisite: Minimum of a Sport or Private Pilot Certificate

    Airport operations account for a disproportionate number of accidents given the short amount of time pilots spend in their vicinity. What makes takeoff, climb, approach, and landing so dangerous? This clinic is focused on the risks associated with airport operations and how pilots can learn to recognize and mitigate the situations that lead to fatalities.

    Register Now

    The data is clear: takeoff, climb, approach, and landing account for a small portion of total flight time, but a disproportionate number of accidents, especially fatal ones. We’ll explore why pilots get themselves into unrecoverable situations close to the ground and at the edge of the aircraft’s performance envelope. We’ll discuss what can be learned from past mistakes and how pilots can manage the risks associated with this critical phase of flight.

    Charlie Precourt is the vice president and general manager of Propulsion Systems at Northrop Grumman. He built a VariEze that first flew in 1987. Charlie, who retired as an Air Force colonel in 2000, was graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1977 with a degree in aeronautical engineering. He was an F-15 pilot, instructor, and flight commander, and a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.He is a veteran of four space flights and member of the Astronaut Hall of Fame.

    Charlie held several management positions within NASA, including deputy program manager for the International Space Station, chief of the Astronaut Corps, and director of operations for NASA at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. Charlie also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Business Aviation Association, and the Safety Committee of the Citation Jet Pilots Association.

    When was the last time you were proud of your takeoff? Approach and landing tend to receive most of the focus from pilots, but 300% more fatal accidents occur during the takeoff and climb. Most takeoffs are a non-event, but the aircraft is low and slow and flying near the bottom edge of the envelope. The margin for error is small and the risks are easy to overlook. Complacency creeps in and pretty soon an otherwise safe pilot puts themselves and their passengers on the edge of tragedy. This breakout will explore how takeoff and climb accidents occur and ways to avoid them.

    The danger of a base-to-final loss of control is something of which every pilot is aware, yet they keep happening. In this session, we will be reintroduced to base-to-final LOC-I, what it is, how and why it happens, and how to best to avoid them.

    Reading accident reports and pursuing the NTSB database is a somewhat morbid passtime of many pilots, but how do we turn the data into actionable information that can help manage the risks of General Aviation? In the breakout, we will discuss what data is available, how it is generated, what it can teach us, and what its limitations are. We will explore how pilots can train themselves to recognize hidden risks before they materialize.

    • Scenario #1: Envelope Discovery - Spend a few minutes getting used to flying the Redbird LD simulator in edge of the envelope situations. Objective: Familiarization with flying the sim close to stall speed, at high angles of attack, and in takeoff and landing configurations in preparation for the following flight scenario exercises.
    • Scenario #2: Just a Quick Trip Around the Patch - Fly a normal VFR traffic pattern in a busy environment. Objective: Learn to recognize distractions, external pressures, and environmental conditions to identify potential causes of approach and landing accidents.
    • Scenario #3: High, Hot, and Heavy - In a high density altitude environment while at max gross, perform a safe takeoff and climb…if you can Objective: Experience the conditions that might lead to a stall/settle event for the purpose of identifying contributing factors and sharpening recognition abilities.
    • Scenario #4: Impossible Turn - Let’s not mince words … you’re going to lose your engine during takeoff and it’s not coming back. Objective: Learn to anticipate engine failure on each flight and determine how best to maximize safety while still on the ground.

  1. The Art of IFR: Instrument Flight

    Prerequisite: Instrument Rating

    This clinic reviews the requisite IFR skills, procedures, and situational awareness needed to successfully complete a challenging cross-country flight in IMC. Two knowledge-based breakout sessions support a demanding flight simulation scenario that requires sound PIC decision making. Instrument-rated pilots only.

    Register Now

    The Practical Test Standards for the Instrument Instructor state “… the applicant shall select either the primary and supporting or the control and performance method of teaching…” But the fact of the matter is that the good instrument pilot uses both techniques at different phases of instrument flight, either individually or in various combinations thereof. This presentation will discuss both techniques and how, when and why we use them.

    Doug Stewart, the 2004 National Instructor of the Year, and 12-time Master Instructor, is a full time flight instructor and designated pilot examiner, focusing on real-world IFR training conducted on multi-day training trips. To date he has provided more than 13,000 hours of flight instruction.

