NAFI Summit in October Features FLYING Contributors

Teaching sessions for instructors include appearances by Les Abend and other aviation luminaries.

Karen Kalishek, chair for the National Association of Flight Instructors, is just one of the aviation educators who will lead sessions at the inaugural event. [Video Screenshot]

The first NAFI Summit in Lakeland, Florida, will take place October 24 through 26 and feature FLYING contributor Les Abend and other aviation luminaries. The teaching event for instructors is the first for the National Association of Flight Instructors.

The events kick off with an opening reception on October 24 in the evening and then fill two days with sessions produced by well-known CFIs, designated pilot examiners, and industry leaders. 

On October 25, the day starts with Richard McSpadden, senior vice president of safety for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and executive director of the Air Safety Institute. He’s going to dive into the scourge of accidents hallmarked by loss of control in flight (LOC-I). Former ASI director Bruce Landsberg will continue the discussion concerning instructional accidents, their causes, and means of mitigation. 

The American Bonanza Society’s Thomas Turner lightens the tone next with a master class on conducting a proper flight review or instrument proficiency check. Then Peter Dittmer will present on the parallels—and differences—between coaching and teaching, and where the CFI falls on that continuum.

And that’s just the first few sessions on day one. Bret Koebbe (Sporty’s Pilot Shop vice president and periodic FLYING columnist), Brian Schiff (airline captain and CFI), and Greg Feith (former National Transportation Safety Board senior air safety investigator) round out the lineups. A DPE panel features NAFI chair Karen Kalishek, flight school owner Mary Schu, and Doug Stewart, past executive director of the Society of Aerospace and Flight Educators.

Former check airman and 47-year CFI Les Abend joins Gary “GPS” Reeves, whom Abend profiled in his August Jumpseat column for FLYING’s print edition on October 26 for a special presentation, “5 Ways Good Instructors Can Give Airline Pilots Their ‘GA Type Rating,’” based on Reeves’ own experience working with airline pilots like Abend, who retired from American Airlines in 2019.

Registration is filling quickly—and September 23 is the hotel deadline for special room rates at three nearby accommodations in Lakeland. The Sun ’n Fun Aerospace Expo campus will host the event on the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (KLAL), with aircraft parking available—bring your own tie-downs to ensure those are in place.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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