A word from Jack Proctor, 2019 Recipient, David Charles Abramson Memorial Flight Instructor Safety Award

Presenting Jack with the two trophies; ‘DCAM’ & ‘Keeper-Trophy.’

It has been an exceptional honor in my life and my career to be selected as the 2019 Recipient of the David Charles Abramson Memorial Flight Instructor Safety Award. 

Never before in my 36 years as a commercial pilot have I seen such a need for pilots. 

The rapid hiring we are seeing is resulting in lowering experience levels in both the right and left seats of commercial aircraft 

I believe that going forward safe and efficient flight training can be accomplished to meet the needs of the rapidly growing aviation industry with the continued recruitment of talented flight instructors who focus on the principles of: 

  • SAFETY 
  • PASSION FOR FLYING AND TEACHING, and 
  • EXCELLENCE IN SKILL AND DELIVERY 

In short, the principles that the DCAM Award was founded upon 

As a contribution to the continued strengthening of a CULTURE of safety in the aviation industry, I would like to provide an article below which was written for a Safety Newsletter at Seneca College, where I have worked as a Flight Instructor both full time and part time, beginning in 1984. 

DON’T STOP FLYING IT UNTIL YOU’VE GOT IT TIED DOWN 

As I was getting ready to depart on a dual flight in a F33 Bonanza with my student, my “spider sense” was telling me to be extra cautious. 

The current TAF for CYPQ read: 

FM 011500 28015G25KT P6SM FEW030 BECMG 0117/0119 29018G28KT BECMG 0122/0124 29012KT 

The METAR that had just been issued read: 

CYPQ 011600Z AUTO 29019G30KT 9SM BKN045 BKN240 15/05 A2994 

My student had just copied the latest AWOS in Dispatch before we walked out the west door of the building closest to where our aircraft was parked. He brought to my attention that the wind was 310/26G34KT (Good job Lloyd!) which with the gust factor was a crosswind component of 26KT on Runway 27. 

Before we started our engine, we discussed some mitigations to be safe given the new threat of the increasing winds. We decided that a call to London FSS to see if the TAF was going to be amended and to get the advice of the Flight Service Specialist regarding the conditions would be a good idea. 

We noticed that a large number of students started walking out to pull aircraft in the hangar. What we didn’t notice was that an unattended C172 that was parked on the far side of the ramp had just been lifted by its right wing, and had its left wing contact the ramp before settling on all three wheels. 

After thinking about this unfortunate incident, thoughts from 34 years of instructing experiences started to race through my mind. I thought I’d put some of these down on paper so that I could be reminded myself of the risks when operating in windy conditions, and perhaps others could benefit also. 

On approach and landing in windy and/or gusty conditions, a pilot should always be prepared to initiate a go-around down to and including touchdown (in compliance with specific procedures for the aircraft type). Risks to assess on final approach include airspeed fluctuations (threat of stall and flap speed exceedance), turbulence (controllability, effectiveness of control inputs) and profile (risk of obstacles on approach if too low, long touchdown point with risk of overrun on landing rollout if too high). Lateral alignment with the runway and directional control are also very important to ensure a safe approach and landing. 

Maximum demonstrated crosswind component, while not an actual limitation, should be assessed with consideration of pilot skill, experience, and currency. 

Approach speed additive should be considered, ensuring landing distance is adequate with the increased speed. Our SOPs state: 

“For approaches in conditions where wind gusts have been reported, Vref will be increased by a factor of one half the reported gust for a maximum additive of 10 knots.” 

Additionally, to aid in controllability during the approach, flare and touchdown, a speed additive and/or partial flaps or flaps up configuration should be considered in strong crosswinds. 

Hearing the stall warning horn prior to touchdown in windy conditions can indicate that airspeed has decayed to the point where controllability may be compromised. Landing in a slightly flatter attitude than normal, with touchdown at a slightly higher speed than normal requires additional skill, but can aid in controllability. I like the phrase “fly it on” rather than allowing to aircraft to settle itself onto the runway in windy/gusty conditions. 

The skill of approaching and landing at higher than normal airspeeds should only be attempted after having proper training by an experienced instructor. 