    The executive director emeritus of SAFE, Doug currently serves on the General Aviation Joint Safety Committee (GAJSC). He is also a subject matter expert for Pilot Workshops.com and Community Aviation. He has presented seminars to thousands of pilots from coast to coast and border to border and authored the monthly Vintage Instructor column for EAA’s Vintage Airplane magazine for many years. When not flying he is often found riding his bicycle.

    What does it mean to be situationally aware and how can we improve this critical skill set? We'll take a look at the numbers, weather risks, tools, and a variety of things to consider on an IFR flight.

    As pilot in command (PIC) you are ultimately responsible for the instrument approach you fly. And flying that approach is more than just "briefing the numbers on the approach plate. We'll look at the skillful way to brief an approach considering ceilings, visibility, winds, the runway environment and more.

    Jason Archer is an educator with more than 20 years of experience working in planetariums, science centers, and aviation museums. He is a CFI-I/AGI/IGI/MEI with Berkshire Aviation, LLC specializing in tailwheel, primary, and instrument training. While not flying, Jason serves as the lead FAASTeam rep and runs aviation/astronomy programs at his planetarium.

    You're heading from Redding to Arcata, California, for a business meeting. Leaving KRDD it’s VFR, but the TAFs are calling for LIFR all along the Northern California coast. So you'll need to be on your game for the arrival. Your Cessna 172 is full of fuel and you’re the only one on board. It's just you and your briefcase. Meet your CFI at the sim and arrive prepared. Remember, this mission is a scenario. The instructor will be there for you, but as a mentor, not a teacher. You’ve got all the information you need for this trip and everything is your call. Good luck. Today, you are pilot in command.

  2. The Art of IFR: Instrument Flight

    Prerequisite: Instrument Rating

    This clinic reviews the requisite IFR skills, procedures, and situational awareness needed to successfully complete a challenging cross-country flight in IMC. Two knowledge-based breakout sessions support a demanding flight simulation scenario that requires sound PIC decision making. Instrument-rated pilots only.

    Register Now

    The Practical Test Standards for the Instrument Instructor state “… the applicant shall select either the primary and supporting or the control and performance method of teaching…” But the fact of the matter is that the good instrument pilot uses both techniques at different phases of instrument flight, either individually or in various combinations thereof. This presentation will discuss both techniques and how, when and why we use them.

    Doug Stewart, the 2004 National Instructor of the Year, and 12-time Master Instructor, is a full time flight instructor and designated pilot examiner, focusing on real-world IFR training conducted on multi-day training trips. To date he has provided more than 13,000 hours of flight instruction.

    The executive director emeritus of SAFE, Doug currently serves on the General Aviation Joint Safety Committee (GAJSC). He is also a subject matter expert for Pilot Workshops.com and Community Aviation. He has presented seminars to thousands of pilots from coast to coast and border to border and authored the monthly Vintage Instructor column for EAA’s Vintage Airplane magazine for many years. When not flying he is often found riding his bicycle.

    What does it mean to be situationally aware and how can we improve this critical skill set? We'll take a look at the numbers, weather risks, tools, and a variety of things to consider on an IFR flight.

    As pilot in command (PIC) you are ultimately responsible for the instrument approach you fly. And flying that approach is more than just "briefing the numbers on the approach plate. We'll look at the skillful way to brief an approach considering ceilings, visibility, winds, the runway environment and more.

    Jason Archer is an educator with more than 20 years of experience working in planetariums, science centers, and aviation museums. He is a CFI-I/AGI/IGI/MEI with Berkshire Aviation, LLC specializing in tailwheel, primary, and instrument training. While not flying, Jason serves as the lead FAASTeam rep and runs aviation/astronomy programs at his planetarium.

    You're heading from Redding to Arcata, California, for a business meeting. Leaving KRDD it’s VFR, but the TAFs are calling for LIFR all along the Northern California coast. So you'll need to be on your game for the arrival. Your Cessna 172 is full of fuel and you’re the only one on board. It's just you and your briefcase. Meet your CFI at the sim and arrive prepared. Remember, this mission is a scenario. The instructor will be there for you, but as a mentor, not a teacher. You’ve got all the information you need for this trip and everything is your call. Good luck. Today, you are pilot in command.

