Model code of conduct issued for flight instructors

April 18, 2011

The permanent editorial board that oversees the work of the Aviators Model Code of Conduct has released its newest model code, for flight instructors.

“Developed by a team of aviation professionals and drawing upon decades of research and experience, the Code recommends operating practices designed to improve the quality of flight instruction and the safety of flight training operations,” the organization said in an April 18 news release.

The seven sections of the code cover topics including general responsibilities of instructors; students, passengers, and people on the surface; training and proficiency; security; environmental issues; technology; and advancement and promotion of aviation instruction.

The board recommends adoption of professional codes as a tool to “help users achieve new levels of proficiency.” The code for flight instructors was designed for instructors at all levels and “promotes flight and ground instructor safety, professionalism, and instructor contributions to the aviation community and society at large,” it said.

The code “encourages the development and adoption of good judgment, ethical behavior, and personal responsibility, supports improved communications between instructors, students, regulators, and others in the aviation industry, and promotes recognition of instruction as a highly respected and rewarding profession,” said the news release.

“I think if you can get this widely distributed into the aviation education community and get CFIs to heed the advice, it would go a long way toward improving the overall flight instruction experience, particularly for primary students who are just starting out and gaining their first impression of general aviation,” said JJ Greenway, the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s director of safety and chief flight instructor.

“It is an outstanding document that belongs in every instructor's flight kit,” said Barry Schiff, a retired airline captain and regular AOPA Pilot columnist.

AOPA Pilot and Flight Training contributor Rod Machado also endorsed the document. “If a flight instructor follows even a few of these principles, he or she will be a much better person for it. Those that use the model code of conduct to help align their moral compass will make significant contributions to our industry,” he said.

The Flight Instructor’s Model Code of Conduct is the latest code to be released by the organization in a set of volumes that includes the Aviation Maintenance Technicians Model Code of Conduct, the Aviators Model Code of Conduct, the Glider Aviators Model Code of Conduct, the Light Sport Aviators Model Code of Conduct, the Seaplane Pilots Model Code of Conduct, and the Student Pilots Model Code of Conduct.

The codes and supporting materials are available as a free public service from the Aviators Model Code of Conduct website. Additional information can be obtained by sending an email to the permanent editorial board.