I have noticed some pilots tend to relax their control inputs after the wheels have contacted the runway after landing. In windy conditions, it is paramount to continue to apply appropriate control inputs during the landing rollout AND taxi in. 

An inherent risk to touching down at a higher than normal airspeed in windy conditions is Wheelbarrowing. This is particularly a risk if control inputs are relaxed prematurely after touchdown. Proper training on recognition of and correction for this condition is extremely important before operating in windy/gusty conditions. 

Brake application promptly after touchdown will reduce the airspeed below flying speed of the wing, and therefore help to prevent a wing lifting after touchdown. Care should be taken not to land with feet on the brake pedals, as this could cause a skid and blown tire. 

As experience is gained operating in more challenging conditions, a new risk creeps in. You can develop complacency thinking “I’ve landed in worse conditions than this before”, or “The guys ahead landed with no problem”. You can also feel compelled to land rather than waiting for conditions to improve or diverting to an alternate airport (in consultation with the Duty Instructor if time permits). 

Your last line of defense when operating in windy/gusty conditions is always the decision to execute a go-around down to and including touchdown if controllability is compromised. This should be a consideration if you are not able to accomplish a touchdown on or close to the runway centreline and within the touchdown zone relative to your aim point on final approach. 

A 20,000+ hour friend of mine who has extensive experience operating all types from PA11s to B777s told me his philosophy when operating in strong winds, and I have come to learn the wisdom in his words: 

“Don’t stop flying it until you’ve got it tied down”. Thanks Randy! 

Jack Proctor 2019 Recipient, David Charles Abramson Memorial Flight Instructor Safety Award 

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2019 – Récipiendaire

Le dix-septième récipiendaire du prix annuel de la sécurité des instructeurs de vol DCAM était:

Jack Proctor du Seneca College, Ecole d’aviation de l’Ontario

Jack a beaucoup contribué et donné au secteur de l’aviation durant de nombreuses années.

Son engagement en faveur de la sécurité est incomparable. Il est un exemple à suivre, c’est un communicateur et tuteur remarquable. Son investissement en faveur de l’instruction reste inégalé. Il a acquis une vaste expérience en tant que capitaine auprès d’Air Canada et a accumulé plus de 20 000 heures de vol. Il a également été instructeur et pilote examinateur tout en continuant à enseigner au College, ce qui lui a permis de donner aux étudiants une idée plus globale des évolutions du monde actuel.

Il est l’auteur des « Canadian Flight Notes », anciennement « Proctor Notes », publication canadienne à l’intention des instructeurs de vol.

Une citation du lauréat de cette année:

“THE GOAL OF THIS AWARD IS TO RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANT ROLE FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS PLAY IN MAKING FLYING SAFER.”

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2019 – Recipient

The seventeenth recipient of the annual DCAM Flight Instructor Safety Award was:

 JACK PROCTOR of SENECA COLLEGE, SCHOOL OF AVIATION, ONTARIO

 November 19th Jack Proctor of Seneca College, School of Aviation, Ontario.

Jack has contributed and given back to the industry for many years.

His commitment to safety is second to none.

He leads by example, a great communicator and mentor.

His dedication to instructing is unsurpassed.

His wealth of experience as a Captain with Air Canada, he has flown over 20,000 hours of flight time, having worked as an Instructor and Check Pilot while also continuing to instruct at the College level thus allowing him to provide students with a wider viewpoint for today’s ever changing world.

A Canadian Publication, “Canadian Flight Notes,” for Flight Instructors, formerly known as “The Proctor Notes,” was authored by him.

A quote from this year’s recipient:

“THE GOAL OF THIS AWARD IS TO RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANT ROLE FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS PLAY IN MAKING FLYING SAFER.”

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2018 – Récipiendaire

Le seizième prix du prix commémoratif annuel de la sécurité des instructeurs de vol David Charles Abramson pour l’année 2018 était:

WAYNE L. CAVE OF CHINOOK HELICOPTERS, ABBOTSFORD, BC

14 novembre.

Wayne L. Cave de la division d’hélicoptères à voilure fixe de Chinook Abbotsford, B.C.

