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NAFI advocates pilot training

November 8, 2012, 03:17 pm

The National Association of Flight Instructors moved its headquarters to Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in September to increase access for visitors, FBO services on the field, and large spaces within the facility for seminars, events and further offers provided by NAFI. The association is making good on its aspirations with an upcoming event.

“The office space we are renting from the Air Zoo places NAFI in a world-class aviation facility, allowing us to host events, seminars, and provide better access to visitors,” said Jason Blair, NAFI executive director, at the time of moving into the new facility. “This move is a marked improvement over the space we rented for the past two years since NAFI moved from EAA headquarters to independent facilities."

“Over the past few years, the Air Zoo has undergone significant expansion, growth and revitalization,” said Air Zoo president and CEO Bob Ellis at the same time. “We see partnerships with aviation organizations such as NAFI as ways our organization can promote aviation to visitors from around the country and continue our growth of participation in the overall aviation community.”

The association is hosting a special Teamwork in Training dinner on December 8 at the new headquarters. The dinner will include a presentation titled Teamwork in Crisis from special guest speaker Al Haynes, pilot of United Airline Flight 232.

The United 232 flight was scheduled from Denver to Chicago on July 1, 1989, but suffered engine failure on the way. Haynes successfully crash landed the plane, saving the lives of 184 people on board the plane. Numerous factors contributed to the plane getting to the ground safely, including luck that weather was good and the airplane remained flyable, communication among the crew, preparation, the overall execution without panic and cooperation between every person involved.

NAFI advocated that pilot training can be improved in the U.S. aviation system, which would increase the number of pilots interested in flying. At the dinner, flight industry leaders will work in cooperation to fight the low number of pilots completing certification.

Air Zoo also added a 1926 Curtiss Robin to its collection of aircraft for museum-goers to enjoy. Ellis said the plane is a great addition because it's from early aviation. He added that it is on loan from Leon Andrews from Memphis, Tennessee. The plane was previously used by the air service in Sacramento.
Pilots in the general aviation community should always look to improve their training. They should also look into pilot life insurance before taking to the skies.

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