  1. Stick & Rudder Redux: Fundamentals of Flight

    Prerequisite: Pilot Certificate

    Stick and rudder skills are one of the very first things we learned (or did we) as pilots and yet a quick review of accident data suggests that a lack of these same basic flying skills are responsible for a disproportionate number of accidents. All flying comes back to the basics from that gusty crosswind short-field approach to a leisurely flight along the coast to the most extreme aerobatics. This clinic will get your feet moving by taking a refreshed look at some basic flight maneuvers, controlled and coordinated flight, and how to get that kinesthetic feeling back for flight.

    Register Now

    Mastering the “art” of flying. Being proficient in maneuvering an airplane takes a thoughtful approach with the ultimate goal of mastery through continuous improvement and training. In this session, we will explore the winners mindset and how it relates to your everyday flying.

    Michael Goulian is a multi-disciplined aerial demonstation pilot. Beginning his career in the competitive world of aerobatics, Goulian earned the distinction of becoming one of the youngest pilots to ever win the United States Unlimited Aerobatic Championship at the age of 27.

    His signature air show performance combines the heart-stopping gyroscopic tumbling of modern display flying with the crisp, aggressive demands of precision competition aerobatics. In 2006, Goulian joined an elite group of pilots competing in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Competing as Team #99, Goulian and his team are engaged in a battle of technology, skill, and execution against 13 of the world’s fiercest competitors.

    How to become a stick and rudder pilot? We’ll step back and take a deep dive into the maneuvers, aerodynamic concepts and skills needed in straight and level flight, during turns, while climbing and descending and being coordinated vs. being un-coordinated. This breakout session will help you see flight with a beginner’s mind.

    Jason Archer is an educator with more than 20 years of experience working in planetariums, science centers, and aviation museums. He is a CFI-I/AGI/IGI/ME with Berkshire Aviation, LLC specializing in tailwheel, primary, and instrument training. While not flying, Jason serves as the lead FAASTeam rep and runs aviation/astronomy programs at his planetarium.

    The basics are the components and foundation for all of flight. Through a scenario based discussion we'll look at how and where stick and rudder skills apply in the operational environment.

    Ken Wittekiend is a professional aviation educator, writer and founder of ProMark Aviation Services, a full-service flight training company based in Burnet, Texas. He specializes in tailwheel, floatplane and Beech Bonanza training.

    He is a former Designated Pilot Examiner for the San Antonio Flight Standards District Office and has administered over 2500 practical tests. Ken serves as a FAASTeam representative for the Federal Aviation Administration, helping pilots by conducting seminars and counseling activities to reduce accidents and improve pilot safety practices.

    In 2009 and again in 2015, Ken was selected as the Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year for the FAA Southwest Region. He is also an eight-time Master CFI.

    Ken is a charter member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators and formerly served on the SAFE Board of Directors.

    Ken teaches for both of the national Beechcraft Bonanza training organizations and has presented seminars at a variety of aviation events including AirVenture and Sun N Fun.

    Ken is also an avid back country pilot. In 2020, he flew his Cessna 182 Amphibious Floatplane from Texas to Alaska where he spent the summer exploring the remote regions of the Tongass National Forest.

    Ken currently writes a monthly column for Plane & Pilot magazine called “Wandering Skies”. He is also working with Community Aviation to produce an on-line training course to help pilots better prepare for FAA Practical Tests.

    Your friend just purchased a house out in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and he has invited you and your family for a visit over the long Memorial Day weekend. You’re based at KHFD about 95 miles to the west. A nice but typical spring day of variable winds with the occasional gust is on deck for your flight. Your plan is to meet him at Falmouth Airpark (5B6). Your flying doesn’t end there. You’ll depart Falmouth for a sightseeing flight with your friend for a photo mission of the new home and then return to Falmouth for a weekend of family fun. Don’t let the apparent simplicity of this flight make you complacent. Stick and rudder skills are needed even on the simplest of missions.

  2. The Amateur-Built Flight Test Experience: Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft

    Prerequisite: Participants are pilots either building EAB aircraft, current owners, or non-builder owner of EAB aircraft

    This clinic is designed to provide valuable training experience for the homebuilt aircraft owner. Breakout session subjects focus on methods and tools for flight testing, engine management, data recordation and analysis, as well as flight simulation exercises that replicate common emergency situations.