M. Cave est pilote depuis l’âge de dix-sept ans. L’instruction en vol est rapidement devenue sa passion; son investissement et ses compétences de pédagogue hors-pair sont une évidence. Ses quatorze années passées chez Coastal Pacific, B.C. lui ont permis d’élaborer et d’actualiser divers programmes d’études post-secondaires pour le baccalauréat en administration des affaires de l’aviation (BBAA). Il a personnellement influencé la formation en matière de sécurité d’un grand nombre de pilotes qui ont suivi une formation à Abbotsford. A présent il travaille chez Chinook Helicopters, à  Abbotsford, B. C., où il a créé la section à voilure fixe. Sa déontologie professionnelle et son souci permanent de la sécurité sont irréprochables.

Une citation du récipiendaire de cette année:

THE IMPORTANCE AND BENEFIT OF THIS AWARD IS TO RECOGNIZE THOSE WHO ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT FLIGHT INSTRUCTING AND WHO WORK TOGETHER TO IMPART THEIR CUMULATIVE KNOWLEDGE ONTO STUDENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

TO HAVE AN AWARD THAT ACKNOWLEDGES THE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF PILOTS IS A BENEFIT TO THE ENTIRE AVIATION COMMUNITY.”

Last year’s recipient 2018 – Wayne Cave being presented with his congratulatory letter and signed lithograph from Canadian Forces Snowbirds, by Cathy Press, CEO & Owner of Chinook Helicopters, BC.

Presentation of the 2018 DCAM Flight Instructor Safety Award to Wayne Cave, Chinook Helicopters, BC by Adam Wright, Captain, Air Transat, (in the absence of founder Jane Abramson)

Past recipients of the ‘DCAM’ who were in attendance along with Wayne Cave.

Adam Wright presenting Essential Turbines cheque to Wayne Cave.

Wings & Helicopters presentation by Adam Wright, to Wayne Cave

Flight Safety’s presentation by Gail Greenwood, Sales Manager, Toronto to Wayne Cave.

Seneca College’s presentation by Lynne McMullen, Director Business Development, School of Aviation, to Wayne Cave.

Wayne Cave’s presentation by Adam Wright, Cpt. Air Transat, of an aviator’s watch, from Hamilton watches.

Toutes les photos sont une gracieuseté de Mike Doiron.

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2018 – Recipient

The sixteenth recipient of the annual David Charles Abramson Memorial Flight Instructor Safety Award for the year 2018 was:

WAYNE L. CAVE OF CHINOOK HELICOPTERS, ABBOTSFORD, BC

Nov.14th Wayne L. Cave of Chinook Helicopters fixed-wing division, Abbotsford, B.C.

Mr  Cave has been an Aviator since the age of seventeen.  Flight instruction quickly became his passion, his dedication & superior teaching skills clearly shine through.      

His tenure of fourteen years with Coastal Pacific, B.C. enabled him to develop & update a variety of post-secondary curriculum for the Bachelor of Business Administration Aviation Degree Programs (BBAA.)  He has personally influenced the safety training of a large portion of Pilots who have trained at Abbotsford & is now working at Chinook Helicopters, Abbotsford, B.C. where he started up their fixed-wing division.  His work ethic & commitment to safety are second to none.

A quote from this year’s recipient:

THE IMPORTANCE AND BENEFIT OF THIS AWARD IS TO RECOGNIZE THOSE WHO ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT FLIGHT INSTRUCTING AND WHO WORK TOGETHER TO IMPART THEIR CUMULATIVE KNOWLEDGE ONTO STUDENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

TO HAVE AN AWARD THAT ACKNOWLEDGES THE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF PILOTS IS A BENEFIT TO THE ENTIRE AVIATION COMMUNITY.”

Last year’s recipient 2018 – Wayne Cave being presented with his congratulatory letter and signed lithograph from Canadian Forces Snowbirds, by Cathy Press, CEO & Owner of Chinook Helicopters, BC.

Presentation of the 2018 DCAM Flight Instructor Safety Award to Wayne Cave, Chinook Helicopters, BC by Adam Wright, Captain, Air Transat, (in the absence of founder Jane Abramson)

Past recipients of the ‘DCAM’ who were in attendance along with Wayne Cave.

Adam Wright presenting Essential Turbines cheque to Wayne Cave.

Wings & Helicopters presentation by Adam Wright, to Wayne Cave

Flight Safety’s presentation by Gail Greenwood, Sales Manager, Toronto to Wayne Cave.

