GSLFIA FIRC Information


Saturday Morning Registration begins at 7:30 and runs until 8:00.

The 47 th Annual GSLIA Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic is truly “one-of-a-kind” as it is presented by active aviation professionals in a guided-discussion format. Why sit behind a computer all alone trying to complete an on-line or “out of the box” FIRC with no human interaction? The GSLFIA allows you to interact directly with the presenters, ask questions and help guide the discussion to get the most out of the information. The GSLFIA FIRC follows a recently issued Advisory Circular that is focused on timely issues of interest to all professional flight instructors including TSA rules, Pilot Deviations, Recent Regulation and Policy changes, building a safety culture and information and advice for those returning to flight instruction.



GSLFIA atcTechnical Information

On October 31, members of the GSLFIA board had the opportunity to visit the STL TRACON and discuss a number of issues. The GSLFIA hopes to act as an informal conduit between CFI members in the Bi-State area and the TRACON.  Through such an exchange of information, we will become more aware of each party’s requirements and restrictions.  The plan is for you, as instructors, to send any questions regarding STL ATC operations to the GSLFIA and we will work with the TRACON and surrounding control towers to get you a timely answer. Remember, if you have a question it is likely someone else has the same concern.  Yes, we will redact names.

Here are a few of the thoughts we took away from our first meeting with the TRACON:

  • Generally, the best time of the day to request practices approach at STL is before 1500 or after 1800 hours local time. This avoids the air carrier rush. Other than during the rush, STL is very happy to offer approaches at KSTL.
  • A number of pilots leaving Creve Coeur (1H0) and attempting to contact STL for an IFR clearance have inadvertently flown into the class D airspace at KSUS without establishing radio contact with the KSUS tower. Please remind your new IFR pilots when departing VFR there is an obligation to stay clear of Spirit’s airspace or call them on a second radio while trying to obtain their IFR through STL radar.
  • Remember, when flying below the floor of the class B airspace the altitude readout in the TRACON may indicate higher than that depicted on your altimeter.  Look at 14CFR 217(a)2, and note the error allowed in your data correspondence check.
  • It is extremely important to confirm your passing altitude on initial contact with ATC. If you don’t do it, they are obligated to request it. Avoid extra work for everybody.
  • When issued a clearance please include your call-sign, new altitudes, headings, speeds, restriction, etc. in the acknowledgement.
  • The TRACON stated, unless instructed by ATC, it is not necessary to immediately switch your transponder to 1200 following a practice IFR approach.  As an example, if you complete a practice ILS at KSUS and the tower clears you to proceed to 1H0, you can stay on the discrete code until arriving at 1H0. If upon arriving at 1H0, you decide you are going to do pattern work, go back to 1200.
  • If you are on a discrete transponder code for a practice instrument approach at a satellite airport and make a full stop landing, taxi right back and takeoff for another practice approach, the TRACON stated you should retain your last assigned code.

GSLFIA Supports Aviation Education for Future Aviators

Today’s youth are critical to the future of aviation.  The pilot population in this country has declined significantly over the past three decades.  In the early 1980’s, the FAA had more than 825,000 licensed pilots listed on their airmen certification statistics.  Today, those numbers have rolled back to just over 600,000.  What’s happened?  During a time when the population of the U.S. has gone from just over 200 million citizens to the present population that is approaching 300 million, we have we lost nearly 25% of our airmen.

We can all assign the blame game and point toward the cost of fuel, liability, lack of aviation related jobs and the economy.  All have played a role.  Now that the need for skilled aviation professionals is at an all-time high, the supply has never been less.  Reviewing the “need” statistics, the “Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook” reports annually every July.  There is an extraordinary demand for pilots, technicians and cabin crew personnel through the year 2035.  The current forecast indicate that 617,000 pilots, 679,000 technicians and technical people along with 814,000 cabin crew personnel are needed in the industry worldwide. The numbers have never been larger and the time to get into an aviation career has never been better!!!!

The GSLFIA role is a Professional Flight Instructor organization.  Our primary goal is to support excellence in flight instruction while enhancing, Proficiency, Knowledge, Professionalism and Safety. As an organization, we address and support these needs through training, safety seminars and informational meetings for instructors, pilots and students. Our future and future of aviation lies with the interest of young and introducing new people into aviation.

We certainly recognize the need for future aviation professionals and look for ways to support not only the local area but the industry as a whole. The need for aviation professionals is strong today.  We need to help generate the interest within our youth.   We have an excellent GSLFIA member volunteer who has expressed interest in mentoring our youth towards aviation.  Jeff Rapp an Associate member of the GSLFIA has stepped forward and is establishing a series of school contacts within the area to help provide aviation career promotion and mentoring to our youth.  Jeff is coordinating efforts with Women in Aviation, Aero Careers, the St. Louis Air and Space Museum and Southwestern Illinois College.   

