Schedule of Seminars

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Check-in and Coffee
9:00 AM – 9:45 AM
“10 Things All Pilots Should Know”
Keynote Address by Jason Miller
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Unusual Attitude Avoidance, Recovery, and Enjoyment
IMC Club: Learning from IFR Scenarios
What’s New in ForeFlight
What You Can Learn from a Test Pilot
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM
Chief Pilot Tells All: Lessons Learned from my Worst Mistakes
Let a Geologist Take You on a Bay Tour
What Every Pilot Needs to Know About Operating Turbo Aircraft
How to Get the Most Efficient Weather Briefing
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
Lunch
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM
One Pilot’s Adventures in Africa
The Threat Pilots Face of VFR into IMC
You are Not the Only Pilot in the Sky
Wake Turbulence Accidents at Towered Airports
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Why Do Good Pilots Make Bad Decisions?
Operations in the Center Weather Service Unit
How the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System Makes the Skies Safer
Post-Crash Survival
3:45 PM – 4:30 PM
“Easing the Workload”
SF Bay Area ATC Panel

Sessions and Presenters

There will be 16 total breakout sessions during the day.

10 Things All Pilots Should Know (Keynote Address)In this talk, veteran CFI Jason Miller discusses 10 things which (after more than 20 years on the flight line) stand out to him as critical for all pilots to know. Some of these are new perspectives on concepts you’ve already heard while others seem to be entirely absent from most training programs. Jason will separate the actual risks of flying from risks that are created by bad procedures and cover everything from flying at night to flying with kids to how you might avoid continued VFR into IMC and other well-known hazards of flight.Jason Miller is a 2x FAA award-winning flight instructor. He teaches for AOPA’s Air Safety Institute and is passionate about sharing his 20+ years of flying experience with others. He is the host of The Finer Points Aviation Podcast and YouTube Channel and a contributing author to Flying magazine.
Why Do Good Pilots Make Bad Decisions?Richard McSpadden will review recent accidents, the elements surrounding them and discuss why good pilots made decisions. Richard will lead the audience through some shortfalls of the human decision-making process and the implications of those shortfalls in an aviation environment. The discussion will close with an exercise to identify and mitigate red flags which could lead to poor aviation decision making.Richard McSpadden is a commercial pilot, CFII, and MEI who has logged over 4,500 hours in 30 years of flying a variety of civilian and military aircraft. He is currently the Executive Director of the AOPA Air Safety Institute, leading a team of CFIs and content creators to develop and distribute free aviation safety material to advance General Aviation Safety.
How to Get the Most Efficient Weather BriefingDave Kramer will talk pilots through getting the most thorough and efficient weather briefing in the modern era.Dave Kramer is a Commercial Pilot and Advanced Ground Instructor with a passion for long cross-country flights and makes frequent trips to the Los Angeles basin. He is also Program Coordinator for San Carlos Flight Center’s Safety Seminar and Guest Speaker program.
One Pilot’s Adventures in AfricaJoin Thomas as he recaps the lessons he learned while flying a Cessna 182 from South Africa to Kenya over the African continent. He’ll discuss the unique operating environment, how to handle border crossings, and what things to look for that are different in an international environment. Thomas Daniel is a CFII with extensive flying experience. He’s flown numerous types of aircraft in all sorts of environments, ranging from island hopping in the Bahamas, to the jungles of South America. Thomas teaches at San Carlos Airport when he is not visiting a far-flung locale.
The Threat Pilots Face of VFR into IMCJoin us for a data-driven look at crucial PIC decisions that made the difference between an NTSB report and a NASA report. We consider four key skills – weather knowledge, situational awareness, stick-and-rudder, and instrument flying – and their application in predicting, avoiding, or successfully responding to IMC during our California VFR flying. Ray Owen is an ATP-rated pilot and instrument ground instructor at AeroDynamic Aviation. His pride and joy is a V35B Bonanza based at Reid-Hillview Airport.
An Inside Look Into the Center Wx Svc UnitJohn Hurley will discuss the CWSU area of responsibility, CWSU briefing products to ATC personnel, the coordination of forecast and TAFs with local forecast office and AWC, and an overview of Center Weather Advisories. He will explain how CWSU personnel interact with Air Traffic Controllers.John Hurley is currently a CWSU Meteorologist at the Oakland ARTCC (ZOA). Before arriving at ZOA, John worked at the Chicago ARTCC (ZAU). John spent the past 4 years as an operational aviation meteorologist supporting the United States Antarctica Program (USAP) providing daily TAF support/decision support services, and face to face weather briefings to aircrews providing critical resources in a remote region.
What You Can Learn from a Test PilotAfter working as a test pilot for many years, how can the techniques aerospace companies use be applied to homebuilt aircraft? Join Peter as he discusses his career as a test pilot, and what procedures you can use you test fly your own aircraft.Peter Lert is an ATP pilot and former test pilot for Burt Rutan. Over the years, he has been fortunate enough to be rated not only in airplanes, but also gliders, helicopters, and balloons. Today, Peter flies King Airs out of Santa Rosa and Turbo Commanders in Colorado.