Seneca College’s presentation by Lynne McMullen, Director Business Development, School of Aviation, to Wayne Cave.

Wayne Cave’s presentation by Adam Wright, Cpt. Air Transat, of an aviator’s watch, from Hamilton watches.

All photos courtesy of Mike Doiron.

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2017 – Recipient

The 15th recipient of the annual DCAM flight instructor safety award for the year 2017 was:

LUKE PAUL PENNER OF HARV’S AIR WINNIPEG, MB

A TRUE AVIATOR, AN ACCOMPLISHED PILOT; A CLASS 1 FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR & A CLASS 1 AEROBATIC INSTRUCTOR IT IS HIS STRONG BELIEF THAT EVEN SOME AEROBATIC EXPERIENCE CAN MAKE A PILOT MORE COMPETENT AND MUCH SAFER.

HE STATES, “ I PERSONALLY HAVE PUSHED MYSELF TO FULLY EXPERIENCE THE FLIGHT ENVELOPE THROUGH MY COMPETITIVE AEROBATIC FLYING, TO PURSUE DISCIPLINED PRECISION FLYING WITH THE HOPES OF INSPIRING OTHERS TO REACH FOR THEIR TRUE POTENTIAL, AND ULTIMATELY BECOME SAFER PILOTS.”  THIS FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR FINISHED FIRST IN HIS CATEGORY AT THE US NATIONAL AEROBATIC CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 2016.

LUKE PENNER:  “JANE & RIKKI, I WILL CONTINUE TO WORK AS HARD AS I CAN TO UPHOLD THE LEGACY OF THE DAVID CHARLES ABRAMSON MEMORIAL FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR SAFETY AWARD, AND TO BE A BRIGHT REFLECTION OF YOUR SON’S COMMITMENT TO SAFETY.”

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2017 – Récipiendaire

Le 7 novembre-

Luke Paul Penner de Harv’s Air, Winnipeg, Manitoba

C’est un aviateur hors-pair et un pilote accompli; un instructeur de vol et de voltige aérienne de grand talent qui est convaincu que même une petite expérience de vol acrobatique peut rendre un pilote plus compétent et plus sûr.

Il a dit : « Personnellement j’ai tenu à explorer totalement l’enveloppe de vol en participant à des compétitions de voltige aérienne pour arriver à un pilotage précis et rigoureux. Mon espoir est de servir d’exemple à des pilotes qui réaliseront tout leur potentiel et seront plus sûrs ».

Cet instructeur de vol a fini premier de sa catégorie aux championnats nationaux de vol acrobatique aux USA en 2016.

                                                               

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SEE AND BE SEEN, IS IT ENOUGH

by Harvey Penner, President, Harv’s Air Pilot Training, Steinbach, Manitoba, AB.

Most experienced pilots have had the unsettling experience of seeing an aircraft in close proximity to their aircraft. Unannounced and unaware until the pilots see the conflict, and either resolve the conflict or perhaps the conflict resolves itself. Certainly it raises your heart rate and you make a renewed vow to be more vigilant. Being able to read the registration on the other aircraft or worse yet seeing what type of headset the pilot was wearing are all signs that this was way too close. 

How did they get so close and can this be avoided? What follows are some observations I have made in flight training and on charter flights;

1) While performing training exercises students are taught to perform safety checks prior to each maneuver. We use the acronym CALL check. When using this it is essential that when this check is completed that the exercise be completed right after. You may have cleared the area but how long is that good for? You are moving and another aircraft moving toward you could easily be closing at 3 miles per minute or more. Since spotting an aircraft at a distance of more than 3 miles is unlikely your clearing turns and lookout are not valid more than 30 to 60 seconds.

2) Pilots taught these safety checks often do them more out of a sense of duty than need. They become less than effective when they are stressed from the standpoint of “you must do this on the flight test because the examiner is looking for this”

3) The lookout needs to be appropriate to the maneuver you are doing. Looking around prior to a steep turn could require a different lookout than doing a spin.

4) The acronym CALL stands for cockpit or cabin, altitude, location and lookout. When you think of it, is this not something you are/must be aware of at all times? It is true that when doing some of the training exercises the attitudes of the plane will be a bit more unusual therefore requiring a bit more vigilance but overall you need to do a continuous “CALL” check thru out your flight.