The goal is to establish resources to provide aviation professionals, speakers, tours and role models into schools and related organizations.   These events can be paired with organizations such as the EAA with Young Eagles flights provide an excellent introduction to aviation and aviation careers.   A number of local aviation organizations has also come forward offering tours of facilities, aircraft and training resources.  

Keith Mueller

President GSLFIA

Mentoring our Youth

Do you recall the March 2016 newsletter and reading the article “AOPA Conducting High School Aviation Symposiums”?  Within it, was the invite to include aviation into the classrooms through STEM. By combining with “AOPA’s High School Initiative”, we’re doing just that.

After recent contacts with employees & college guidance counselors from SWIC, STL-CC, and Lindenwood University, I’m very excited to share this progress!

On September 29th, I visited three STEM academies in the St Louis City area.  Two were at the high school/college level, and one is middle-school.  We discussed their programs and the colleges (Lindenwood & STL-CC) with whom they have program connections.  These schools were: “Gateway Science Academy” and “Gateway STEM High School”.

At Gateway Science Academy, I spoke with Nazfie Artas, their college guidance counselor. Though she had no knowledge of GSLFIA, she was very receptive.  At Gateway STEM High School, I spoke with Becky Epps and Kevin Hammon, both employees at STL-CC (STL Community College).  They gave me a tour of their 46,000 square-foot facility (the former O’Fallon Tech), describing their Aviation Airframe & Power-Plant programs.  At the Flo-Valley campus, STL-CC offers an Avionics Training program.

With each, I shared GSLFIA’s intent to engage with them.  To further “tweak” student interest, I spoke about the “Young Eagles” program, coordinated by Bob McDaniel of EAA Chapter 64.

For middle-school youth, I visited “Premier Charter Academy”. Though these two counselors were busy that day, I’ve contacted Laure Hirschman and/or Julie Leftridge, and will meet them in the near future.

Before the end of October, I’ll work with Keith Mueller, Laura Holland, & others at SWIC to lay a framework for programs for these Missouri schools, along with others in Illinois.

If you feel that this is a worthwhile cause, your time and help would be greatly appreciated.  

Jeff Rapp

Associate member of GSLFIA

Meeting the “Standards”

If a Flight Officer position is in your focus for the future, now is the time to attend a seminar that will be held on December 3rd .  The GSLFIA and Trans States Airlines will be providing a seminar at their training facility on 11495 Nav Aid Road in Bridgeton Missouri on December 3rd.    Meet the “Standards” group who will provide you with a glimpse of what life will be like during training once you are hired by an airline.   Watch for times and additional information through the FAA SPANS notices from FAA Safety.Gov along with posters at your local airport or call the GSLFIA at 618-514-2647.

NEW UAS Pilot Certificate Rules and Processing

The FAA has created a new airman certificate specifically for the commercial use of drones.  With the implementation of the new Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) certificate, instructors will be asked to process applications for the newly created certificate.  It is important that we as instructors understand the requirements to obtain this certificate and how to process the applications for it.  Below are the ways to go about qualifying for the UAS certificate:

  1. If you hold a pilot certificate of any kind with a current flight review:
    1. Complete the FAA Safety Team’s online course.
    2. Complete the FAA Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) knowledge test
  1. If you DO NOT hold a pilot certificate of any kind:
    1. Complete the FAA Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG) knowledge test

If an applicant completes the FAA UAG knowledge test, they will not have to come to an instructor to process their application.  The FAA testing center will verify the person’s identity and the FAA will send them instructions on how to obtain their certificate through the FAA directly in the mail.  If an applicant is using the FAA Safety Team’s online course to qualify for this certificate, they will need to process the application through the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) system.    This is where you come in as the instructor.  You will sign off this application in a very similar fashion to signing off the new student pilot applications.  The applicant will need to start an application just as they would for any other pilot certificate.  It is advisable to instruct the person to complete this prior to meeting with you to save time.  If they are unfamiliar with the IACRA system, you may have to walk them through this process, but it is not very different than applying for any other pilot certificate.  When the person comes in to have you process their application, they will need to bring with them the following lidrone2st of items:

  1. Valid I.D.
  2. Online Course Completion Certificate
  3. FAA-issued pilot certificate
  4. Logbook to show endorsement for current flight review
  5. IACRA Application I.D. Number
  6. FAA Tracking Number (FTN)

When the applicant arrives, you will pull up IACRA and sign in as yourself.  Then you will enter their FTN number to find their application.  Once you click on “GO”, you will be led through a step by step process.  You will verify the person’s identity by entering the information from the identification they provide, verify that they have uploaded a copy of their completion certificate to their application, and submit it to the FAA.  The applicant should then receive their permanent certificate in the mail in a few weeks.