The Air Safety Foundation (ASF) has issued its report to supporters, donors and AOPA members on its work for 1999, including new initiatives to reach more pilots with continuing safety education and training.
"The Air Safety Foundation spent more than $3.2 million in 1999 to offer educational programs, publish safety information, and conduct research," said ASF Executive Director Bruce Landsberg.
The foundation is funded primarily by the contributions of individual pilots, and from grants by other foundations and entities interested in general aviation safety. It received $2,176,000 in contributions in 1999, plus about $1.5 million in restricted funding and other income, and $1,211,000 in additional funding for specific educational programs. The safety foundation's endowment, providing more predictable resources for future years, grew to a healthier $1.747 million.
ASF conducted 258 evening and weekend safety seminars in 1999 attended by more than 32,000 pilots. Teamed as usual with the FAA Aviation Safety Program, ASF also ran cooperative seminar programs with state aviation agencies in Florida, Idaho, Iowa, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia.
New for 1999 were ASF's "More Never Again" seminars examining accident causation. Other featured programs included "Collision Avoidance," "Operations at Nontowered Airports," "Mountain Flying," and "Stall/Spin Avoidance."
As the public debated high-profile general aviation accidents in 1999, ASF's "Weather Strategies" and "Weather Tactics" presentations brought to more than 1,000 the number of ASF weather and decision-making seminars held over the past five years.
With today's busy schedules, pilot attendance at safety seminars is static. So ASF pioneered a new technique in 1999 to reach more pilots, including those who might never attend a live presentation. Known as "Project V" and funded by a major grant from AOPA, it brings safety education home to the pilot through a free home video.
Some 30,000 new private pilots and newly rated instrument pilots received a free safety seminar video last year. Based on surveys of each group's safety concerns, new private pilots received a video on cross-country navigation and crosswind landings. New instrument pilots received a video on gathering, interpreting, and acting on weather information.
The foundation also continued its new "Seminar-in-a-Box" program to reach pilots too distant from regular seminar locations. Some 11,000 pilots held their own ASF seminars under the auspices of 250 local pilot organizations, bringing total pilot outreach in 1999 to 63,000.
ASF continued to train 25 percent of the nation's flight instructors who revalidate their CFI certificates every two years through classroom training. More than 7,000 CFIs attended an ASF Flight Instructor Revalidation Clinic (FIRC) in 1999.
All 75,000 U.S. flight instructors again received ASF's quarterly Instructor Report with up-to-date tips, including information on instructional accidents, teaching techniques, and patterns in pilot check ride failures.
While participating in industry-wide safety efforts on weather decision making and controlled flight into terrain, ASF worked on the thorny issue of runway incursions. ASF Executive Director Bruce Landsberg served as chairman of the first government/industry committee on the problem.
To help, ASF last year pioneered a new way for VFR pilots to obtain the airport taxi diagrams IFR pilots have on instrument approach charts. Now available are more than 330 preflight-printable high-resolution taxi diagrams on the AOPA Online Web site.
The service is open to all pilots, not just AOPA members. More taxi diagrams will be added later this year.
A new, more succinct Safety Highlights pamphlet series began in 1999 with Cessna 172 Safety Highlights sponsored by U.S. Aviation Underwriters. And ASF's annual Nall Report was issued covering GA accident trends in 1998.
A special ASF Safety Advisor publication, Propeller Safety, was sponsored by Hartzell Propeller and mailed to almost every piston-engine aircraft owner in the United States. in 1999. Meanwhile, the Flying Physicians Association sponsored another safety advisor on go/no-go decisions for charitable medical flights.
All this takes financial support. In 1999, more than 40,000 pilots and other donors made significant contributions to the Air Safety Foundation.
Some 180 individuals, 34 of them new contributors, "threw their hats in the ring" with an annual contribution of $1,000 or more as a member of the ASF Hat in the Ring Society. Fifteen individuals have now become lifetime "Hat" members through a contribution of $25,000 or more, thus endowing an annual Hat in the Ring contribution to ASF. Such contributors receive lifetime membership in AOPA.
Three organizations or estates gave $100,000 or more. Seven philanthropic individuals, funds, or organizations each gave more than $25,000 last year.
A new ASF Life Associate program was launched in 1999, and over 100 individuals contributed $2,500 each to establish a personal endowment yielding an annual $100 contribution to the safety foundation. These contributors also receive a lifetime AOPA membership.
The ASF Silent Auction on the Internet raised $50,000 for safety seminar programs, made possible by nearly 100 donors of online auction items. Some 19 corporations authorized the Air Safety Foundation for their matching gift programs, doubling and tripling the gifts of their individual employees to ASF.
A special Air Safety Foundation commemorative fund establishes perpetual endowments to memorialize aviators who have lost their lives. Among 17 fliers so memorialized by family, friends, or associates in 1999 were Payne Stewart, Vickie Lyons, and John Kennedy, Jr.
Contributors of $100 or more during 1999 will receive a copy of the Air Safety Foundation Report to Donors. AOPA members received ASF's 1999 annual report in the May issue of AOPA Pilot magazine.
May 24, 2000