5) ATC does a great job of pointing out conflicts of traffic but in no way does this relieve the pilot of doing their own lookouts to confirm no conflict. In a control zone I occasionally see pilots making turns in the circuit without checking for traffic. “The controller has said I am number one therefore I don’t have to look” is not ok.

6) I regularly fly in Northern Manitoba and North Western Ontario. VFR or IFR the enroute frequency 126.7 is monitored. At the heights that I fly all this airspace is uncontrolled.  Pilots are generally good at advising position and intent. It is common though for these calls to be made quickly and for some very routinely. You hear one of these calls and determine that this traffic could effect you. So you reply with your own position and flight path only to hear nothing coming back. I have had this happen numerous times where I had to make several calls before the potential conflicting aircraft would acknowledge. Perhaps a sense of complacency has developed where even though you make the call you don’t really listen for a reply

Technology is available for us to see other traffic electronically, certainly not wide spread in light general aviation aircraft yet it will become more common in the future. But this does not change our responsibility to look effectively.

So is see and be seen enough? I believe it is but only if we are actively looking and aware at all times.

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Successful launch of the Hamilton aEro electric aircraft made for aerobatics

 

Yesterday the public flight of the first electric aircraft made for aerobatics took place in Raron, Switzerland. Air Zermatt pilot Thomas Pfammatter and aerobatic paragliding champion Dominique Steffen, the project founders, together with Sylvain Dolla and Nicolas Ivanoff presented this fascinating project to Swiss and International press and aviation fans.

Spectators first witnessed a flight in a fuel-powered plane by Nicolas Ivanoff, Hamilton’s brand ambassador, and then compared noise levels with the remarkably silent Hamilton aEro electric plane. Nicolas, who tested the electric aircraft earlier in the week, felt very lucky to experience this new way of flying and looks forward to the development of his sport.

Sharing common values such as being innovative and ahead of its time, it was only natural for Hamilton to be associated to this exceptional and unique project in the aviation world and become the pioneer of electric planes. In his speech to the guests Sylvain Dolla, CEO of Hamilton, focused on the human aspect. “When Thomas and Dominique told us about their project, we immediately felt how passionate and competent they were, and we are convinced that this Hamilton aEro electric plane will make aerobatics accessible to a larger and younger public”.

Hamilton & the world of aviation

Hamilton’s rich ongoing ties with aviation date back to 1918 when the brand was the official timekeeper for U.S. airmail flights between Washington and New York. In 1926 Admiral Richard E. Byrd used a Hamilton watch during his historical flight over the North Pole. In the 30’s, Hamilton was the official watch of TWA, Eastern, United and Northwest airlines, and the accuracy of their timepieces made them popular amongst pilots up to this day. The brand also has strong military ties, achieving a US Army “E Award” for manufacturing excellence during World War II, and was “essential to successful naval and air operations” according to Admiral Arleigh Burke, Chief of Staff to Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher after the United States won the battle for Leyte Gulf.

Today the brand is still strongly involved with the flying world, and equips many squadrons around the world such as the SnowBirds in Canada, South Korea’s 123rd Squadron, or the Patrulla Aspa in Spain, among others. Thanks to its long-term collaboration with Air Zermatt, a transport and rescue helicopter unit in the Swiss Alps, Hamilton joined forces to develop the limited edition Khaki Flight Timer and Khaki Takeoff pilot watches. Moreover, the brand’s ambassador for over ten years, Nicolas Ivanoff, is an aerobatic pilot participating in many air competitions like the Red Bull Air Races Championship and international air shows.

Electric plane

Selecting the best components currently available, the project partners teamed up to build the first Swiss electric plane capable of performing an aerobatic program. The Silence Aircraft Twister, combining excellent aerodynamics with low weight, is associated with Siemens’ most efficient electric engine to develop a fuel-free and CO2 neutral aerobatic airplane.

In addition, the direct operating cost is about a fifth of a regular modern aerobatic plane, making it also an affordable new way to fly for the younger generation of athletes wanting to start the amazing journey of looping in the sky. Electric planes represent the future of aviation, not only from an environmentally friendly perspective, but also on a sound pollution level. This break-through innovation opens the possibilities of sustainable aerobatics and passenger flights for a clean future.

