As I write this I am heading o to Wichita, Kan.,or the Bombardier Saety Standdown. Tis is not my rst standdown or aviation saety. My rst was many moons ago when I was an Air Force instructor pilotat the ormer Williams AFB. I well remember thoseearly standdowns. Tey provided this young pilot a valuable time to ocus on saety, to be introspective,to recalibrate, as well as to get up to speed on thelatest developments. At the Bombardier event I will provide an FAAupdate. But, more importantly, I will also talk aboutproessionalism. It is what FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt spoke passionately about at the previousBombardier event. Proessionalism has been one o the administrator’s major themes since he took theFAA helm in June 2009.Cockpit proessionalism is also one o my major passions and has been so since I rst climbedinto an Air Force trainer. Tis passion stayed with me as I have endeavored over the years—asinstructor, commander, and regulator—to instillproessionalism in other pilots.Te administrator is absolutely right whenhe says FAA cannot regulate proessionalism.But, what is he really talking about? Just what isproessionalism?Proessionalism is attitude, discipline, andattention to detail. It starts with precision andmeeting every requirement. Little things mean alot to a pilot who is a proessional. Am I ying onspeed, at altitude, or on glide path? Have I double-and triple-checked my proposed ight path? Am Ikeeping situationally aware at least 10 miles ahead o the plane?Pilots are not born as procient proessionals.Tey need to be taught. From the rst lesson, wemust teach pilots to think and analyze, to prioritizebased on risk, and to always exercise discipline. Wemust approach every pilot start as i that individualcould one day be called upon to land a largepassenger jet in the Hudson River.Tat means ocusing on judgment. Fromthe beginning, we must teach all components o aeronautical decision-making, including gatheringall inormation on routing, weather, and equipment,and make sure every training opportunity is aseective as possible. And, rom the beginning, wemust ocus on proessionalism, whether or notthe pilot will be ying or un or or a living. Every instructor must oster a proessional attitude.In addition to the crucial role o instructors,proessionalism is well served when experiencedpilots take the time to impart knowledge andexperience. We sell ourselves, and our entire yingcommunity, short when we assume training stopsin the classroom.o reinorce that we atthe FAA “walk the talk,” we will have our second FAA Saety eam Standdown on April 2, 2011. Te theme is: “Stand Up to Error, StandDown or Saety.” Te main Standdown will be heldin Lakeland, Fla., in conjunction with the Sun ’n FunInternational Fly-in and Expo.In addition, the FAA Saety eam will bescheduling special saety events during the month o April all around the country. You will hear more about the FAA Standdownand related events. I you have not already signed upor an account on the FAA Saety eam Web site—
—you should do so today. You will nd a wealth o saety inormation, updates onuture saety seminars, and much more.I will be at Sun ’n Fun standing down or saety in April. I look orward to seeing you there!
Standing Down or Saety
Proessionalism means doing the right thing even when no one is looking.
JOHN M. ALLEN
DIRECTOR, FLIGHT STANDARDS SERVICE