A new nonprofit group based in southern New England aims to address the deterioration of basic stick-and-rudder skills among pilots, and is starting out with a focus on CFIs, says Bob Berlyn, the group’s executive director. Berlyn, a former airline pilot and CFI, is an FAA safety inspector in Norwood, Massachusetts. “Everywhere I go, I hear the same story,” he told AVweb this week. “From airline captains, CFIs, instructors in airline training departments — everyone agrees that among the new recruits, the stick-and-rudder skills are lacking.” He has launched the New England Aviation Education Foundation with the goal of helping to ensure those skills are passed on to the next generation of pilots. The group’s first event, a morning seminar followed by a session flying a tailwheel airplane, is set for Saturday, Sept. 24 at North Central Airport, just outside Providence, Rhode Island.
The free seminar, which is listed online at faa.safety.gov, will provide a morning session with speakers from the FAA and the air-taxi industry, then after a catered lunch, six participants will go for a flight in a Citabria tailwheel airplane for some stick-and-rudder work with an instructor. Registrants can sign up online. Those who would like to fly must be active CFIs and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a slot. No tailwheel experience is required to participate. The event is funded by a grant from the family of the late Gene Bielecki, an FAA examiner who was well-known in southern New England.