Chapter 7. Instructor Responsibilities and Professionalism

Aviatorís Model Code of Conduct

The Aviatorís Model Code of Conduct presents broad guidance and recommendations for General Aviation (GA) pilots to improve airmanship, flight safety, and to sustain and improve the GA community. The Code of Conduct presents a vision of excellence in GA aviation. Its principles both complement and supplement what is merely legal. The Code of Conduct is not a ďstandardĒ and is not intended to be implemented as such. The code of conduct consists of the following seven sections:

  • General Responsibilities of Aviators
  • Passengers and People on the Surface
  • Training and Proficiency
  • Security
  • Environmental Issues
  • Use of Technology
  • Advancement and Promotion of General Aviation

Each section provides flight instructors a list of principles and sample recommended practices. Successful instructor pilots continue to self-evaluate and find ways to make themselves safer and more productive instructors. The Aviatorís Model Code of Conduct provides guidance and principles for the instructor to integrate into their own practices. More information about the Aviatorís Model Code of Conduct can be found at

Safety Practices and Accident Prevention

Aviation instructors are on the front line of efforts to improve the safety record of the aviation industry. Safety, one of the most fundamental considerations in aviation training, is paramount. FAA regulations intended to promote safety by eliminating or mitigating conditions that can cause death, injury, or damage are comprehensive, but even the strictest compliance with regulations may not be sufficient to guarantee safety. Rules and regulations are designed to address known or suspected conditions detrimental to safety, but there is always a chance that some new combination of circumstances not contemplated by the regulations will arise. It is important for aviation instructors to be proactive to ensure the safety of flight or maintenance training activities.

The safety practices aviation instructors emphasize have a long-lasting effect on students. Generally, students consider their instructor to be a role model whose habits they attempt to imitate, whether consciously or unconsciously. The instructorís advocacy and description of safety practices mean little to a student if the instructor does not demonstrate them consistently. For example, if a maintenance student observes the instructor violating safety practices by not wearing safety glasses around hazardous equipment, the student probably will not be conscientious about using safety equipment when the instructor is not around. One of the best actions a flight or maintenance instructor can take to enhance aviation safety is to emphasize safety by example.

Another way for the instructor to advocate safety is to join the new FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam). The FAASTeam is dedicated to improving the aviation safety record by conveying safety principles and practices through training, outreach, and education. More information is available at


The aviation instructor is the central figure in aviation training and is responsible for all phases of required training. The instructor, either pilot or aircraft maintenance technician, must be a professional. As professionals, aviation instructors strive to maintain the highest level of knowledge, training, and currency in the field of aviation. To achieve this goal, instructors need to commit themselves to continuous, lifelong learning and professional development through study, service, and membership in professional organizations such as the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) and Professional Aviation Mechanics Association (PAMA). Professionals build a library of resources that keeps them in touch with their field through the most current procedures, publications, and educational opportunities. Being a professional also means behaving in a professional manner. [Figure 7-6] An aviation instructor should strive to practice the characteristics on the Instructor Doís list when teaching a student.

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