 

Thomas Sandrin
Brand Manager HAMILTON

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HOW THE DCAM AWARD SITS AMONG THE COMMUNITY OF FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS AND THE VALUES WHICH THAT COMMUNITY MUST SUBSCRIBE

The value of this Award has enabled an outstanding list of Flight Instructors to assist their organizations be industry leaders.
The Award has created awareness among Instructors, Students and Pilots of the absolute importance of instruction in Canada’s aviation industry.  It has and continues to create pride in the work Instructors do, and raises awareness of best practices.
The Award has brought a focus to excellence in flight instruction, as the names of Canada’s exceptional Flight Instructors, engraved on the prestigious trophy attest. 
Others have acknowledged that the Award raises the goal levels for Instructors and students alike and engenders the values of Airmanship, Leadership and Aviation Safety.

“The DCAM Award, through David’s story, creates awareness among Instructors, Students, and all Aviators of how important Instructors are in Canada’s aviation industry.  It creates pride in Instructors for the work they do and raises awareness of best practices.  This in turn leads to increased professionalism and ultimately better quality training.  An increased awareness in quality, in turn leads to greater safety.”

“The Award continues to raise awareness within the aviation community of the hazards and risks we face each and every day as an Instructor.”
This comment makes me reflect on what I have been told over and over in these applications that there is no such thing as a perfect flight – only a safe flight.  Core to flight instruction is the need to plan a flight and plan to mitigate foreseeable risk as well as preparedness to meet the unforeseen and act to avoid it.  No flight is undertaken without risk.  Today’s generation of Flight Instructor recognizes the need to identify, plan for, manage and mitigate risk.

“The DCAM  Award is a part of the overall commitment from within the aviation community to highlight particular efforts to improve aviation safety.”

“It is an honour to be nominated for this important  Award in David’s memory.  Thank you for recognizing the work of professional Flight Instructors in promoting aviation safety.”

“I feel an Award to advance flight safety through recognition of flight instructor safety is long deserved and I am happy that it is in place today.”

“This Award is a benefit not only to the recipient, but to all those that apply.  Through the application process individuals are given a chance to examine their approach to teaching, safety, and what is important to them as Flight Instructors.  Self-reflection is a valuable tool for future improvement in each of us.”

“Benefits of the Award is the promotion of safety and excellence in the aviation world.” “These concepts can be communicated and taught in other countries throughout the world, particularly to many developing countries.”

These are just a few comments received from some nominees.

Aviation safety is neither a science nor is it an art;  it combines both and is greater than the sum of the two individual components.  Like flight it has no limit or boundary.  It has elements which can be taught academically but beyond that it is an ethos and culture which must be imbued and soaked up by each and every pilot – a process without end.

Flight training is the grass roots of aviation, with the industry greatly depending on the ability of flight training schools; their Flight Instructors providing a vital key in having a safe and skilled Pilot, while also fostering a spirit of learning.
The best safety device in any aircraft is a well trained Pilot.

Flight instruction can and must only exist within a universe which has flight safety embedded at its core, touching and focussing everything and everyone within its flight path from regulator to rookie pilot.

Flight instruction is more than a simple 360-degree process – it is multi-dimensional touching all aspects of flight and all those whose constituency lies in the aviation community.  It can and must be flexible in delivering a message tailored to the learning needs of the trainee but totally flexible in the constancy and consistency of the skills to be imparted.

That can only be good news for trainees everywhere and for the scope of today’s legacy which our Flight Instructor community hand on to the following generation.
As I am acutely aware, the Flight Instructor is fully responsible for his or her trainee both now and once qualified as a Pilot.  This responsibility extends, morally at least to the passengers who board a Pilot’s aircraft and to the communities he or she overflies.

We see the challenges paradoxes and opportunities that this present generation of flight instructors face; these can be summarized as:

  1. Significant numbers of new highly trained flight instructors will need to be recruited and retained within the flight instruction industry.
  2. Training needs to comprehensively reflect the advances in flight technology.
  3. As it becomes a rarely used skill, the highest standards of airmanship need to be taught and maintained to ensure that technology sits in harmony alongside airmanship.
  4. One challenge never changes; Flight instruction needs to focus increasingly on the highest standards of Training, Leadership and Aviation safety.

