A new Flight Safety Advisor program that now includes Type Transition & Re-current Flight Training – “delivered by SAAA Members who know our planes best”

Many of our Members will be aware of this project, and if you were at AusFly in October, you will likely have heard about this new program – and in particular, you may have attended Gary Week’s seminar on the new type transition and re-current flight training program.

This project has been in the making for a while, but under the guidance of our Manager Flight Operations, we are ready for take-off. Thanks go to Gary Weeks and many Members who have helped pull this together; thanks also should go to CASA who worked with our team in September – sleeves rolled up over two days to develop the section on type transition and re-current training, which includes complete syllabus lesson plans.

Amongst the SAAA membership, we have experienced SAAA pilots many of whom each have thousands of hours general aviation experience. Many hold CPLs, instructor ratings while others are professional pilots. These members know our planes best and several have previously been identified variously as Pilot Advisors, Flight Advisors and Test Pilots.

Our new program brings all this expertise together within a proper defined structure where, just as “TCs” (our Technical Counsellors) support all things building, “FSAs” (Flight Safety Advisors) will support all things flying – including delivery of type transition and re-current flight instruction.

The goal is to make sure our members are as best prepared as they can be to fly their aircraft safely. We need, in particular, to reduce the accident rates associated with low time airframes and pilots with low time on type.

Please take the time to familiarise yourself with this new program, and take advantage of the wealth of experience that is there ready to help!

And if you are either already playing a flight ops support role, or would like to become an FSA and perhaps an instructor, contact Gary at Gary.Weeks@saaa.com or 0416 055 011. If you already hold a Part 61 Flight Instructor Rating (FIR) with a Single Engine Aircraft class rating, then you are “ready to go”. If you hold another Part 61 Flight instructor rating(s) of any grade, then you will likely need to undergo a short training course – potentially “a few hours”. If you do not hold any instructor rating but have a CPL and substantial flight experience, the training program will be slightly more involved.  We are working with a number of flight schools to put in place arrangements to help make this happen.

SAAA and its experienced builders have traditionally delivered great support in helping our Members build safe aeroplanes. But now we are poised to really make a difference around helping our Members to be properly prepared to fly their aeroplanes safely and in particular reduce the accident rate for low time pilots on type and who are flying low time aeroplanes – the classic scenario for most SAAA Members.

Unpacking the program

The complete flight operations support program is wrapped in the all new “SAAA Flight Training & Safety Manual” or FTSM. This covers all aspects of the delivery of flight safety assistance to Members – and it also includes the flight instruction section “SAAA General Competency Flight Training Program – Type Transition Training & Recurrent Training”. The documents can be found on the SAAA website under the Technical Reference Centre. We encourage you to take a look.

When you take a look, you will see that there is reference to Aircraft Flight Reviews – this is work in progress as we work with CASA to provide the necessary authorisation for our new team of instructors to also act as AFR examiners.

The FTSM is in effect a guide and structure for our FSAs to deliver their support – but it also serves to allow you, our Members, to discover exactly what types of flight operations support are available, and what to expect.


The program is supported by a suite of approved flight operations related policies and procedures – these drive the definition of the entire program and can be found on the SAAA website under the Corporate Reference Centre.

The main operational document is the Flight Training & Safety Manual (FTSM). This along with a short “Guide to being a Flight Safety Advisor (FSA)” can be found on the SAAA website under the Technical Reference Centre.

All FSAs will need to complete a short course to ensure familiarisation with the role – this is supported by a short exam, similar to what has been in place for a while for our TCs. The “SAAA Flight Safety Advisor (FSA) Course” is available on the SAAA website – easiest access is via the “My SAAA” tab (blue header at the top of each page) to access “My Courses”. Feel free to take the course – it will inform you as a recipient of FSA support, or perhaps encourage you to become an FSA yourself!

So who are our FSAs?

You will have seen that at the back of our AirSport publications and elsewhere, there is generally a list of SAAA Members noted as Flight Advisors, Test Pilots and Pilot Advisors.

Soon this will change and we will present a listing of FSAs, where each FSA is noted with endorsements to provide on ground advice and support, to act as safety pilots or mentoring flight trainers, and lastly to deliver type transition and re-current flight instruction.

Gary Weeks will soon be contacting all those members currently participating in various ways as flight ops advisors, and also those who we know are interested in participating  – particularly as instructors. Gary will then have his work cut-out as he works through the process to accredit everyone. But expect to see action soon.

Check out the summary (2 pager) Guide to being a Flight Safety Advisor (FSA) here.

Come on board – get involved with SAAA flight ops support and training!

Contact Gary Weeks at Gary.Weeks@saaa.com or 0416 055 011