    Register Now

    Learn about the best practices for data collection and analysis.

    Dick VanGrunsven is the founder and CEO of Van’s Aircraft of Aurora, Oregon, which has become one of the largest kit aircraft manufacturers in the world with more than 8,500 airplanes completed worldwide. An EAA member since 1964, Dick has received EAA’s Freedom of Flight Award and August Raspet Memorial Award, and is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

    Dick is also a founding member of the Aircraft Kit Manufacturers Association (AKIA), an industry group created in 2012, and an enthusiastic sailplane pilot. He lives in Hillsboro, Oregon.

    This is an introduction to the EAA FTM, including EFIS setup.

    Dave Forster has built three airplanes, one helicopter, and 1.5 cars. He lives on an airpark in Texas with his wife and Australian Kelpie, where he is trying to figure out what to build next and what he wants to be when he grows up.

    This session focusses on tips for being a good test pilot and dealing with emergencies.

    Paul Dye has more than 40 years of aviation experience as an engineer, builder, and pilot. His scope has ranged from restoring J-3 Cubs to planning and leading manned spaceflights. His love of flying machines dates back to early childhood, and he became involved with full-sized aircraft as a teenager, rebuilding J-3 Cubs with an FBO in Minnesota. He earned his degree in aeronautical engineering with a specialization in aircraft design and flight testing from the University of Minnesota in 1982. Mr. Dye has owned a number of aircraft over the years, and is currently deeply involved in the experimental aircraft movement.

    Mark Giron works at FAA headquarters as an operations inspector and amateur-built subject matter expert in Flight Standards General Aviation and Commercial Division (AFS-800). He writes policy related to amateur-built aircraft safety and training.

    Provide simulator training to develop test flying skills and data reduction using the EAA FTM and using the 12 Redbird simulators located in the new PPC building. Provide emergency training using the simulators for potential problems that might be encountered during flight testing ofa new aircraft.

  1. Learn to Turn: Antidote for Loss of Control in Flight (LOC-I)

    Prerequisite: Pilot Certificate

    A complementary three-part learning experience centered on a high-pressure flight simulation experience. Supporting breakout sessions focus on both maneuver-based and scenario-based elements with a review of basic turn dynamics, the training mindset, and “what if” conversations about traffic, communication, wind, and other factors. Trainees will be given the opportunity to correlate their knowledge and experience with a real-world flight simulation situation, revealed at the clinic.

    Register Now

    Present the why and the guiding philosophy behind Learn to Turn (L2T) and how implementing its principles can serve as an effective countermeasure to LOC-I.

    Judy Phelps is vice president and chief flight instructor for CP Aviation in Santa Paula, California. She is the 2011 National Flight Instructor of the Year, the 2010 Western Pacific Region FAA Flight Instructor of the Year, the 2008 Professional Woman Pilot of the Year by the Southwest Section of the Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots, and the 2006 Woman Pilot of the Year by the Ventura County Chapter of the Ninety-Nines.

    Judy is also a charter member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE). Judy’s career in aviation started in 1994 when she met and married Clay Phelps, the CP of CP Aviation. In 2003 she became a certificated flight instructor (CFI), has logged more than 11,000 hours, and recently became a designated pilot examiner.

    "What if" discussions about traffic, communications, wind and other factors that can influence the type and quality of turns in the traffic pattern.

    Rob Dumovic is co-founder of Spread Aviation, providers of flight instruction services that include aircraft checkouts, instrument proficiency checks, flight reviews, and FAA 709 prep. Rob is a CFI-I and MEI with more than 7,000 hours of dual given and experience in more than 40 types of fixed-wing aircraft. He specializes in high performance, tailwheel, and aerobatic airplanes with more than 2,000 hours of tailwheel time, 500 hours of which are in Extra airplanes. Rob also provides aerobatic coaching and is a current regional aerobatic judge.

    Describe the training mindset. Review aircraft controls and basic turn dynamics. Discuss maneuvers in the L2T Flight Simulation Exercises booklet.