I believe that the DCAM makes a difference for good and can continue to do so with the ongoing backing of its Sponsors and with the added contribution of new sponsors – all of whose flight instructional air safety aims dovetail and resonate with the Award.

To maintain it and the standards of excellence it promotes it must become a sustainable entity.  Further Sponsorship will enable the Award to grow, and to indentify best practices throughout the industry.

Potential Sponsors are invited to contact janeabramson@videotron.ca

“THE ENGINE IS THE HEART OF AN AEROPLANE, BUT THE PILOT IS ITS SOUL.”

Aviation safety should be, and must be at the forefront of every action of every individual involved in aviation whether  they  be Administrator or Legislator, Pilot or Mechanic, Instructor or Trainee.

Jane Abramson
Co-founder & National Administrator

CONTENT COPYRIGHT:  The David Charles Abramson Memorial (DCAM)Award Jane Abramson

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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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2015 DCAM recipient, Women in Aviation

Catherine Lynn Press
CEO, Chinook Helicopters.com
Entrepreneur, Flight Instructor, Airline Transport Pilot, Canada and the U.S.
As the first female flight instructor in Canada, Cathy Press is CEO of ChinookHelicopters.com, a flight training school based out of Abbotsford, British Columbia, which has become a national leader (with 25% of the market) in training some of the best helicopter pilots in Canada and around the world.

In fact, as someone who started flying at the tender age of 11 and did her first solo flight at 16, Cathy has a long history of persevering toward big challenges and goals in her extraordinary aeronautical career.

Cathy took over Chinook Helicopters from her father in 1997 and has grown the business from three to 13 helicopters (3 Bell 206s, 4 R44s and 6 Bell 47s), along with three original-design flight-training devices that are customized to the needs of their customers.

Chinook offers every training course available from private, commercial, night, mountain, instrument flight rules, instructor and airline transport. Heralded as the “Harvard of Training Programs” and renowned for their world-class instructors, Chinook Helicopters attracts trainees from all across the country and from Switzerland, Egypt, China, Thailand, Australia, the UK, France, Denmark and Russia.   

WOMEN IN AVIATION

“I want to again express my sincere appreciation for being selected as a recipient of the DCAM award this past November. It is fantastic to have an award such as the DCAM that recognizes flight instructors who have a passion for teaching new pilots.

I inherited my passion for aviation from my father who had owned a float- plane charter service flying up and down the rugged B.C coastline, and then started Chinook Helicopters in 1983 when I was 13 years old.  I had started flying at age 11 and I will never forget my first solo flight at age 16. It was thrilling when I suddenly realized, hey I am up here at the controls all alone!

I had always enjoyed challenges and  soon after started competing for the different aviation licences — private, commercial pilot and helicopter licences, as well as the equivalent flight and helicopter instructor licences. Of course, I knew that aviation had always attracted some adventurous women but was still surprised to learn that I was one of only six women in the country to fly helicopters at that time and the first female flight instructor in Canada.

When I took over the family business in 1997, I was once again one of very few women running an aviation company, but as I have grown it, it was often to other business women that I often turned to for advice and support.  That’s because I truly believe we are our own biggest advocates. Female business leaders empowered by other successful female professionals are operating their own enterprises successfully, while at the same time actively helping to promote and empower other rising business women. This impacts not just each other but our families and communities as well.

I have been blessed with so much support from female leaders from all different sectors who have encouraged, supported and introduced me to other leaders, many of whom have positively influenced the business decisions I make. Now I look forward to helping and encourage other women on their way up in business, especially in aviation”!

 

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2015 – Honorable Mentions

An Honorable Mention was given to ADAM PENNER, Operations Manager, at Harv’s Air Manitoba, who received an Aviator’s watch from Hamilton Watches. IMG_1504

“The DCAM Award celebrates aviation and the people involved with aviation.”

Special Recognition to ANDREW SIMPSON, Chief Flight Instructor at Ottawa Flying Club, Ont. who received a certificate from FlightSafety Canada.

