REFLECTIONS ON THE (DCAM) FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR SAFETY AWARD.

2ND June, 2016

The DCAM was founded in 2003 by Jane & Rikki Abramson, in memory of our son David whose exceptional potential and professionalism as a Flight Instructor are the inspiration behind this annual Award and to promote higher standards in aviation safety and training, while recognizing exceptional Instructors in Canada, who are truly the “Teachers of Flight.”      
We remember that David gave his life to save another.  In that selfless moment he created an enduring legacy for flight instruction safety which is given substance through this Award.  His legacy is as powerful today as when we founded the Award and which, I pray, will endure long into the future.

To preserve the historical record of the Award the recipient’s name is engraved on the trophy and entered in the official logbook both of which are on permanent display at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa.   
We thank the museum for their custodianship and providing us the trophy for our presentations.

As a national Award, the DCAM through its promotion of flight safety has brought much recognition and awareness to the industry.     
Formal recognition of excellence in flight safety within the flight training industry ensures a safety consciousness that, like the Award itself, will be passed on for many years to come.       
Providing a forum for conscientious Flight Instructors to be recognized for noteworthy accomplishments in enhancing aviation safety, improved pilot training and the advancement of professional standards has contributed to the constantly upgrading of an already impressive record.    Since its foundation in 2003 the Award has travelled coast to coast to be presented annually at ATAC’S AGM.  We thank Air Transport Association of Canada for generously providing this forum.  
Over the years we have seen some remarkable achievements; please visit  www.dcamaward.com to read about them.           

What can we do collectively as flight instruction professionals to improve flight safety? And most importantly, what can I do today?  What best standards can I achieve?        
These questions are at the core to the DCAM Award.

What does it take to win the prestigious DCAMAWARD?
As the list of past, and present recipients can attest to, qualities of the winner are an enquiring and innovative nature, a strong work ethic, a clear passion and enthusiasm for aviation and aviation safety, airmanship and leadership.  A learning/teaching balance, a listening communicator, giving ‘it’ away to give ‘it’ back and humility.  

It’s about sharing the messages of airmanship and safety.    
The quality and scale of the applications over the years indicates that there has been a progressive and major shift in safety appreciation and awareness since the inception of the DCAM Award.  The ethos of flight instruction has clearly moved from a perhaps somewhat simplistic foundation of its early years to a more embracing and comprehensive model today.    
It honours the DCAM Award to believe, as prior recipients clearly do, that the Award has been a fundamental stimulus in the evolution and upward shift in flight instructor safety since the first Award in 2003.

We have noted a migration towards seniority in the Award winners. This, of itself, has created seeming paradoxes and challenges for the Award Selection Committee. These challenges have also given us pause to think about the present form and shape of our Award and how it best matches our wonderful industry. Our industry is organic, dynamic, and ever changing.

Tomorrow’s future will rest with today’s young Pilots and Flight Instructors whose potential has been developed by their Seniors – but the future is theirs as it was David’s.

Our challenge with the mix of applications is to validly evaluate youth potential with senior experience, to balance both ends of the training spectrum without diminishing or discounting either – we believe we have met this challenge and succeeded in our considerations.

We have been reminded in recent times how dangerous and cruel aviation can be. It demands perfection from trainee and Instructor alike, which is why the DCAM Award seeks to recognize the best of the best.

The best of the best are not only defined by mere technical skill and merit. We must also be Leaders who are not afraid to raise themselves above all others in the most public way. At its root we must remember that each and every passenger who entrusts us with their care is our responsibility – without limit of time.

The leadership of which I speak cannot be taught. It must be learned and embraced by each and every member of our Instructor family as they seek the best of the best.

The DCAM, I feel, now stands as part of Canada’s aviation firmament, and is truly David’s legacy. It will remain so and become stronger as long as Flight Instructors value it and permit their skills and achievements to be measured alongside their peers – to be measured as professionals, as teachers and as leaders dedicated to safety in our skies.

Our grateful thanks to our Sponsors and Supporters:

The opportunity to make this Award within the context of this annual forum is afforded me by Air Transport Association of Canada; special thanks to John McKenna & Wayne Gouveia. I wish to acknowledge their gift of this time and location.

The DCAM Award exists increasingly through the corporate generosity of its Sponsors; specifically I want to thank: Air Canada, ATAC, CAAC, Essential Turbines, Flight Safety Canada, Hamilton Watches, Seneca College, Sennheiser Canada, Wings Magazine & Helicopters Magazine.

Thank you also to our Supporters: AQTA, Canada Aviation & Space Museum, Ottawa, Canadian Forces Snowbirds, CBBA, COPA, Skies Magazine, Transport Canada, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. Mr. Edmund McGinty, Retired Aviation/Aerospace Executive, Mr. Stephen Schettini, Webmaster, Anne Serratrice, Translator for the DCAM logbook entries, Ms. Val Tait, Mr. Adam Wright, Pilot, Air Transat. To all the Flight Training Units who have submitted nominations throughout the years & to Aviation Solutions.

Special thanks to our hard working members of the DCAM Selection Committee.

Nominations can be made throughout the year, prior to the deadline of 14th September. All information is listed on the website: WWW.DCAMAWARD.COM

Our Mission: PROMOTING FLIGHT SAFETY BY RECOGNIZING EXCEPTIONAL FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS IN CANADA.

 

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