    Mark King is a Master Certificated Flight Instructor-Aerobatic with a Gold Seal, CFI-Instrument, and advanced and instrument ground instructor. He is a Southern California native who was born into an aviation family and began flying in 1974. Mark has extensive experience flying in Alaska in a turboprop Quest Kodiak, has more than 1,000 hours flying the Beechcraft Bonanza, and is G1000 qualified. He is a member of the Society of Aviation Flight Educators (SAFE) and the North American T-6 formation group called the Condor Squadron. He provides private, instrument, commercial, tailwheel, emergency maneuver, and aerobatic training.

    Flight simulation trainees will begin their session with some fundamental L2T exercises, then fly a real world scenario multiple times with increasing situational challenges.

  1. Backcountry Awareness: Noting the Differences

    Prerequisite: Pilot Certificate

    The popularity of backcountry flying has increased dramatically over the past several years but so have the number of accidents. This clinic provides pilots with a detailed review of flight fundamentals that are critical to safe flying in the backcountry. Topics include density altitude, canyon turns, abort points, energy management, and short-field operations. Breakout sessions include a series of flight simulation exercises designed to extend the knowledge-based discussions to a hands-on grasp of procedures.

    Register Now

    What is backcountry? How does the backcountry environment differ from what most of us are used to? What are the required skills to fly safely there? Where can I get information about airstrips, weather, and conditions?

    Mike Vivion worked as a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service full-time employee from May 1974 through December 2005 as a wildlife biologist/airplane pilot. He served in locations in Idaho and California with the 29 years stationed in Alaska. Mike is currently president of the Montana Pilots Association.

    Flying in the backcountry is largely a non-standard activity when compared to the front-country. Most everything is different or extreme; runways, traffic patterns, abort points, information sources, etiquette and density altitude.

    Mike Vivion leads a discussion on what knowledge, skills, and maneuvering methods are important to backcountry flying and how much of this can be reviewed before you come to the backcountry.

    What are the specific operational challenges that backcountry flying presents?

    Turbulence, canyon turns/escape maneuvers, density altitude effects on maneuvering flight, using lift/avoiding sink with wind effects, and confined area operations around airports/traffic patterns are just a few. Learn more about how you can master backcountry flying in this session.

    Amy Hoover was named the 2022 National Certified Flight Instructor of the Year by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and General Aviation Awards Industry Board. Amy has more than 30 years of experience as a backcountry charter pilot and flight instructor. She was an original co-founder of the McCall Mountain Flying School and had given more than 2,500 hours of backcountry flight instruction. She is the primary author of the bestselling book from ASA, Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying.

    Flight simulation exercise bundle set at multiple backcountry locations. Options for Landmark USFS, Johnson Creek, Reed Ranch, Flying B Ranch and Cabin Creek. Focus on density altitude effects, canyon turns, traffic patterns, winds, etc.

  2. Killer Procedures: Managing Risk in a Risky Environment

    Prerequisite: Minimum of a Sport or Private Pilot Certificate

    Airport operations account for a disproportionate number of accidents given the short amount of time pilots spend in their vicinity. What makes takeoff, climb, approach, and landing so dangerous? This clinic is focused on the risks associated with airport operations and how pilots can learn to recognize and mitigate the situations that lead to fatalities.

    Register Now

    The data is clear: takeoff, climb, approach, and landing account for a small portion of total flight time, but a disproportionate number of accidents, especially fatal ones. We’ll explore why pilots get themselves into unrecoverable situations close to the ground and at the edge of the aircraft’s performance envelope. We’ll discuss what can be learned from past mistakes and how pilots can manage the risks associated with this critical phase of flight.

    Charlie Precourt is the vice president and general manager of Propulsion Systems at Northrop Grumman. He built a VariEze that first flew in 1987. Charlie, who retired as an Air Force colonel in 2000, was graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1977 with a degree in aeronautical engineering. He was an F-15 pilot, instructor, and flight commander, and a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.He is a veteran of four space flights and member of the Astronaut Hall of Fame.

    Charlie held several management positions within NASA, including deputy program manager for the International Space Station, chief of the Astronaut Corps, and director of operations for NASA at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. Charlie also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Business Aviation Association, and the Safety Committee of the Citation Jet Pilots Association.