Special Recognition to KYLE GREEN, Training Manager & Assistant Chief Flight Instructor at Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre, Ont. who received a Flight Instructor Refresher course, sponsored by Seneca College.

“The David Charles Abramson Memorial Flight Instructor Safety Award benefits the entire aviation community by raising the profile of professional flight instructors dedicated to advancing aviation safety across the country.”  

As a deserving nominee, JESSICA TRAYNOR, Flight Instructor, at Sault College, Ont. received a Safety Management System Workshop, sponsored by ATAC.

“My most heartfelt condolences go out to David’s family and friends. I would like to thank them for making sure that safety is recognized in this industry as an important and valuable attribute, inspiring others to keep the skies safe.”

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2015 – Récipiendaire

La 13e récipiendaire de l’instructeur de vol annuelle DCAM Safety Award pour l’année 2015 a été:

Catherine Lynn Press de Chinook Helicopters, Colombie Britannique.

Catherine est titulaire à la fois d’une licence de pilote privé d’aéronef à voilure fixe et d’une licence d’hélicoptère; elle a été la première femme au Canada à obtenir une qualification d’instructeur sur hélicoptère et est la seule pilote d’hélicoptère à avoir une licence chinoise.

Ses contributions à l’aviation au fil des ans ont été remarquables, notamment dans le domaine de la formation au pilotage d’hélicoptère où elle a excellé en tant qu’instructrice, pilote-examinatrice et dirigeante d’entreprise.

Nombreux sont ceux qui estiment que les bons résultats en matière de sécurité pour les vols commerciaux d’hélicoptères dans tout l’ouest canadien sont largement dus à la grande qualité de la formation dispensée par Catherine Press et son équipe à Chinook Helicopters.”

L to R  - Rikki Abramson Co-founder, Catherine Press Recipient, & Jane Abramson Co-founder.  Photo  courtesy of Mike Doiron.

L to R – Rikki Abramson Co-founder, Catherine Press Recipient, & Jane Abramson Co-founder. Photo courtesy of Mike Doiron.

L to R – Wayne Gouveia, VP General & Commercial Aviation, ATAC ; Clayton Reid, Heli-Pilot, Chinook Helicopters, ( husband of C. Press,  holding  her Keeper-Trophy,) Catherine Press Recipient,  Jane & Rikki Abramson Co-founders. Photo  courtesy of Mike Doiron.

L to R – Wayne Gouveia, VP General & Commercial Aviation, ATAC ; Clayton Reid, Heli-Pilot, Chinook Helicopters, ( husband of C. Press, holding her Keeper-Trophy,) Catherine Press Recipient, Jane & Rikki Abramson Co-founders. Photo courtesy of Mike Doiron.

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2015 – Recipient

The 13th recipient of the annual DCAM Flight Instructor Safety Award for the year 2015 was:

Catherine Lynn Press of Chinook Helicopters, BC

Catherine holds both fixed wing and helicopter licences; was the first woman in Canada to hold a helicopter instructor rating and is the only Canadian helicopter pilot to hold a Chinese licence.

Her contributions to aviation over the years, especially in the helicopter training sector has been significant; in the capacity of Instructor, Pilot Examiner and Business Leader.

It It is felt by many that the good safety record in commercial helicopter operations throughout Western Canada is in many ways attributable to the high quality of training offered by Catherine Press and her team at Chinook Helicopters.

Cathy Press: “It is very important for the aviation training industry to have recognition such as the DCAM Flight Instructor Safety Award. This Award encourages  Instructors to constantly upgrade their skills and professionalism  & those they work with, in the Aviation industry. ”

“The great thing about aviation is, it constantly is challenging one’s personal development.  My job is to help other people to realize their potential for their own paths in aviation while maintaining safety.  The DCAM Award has made me want to work even harder.”

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L to R – Rikki Abramson Co-founder, Catherine Press Recipient, & Jane Abramson Co-founder. Photo courtesy of Mike Doiron

MJD-2015- 2834

L to R – Wayne Gouveia, VP General & Commercial Aviation, ATAC ; Clayton Reid, Heli-Pilot, Chinook Helicopters, ( husband of C. Press, holding her Keeper-Trophy,) Catherine Press Recipient, Jane & Rikki Abramson Co-founders. Photo courtesy of Mike Doiron.

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