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NAFI Chairman Reviews St. Louis Flight Instructors Association FIRC
KALAMAZOO, MI.  (January 28, 2013)-This past weekend [January 27/28], Bob Meder, NAFI Chairman participated in the Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association annual Flight Instructor Refresher Course to renew his CFI certificate. A FIRC for which he used to be the chief instructor.

The syllabus for this year's FIRC was designed around the FAA's new advisory circular, which recommends that in-person events be more scenario-based and be centered around guided discussions for each of the modules. This made for a very fast-paced, enjoyable experience. Throughout the two days, the experienced CFIs in the room discussed their best practices, nuances in teaching, and overall, their passion for flight, imparting their knowledge to other pilots, and how much they enjoyed learning from each other. According to Meder "Dave Pressy, Beverly Cleair and Craig O'Mara, along with the presenters, should be very proud of the results of their efforts."

Meder reported that several themes were repeatedly addressed in the open discussion module as well as during the classes; how can we improve safety, why is our business down and what can we do about it and what effect will new regulations have, particularly the 1,500 hour rule? Bob also noticed the age and the diversity (or lack of it) of the instructors in attendance. It was a predominantly white male audience and most were over 35.
Meder went on to say, "These are all issues I'd like to address as chairman of NAFI. The emphasis on safety, professionalism, and advocacy are already in NAFI's genes and they will always be part of our mission. However, we need to work to determine how to help CFIs find better tools and techniques in marketing themselves and retaining students, which will benefit all of aviation. NAFI also needs to find out what it will take to broaden our tent to include new CFIs - if we do that, I believe that the diversity issues will take care of themselves, making NAFI a stronger organization."

Proceeds from the St. Louis Flight Instructors Association FIRC go to aviation scholarships in the St. Louis area.