    When was the last time you were proud of your takeoff? Approach and landing tend to receive most of the focus from pilots, but 300% more fatal accidents occur during the takeoff and climb. Most takeoffs are a non-event, but the aircraft is low and slow and flying near the bottom edge of the envelope. The margin for error is small and the risks are easy to overlook. Complacency creeps in and pretty soon an otherwise safe pilot puts themselves and their passengers on the edge of tragedy. This breakout will explore how takeoff and climb accidents occur and ways to avoid them.

    The danger of a base-to-final loss of control is something of which every pilot is aware, yet they keep happening. In this session, we will be reintroduced to base-to-final LOC-I, what it is, how and why it happens, and how to best to avoid them.

    Reading accident reports and pursuing the NTSB database is a somewhat morbid passtime of many pilots, but how do we turn the data into actionable information that can help manage the risks of General Aviation? In the breakout, we will discuss what data is available, how it is generated, what it can teach us, and what its limitations are. We will explore how pilots can train themselves to recognize hidden risks before they materialize.

    • Scenario #1: Envelope Discovery - Spend a few minutes getting used to flying the Redbird LD simulator in edge of the envelope situations. Objective: Familiarization with flying the sim close to stall speed, at high angles of attack, and in takeoff and landing configurations in preparation for the following flight scenario exercises.
    • Scenario #2: Just a Quick Trip Around the Patch - Fly a normal VFR traffic pattern in a busy environment. Objective: Learn to recognize distractions, external pressures, and environmental conditions to identify potential causes of approach and landing accidents.
    • Scenario #3: High, Hot, and Heavy - In a high density altitude environment while at max gross, perform a safe takeoff and climb…if you can Objective: Experience the conditions that might lead to a stall/settle event for the purpose of identifying contributing factors and sharpening recognition abilities.
    • Scenario #4: Impossible Turn - Let’s not mince words … you’re going to lose your engine during takeoff and it’s not coming back. Objective: Learn to anticipate engine failure on each flight and determine how best to maximize safety while still on the ground.

  1. Stick & Rudder Redux: Fundamentals of Flight

    Prerequisite: Pilot Certificate

    Stick and rudder skills are one of the very first things we learned (or did we) as pilots and yet a quick review of accident data suggests that a lack of these same basic flying skills are responsible for a disproportionate number of accidents. All flying comes back to the basics from that gusty crosswind short-field approach to a leisurely flight along the coast to the most extreme aerobatics. This clinic will get your feet moving by taking a refreshed look at some basic flight maneuvers, controlled and coordinated flight, and how to get that kinesthetic feeling back for flight.

    Register Now

    Mastering the “art” of flying. Being proficient in maneuvering an airplane takes a thoughtful approach with the ultimate goal of mastery through continuous improvement and training. In this session, we will explore the winners mindset and how it relates to your everyday flying.

    Michael Goulian is a multi-disciplined aerial demonstation pilot. Beginning his career in the competitive world of aerobatics, Goulian earned the distinction of becoming one of the youngest pilots to ever win the United States Unlimited Aerobatic Championship at the age of 27.

    His signature air show performance combines the heart-stopping gyroscopic tumbling of modern display flying with the crisp, aggressive demands of precision competition aerobatics. In 2006, Goulian joined an elite group of pilots competing in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Competing as Team #99, Goulian and his team are engaged in a battle of technology, skill, and execution against 13 of the world’s fiercest competitors.

    How to become a stick and rudder pilot? We’ll step back and take a deep dive into the maneuvers, aerodynamic concepts and skills needed in straight and level flight, during turns, while climbing and descending and being coordinated vs. being un-coordinated. This breakout session will help you see flight with a beginner’s mind.

    Jason Archer is an educator with more than 20 years of experience working in planetariums, science centers, and aviation museums. He is a CFI-I/AGI/IGI/ME with Berkshire Aviation, LLC specializing in tailwheel, primary, and instrument training. While not flying, Jason serves as the lead FAASTeam rep and runs aviation/astronomy programs at his planetarium.

    The basics are the components and foundation for all of flight. Through a scenario based discussion we'll look at how and where stick and rudder skills apply in the operational environment.