What’s New in ForeFlightAre you having a hard time keeping up with ForeFlight releases? Do you feel like you are missing out on app capabilities? You won’t want to miss this presentation that covers key features from the last few releases, including intelligent alerting, Jeppesen integration, performance planning, and more.Ryan McBride is Lead Product Designer at ForeFlight. He received his Private Pilot license from The University of North Dakota and a Bachelor of Science in Media & Communication Technology from Michigan State University. Ryan is passionate about building tools that make aviation safer, more affordable, and more enjoyable.
IMC Club: Learning from IFR ScenariosAs pilots, we are forced to make quick decisions in the air. Join Radek as he describes dynamic scenarios on an IFR flight in order to showcase the audience’s decision making skills. This IMC Club presentation allows the audience to interact and challenge themselves in a fun and interesting way while remaining in a safe environment. Radek Wyrzykowski has more than 6000 hours dual given. He was the Chief Flight Instructor for Horizon Aviation, Inc. from 2007 to 2009 and the Chief Flight Instructor for Northampton Aeronautics from 2005 to 2007. He is a CFI, CFII, and MEI, and he is the founder of the IMC Club International. Today, Radek serves as a Manager of Flight Proficiency at EAA.
Let a Geologist Take You on a Bay TourLooking to treat your friends and family to a different kind of Bay Tour? Learn to fly along the San Andreas fault and identify amazing geological features hiding in plain sight. This presentation will tell the story of how the Bay Area’s mountains, waterways, and coastline were shaped over thousands of years – and how pilots can help protect our pristine natural environment. Wendy Kordesch is Outreach Specialist at the Seabird Protection Network, and builds partnerships with pilots to help wildlife thrive on our coasts. She holds a PhD in Ocean Science and has presented to dozens of pilots clubs across the Bay Area, as well as the US Coast Guard.
Unusual Attitude Avoidance, Recovery, and EnjoymentMany pilots have a fear of “unusual attitudes” or spins. If you “fear” unusual attitudes, or think aerobatics is for “crazy pilots,” please join us as Dave gives his insights into expanding your limits of what is “unusual.” Dave will describe upset recovery, avoidance, and share his experiences in turning pilots’ fears into their recreation.Dave Watson has been a voracious aerobatic competitor, judge, and coach for the past twenty years. Dave has competed in more than 75 International Aerobatic Club contests and was the 2017 IAC Western Open Unlimited Champion.
Chief Pilot Tells All: Lessons Learned from my Worst MistakesEveryone makes mistakes… even high-time pilots or the Chief Pilot of a flight school! A good pilot is always learning. If possible, try to learn from the mistakes of others. Dan Dyer will walk participants through some of his worst flying mistakes, and the lessons he learned from them. Learn about how to prevent them from happening to you, but also how to grow and become a better pilot as a result.Dan Dyer is owner and Chief Pilot at San Carlos Flight Center and is committed to promoting general aviation in the SF Bay Area.
Wake Turbulence Accidents at Towered AirportsMichael Huhn will review some accidents at towered airports that involved wake turbulence. He will explain the criteria that Air Traffic Control has to follow and how pilots can be better prepared to make safe decisions. Michael Huhn is an Air Safety Investigator with the Western Pacific Office of the National Transportation Safety Board.
Post-Crash SurvivalThis seminar will discuss what happens when you have to unexpectedly spend the night out- what works, what to carry, and how to get found. Donner will discuss how to better your chances of surviving in a wilderness situation from the perspective of an experienced Flight Instructor and doctor. Howard Donner is a CFI and is currently the director of Adventure Training for The Finer Points of Flying. Donner served for 5 years as a medical operations consultant for NASA, where he was involved in the design of the Shuttle and International Space Station medical systems. Donner was the physician on the first American ascent of Kanchenjunga, the worlds third highest peak.
You are Not the Only Pilot in the SkyRadios are a shared resource, with every pilot on frequency hearing everyone else’s good, bad, and ugly transmissions. After 30 years of flying throughout North America, Ben Taber has developed a keen ear for quality radio and will share with us the things that grate on the ears of other pilots and air traffic controllers. Learn the seven things you can do on frequency to make every other pilot listening to you cringe.Ben Taber serves as a training captain, check airman, and chief pilot for Dreamline Aviation and is a regular speaker with San Carlos Flight Center’s Safety Seminar program.
What Every Pilot Needs to Know About Operating Turbo AircraftAttend this seminar to learn about turbocharged engine systems, operating procedures, and how to keep a turbocharged engine safe and happy. Brian will highlight how turbocharging systems have evolved over the years from primitive and workload-intensive to complex and pilot-friendly.Brian Eliot is the Assistant Chief Pilot at San Carlos Flight Center. He has a long aviation experience including a lot of time in turbocharged aircraft.

Air Traffic Control Panelists

Easing the Workload: Tips for Improving Pilot/Controller CommunicationSafety in the skies depends on a good working relationship between pilots and controllers. Access to the nation’s busiest airports and airspaces requires careful coordination, and it is critical that both sides understand what the other needs and wants. This panel discussion will provide tips to help us work together better. We have gathered a team of controllers from various facilities around the Bay Area with diverse backgrounds, so you can be sure that someone will be able to answer your specific questions.SFO tower
NorCal TRACON
SJC tower
Oakland ARTCC
CCR tower
Travis RAPCON

PAO tower