Pilots are proving that the top source of aviation safety education is the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The foundation’s online course completions jumped 48 percent from 2006 to 2007, to a record 270,595. And an all-time high of 41,962 pilots attended the foundation’s in-person safety seminars.
“Pilots must continually hone their flying and decision-making skills to stay safe. We’re gratified that they’re using our education materials and attending our seminars to stay sharp,” said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. “Our award-winning online courses are designed to keep you on course and on altitude. Try one at home, on the weekends, or even during a lunch break.”
Pilots can choose among 15 full-length online courses (45 to 60 minutes), four minicourses (15 to 20 minutes), and nine Real Pilot Stories (two to 12 minutes) on topics such as weather, GPS operation, and IFR flying.
Even the airlines are turning to the foundation’s online courses for recurrent pilot training. In 2007, regional carrier Chautauqua Airlines, a subsidiary of Indianapolis-based Republic Airways, reportedly required all of its pilots to complete the foundation’s Runway Safety online course as part of the airline’s runway safety initiative.
Because of the demand for online learning, the foundation is working to produce multiple new online offerings in 2008. Topics will include airspace, weather, stalls and spins, and radio communication, among others.
The increase in safety seminar attendance last year was due, in part, to pilot uncertainty about communication procedures. The Air Safety Foundation erased that uncertainty for thousands of pilots who attended its most popular seminar in history— Say It Right: Radio Communication in Today’s Airspace, which featured a variety of communication scenarios and local air traffic controllers. (If you missed the seminar, watch it online through the foundation’s SafetyCast sponsored by UTC Technologies.)
The latest safety seminar, Top 5 Mistakes Pilots Make, has the potential to significantly reduce the fatal accident rate. During the interactive program, a highly experienced instructor discusses the most common fatal errors that pilots make and provides tips on everything from steering clear of weather to safely maneuvering the airplane. Find out when the seminar will be in your area.