    Ken Wittekiend is a professional aviation educator, writer and founder of ProMark Aviation Services, a full-service flight training company based in Burnet, Texas. He specializes in tailwheel, floatplane and Beech Bonanza training. He is a former Designated Pilot Examiner for the San Antonio Flight Standards District Office and has administered over 2500 practical tests. Ken serves as a FAASTeam representative for the Federal Aviation Administration, helping pilots by conducting seminars and counseling activities to reduce accidents and improve pilot safety practices.

    In 2009 and again in 2015, Ken was selected as the Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year for the FAA Southwest Region. He is also an eight-time Master CFI.

    Ken is a charter member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators and formerly served on the SAFE Board of Directors.

    Ken teaches for both of the national Beechcraft Bonanza training organizations and has presented seminars at a variety of aviation events including AirVenture and Sun N Fun.

    Ken is also an avid back country pilot. In 2020, he flew his Cessna 182 Amphibious Floatplane from Texas to Alaska where he spent the summer exploring the remote regions of the Tongass National Forest.

    Ken currently writes a monthly column for Plane & Pilot magazine called “Wandering Skies”. He is also working with Community Aviation to produce an on-line training course to help pilots better prepare for FAA Practical Tests.

    Your friend just purchased a house out in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and he has invited you and your family for a visit over the long Memorial Day weekend. You’re based at KHFD about 95 miles to the west. A nice but typical spring day of variable winds with the occasional gust is on deck for your flight. Your plan is to meet him at Falmouth Airpark (5B6). Your flying doesn’t end there. You’ll depart Falmouth for a sightseeing flight with your friend for a photo mission of the new home and then return to Falmouth for a weekend of family fun. Don’t let the apparent simplicity of this flight make you complacent. Stick and rudder skills are needed even on the simplest of missions.

  2. Backcountry Awareness: Noting the Differences

    Prerequisite: Pilot Certificate

    The popularity of backcountry flying has increased dramatically over the past several years but so have the number of accidents. This clinic provides pilots with a detailed review of flight fundamentals that are critical to safe flying in the backcountry. Topics include density altitude, canyon turns, abort points, energy management, and short-field operations. Breakout sessions include a series of flight simulation exercises designed to extend the knowledge-based discussions to a hands-on grasp of procedures.

    Register Now

    What is backcountry? How does the backcountry environment differ from what most of us are used to? What are the required skills to fly safely there? Where can I get information about airstrips, weather, and conditions?

    Mike Vivion worked as a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service full-time employee from May 1974 through December 2005 as a wildlife biologist/airplane pilot. He served in locations in Idaho and California with the 29 years stationed in Alaska. Mike is currently president of the Montana Pilots Association.

    Flying in the backcountry is largely a non-standard activity when compared to the front-country. Most everything is different or extreme; runways, traffic patterns, abort points, information sources, etiquette and density altitude.

    Mike Vivion leads a discussion on what knowledge, skills, and maneuvering methods are important to backcountry flying and how much of this can be reviewed before you come to the backcountry.

    What are the specific operational challenges that backcountry flying presents?

    Turbulence, canyon turns/escape maneuvers, density altitude effects on maneuvering flight, using lift/avoiding sink with wind effects, and confined area operations around airports/traffic patterns are just a few. Learn more about how you can master backcountry flying in this session.

    Amy Hoover was named the 2022 National Certified Flight Instructor of the Year by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and General Aviation Awards Industry Board. Amy has more than 30 years of experience as a backcountry charter pilot and flight instructor. She was an original co-founder of the McCall Mountain Flying School and had given more than 2,500 hours of backcountry flight instruction. She is the primary author of the bestselling book from ASA, Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying.

    Flight simulation exercise bundle set at multiple backcountry locations. Options for Landmark USFS, Johnson Creek, Reed Ranch, Flying B Ranch and Cabin Creek. Focus on density altitude effects, canyon turns, traffic patterns, winds, etc.



Presented by:

Bose Aviation Logo
Hartzell Engine Technologies
Hartzell
Jeppesen
National Air Traffic Control Association
Redbird Flight Simulators

Supported by:

Cloudahoy logo
Community Aviation
MindstarAviation Logo
National Association of Flight Instructors
Society of Aviation and Flight Educators Logo
To provide a better user experience, EAA uses cookies. To review EAA's data privacy policy or adjust your privacy settings please visit: Data and Privacy Policy.