Schedule of Events


8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Event Check-In
(coffee and breakfast pastries)
9:00 AM - 9:50 AM Keynote Address with Rod Machado
10:00 AM - 10:50 AM Breakout Sessions
11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Breakout Sessions
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM - 1:50 PM Breakout Sessions
2:00 PM - 2:50 PM Breakout Sessions
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM ATC Panel: Tips for Improving Pilot/Controller Coordination
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Cocktail Reception / Social Hour





The morning kick-off with Rod Machado and the afternoon ATC panel will be held in the large conference room which can seat all participants.


Breakout sessions will be divided into breakout rooms that hold up to 70 attendees each.


Sessions and Presenters

Keynote Address Rod Machado is on a mission to keep the FUN in learning to fly. With degrees in Psychology and Aviation Science, an ATP and all fixed wing flight instructor ratings, his 10,000 hours of flying were earned the hard way - one flight instructor hour at a time. Rod has taught thousands of safety seminars in all fifty states, Canada & Europe. He co-wrote and co-anchored ABC’s Wide World of Flying and was AOPA’s National Flight Instructor Spokesperson for 15 years. Rod Machado has been teaching and speaking to pilots since 1973. He simplifies the complex, making bland topics interesting and educating with humor. He started flying at age 16, is a rated ATP with all fixed wing Flight Instructor ratings and is the CFI voice on Microsoft's Flight Simulator. Check out his many Online eLearning courses at
Bay Area Accident Analysis A review recent NTSB investigations around the Bay Area, including what we learned from the accident and how pilots can take steps to avoid finding themselves in a similar situation. Michael Huhn is an Air Safety Investigator with the Western Pacific Office of the National Transportation Safety Board.
Los Angeles Airspace and Transition Routes The Los Angeles area has many airports and many overlapping airspace. But even this complicated airspace can be tackled with an understanding of local ATC procedures and some study of the Los Angeles Terminal Area Chart. Join us as we demystify LA airspace. 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.
The Practical Benefits of ADS-B: Why You WANT to be in Compliance As the 2020 deadline for ADS-B compliance gets closer, many owner pilots have chosen to upgrade but some are holding out.
Rental fleets are being upgraded one airplane at a time and the result can be confusing. What traffic will you see on your iPad and when? Which receivers get weather AND traffic and which are weather only? In this talk, Jason Miller will discuss the practical realities of flying in the "Frankenspace" of the pre-compliance world.
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.
Nails on the Blackboard: 7 Ways to Make Everyone Else on the Radio Cringe Radios are a shared resource, with every pilot on frequency hearing everyone else's good, bad, and ugly transmissions. After 30 years of flying throughout the western US, Canada, and Alaska, Bennett 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's New with Foreflight? Are 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.
California Weather and the Bay Area California affords pilots the experience of flying in many microclimates including coasts, great plains, mountains, and deserts. The California pilot has the luxury of experiencing all types of weather nature has to offer. This seminar is a rare opportunity to connect with California aviation meteorologists, learn about California weather and ask any questions you always wanted to ask. Ashley Helmetag is a former National Weather Service meteorologist with Oakland Center Weather Service Unit at Oakland ARTCC. She has degrees in Aviation Meteorology and Air Traffic Control, is a licensed skydiver, and is working to finish her private pilot airplane certificate. Ashley resides in the East Bay with her husband and now works in patient advocacy and outreach at Get Better, Inc.
Rihaan Gangat is a National Weather Service meteorologist at the Oakland Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU) at Oakland ARTCC providing weather support and consultation to FAA supervisors, air traffic managers, and controllers. The previous 7 years in the Northeast allowed Rihaan to gain experience and warn on life-threatening floods, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and snow for the general public. He now continues his weather forecasting career to provide valuable weather information to the aviation industry. Rihaan holds a Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Science from SUNY Albany.
Rick Canepa is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service San Francisco Bay Area/Monterey office. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology from Lyndon State College, Vermont, in 1993. Rick has additional forecasting experience with the National Weather Service offices in Helena (closed in late 1995) and Billings Montana in the middle to late 1990s. His interests include meteorology, climatology, the outdoors, hiking, drums, and rhythm guitar. Rick and his wife have two shelter adopted dogs.
Coupling the Autopilot to Your GPS The POH supplement is long gone, the airplane is unfamiliar, and you face an array of confusing buttons, switches, and annunciators. If the autopilot is turned on, what will it do? Can you connect it to the GPS, and if so, how? What is the difference between NAV and GPSS modes? Can the autopilot fly an LPV approach? These and many other questions stump pilots of new and rental airplanes and pose great danger in the clouds. Learn how to untangle the paperwork and panel morass here. Brian Eliot is San Carlos Flight Center’s resident expert for IFR training and avionics. He has been flying since 1995 and received all his training in the Bay Area. He is a regular presenter of FAA safety seminars and has a reputation for making complex concepts easy to learn and understand.
Surviving Against the Odds Synthetic vision has been a game changer for increasing the possibility of survival in some IFR emergency scenarios. In this presentation, Eliot discusses how to take your emergency response skills to the next level. Eliot Floersch is an experienced flight instructor with a specialty in Cirrus Aircraft and emergency procedures. His training videos can be viewed at
Bay Tour Radio Calls This follow-on to SCFC's popular seminar "Flying the Bay Tour" will include a focus on the radio calls to Oakland and San Francisco Tower and NorCal Approach. We will include examples of what to say, what not to say, and how to take control of your flight. If you're looking to fly the SF Bay Tour, but are uncomfortable with the radio calls, join us for some clarification. Dan Dyer is owner and Chief Pilot at San Carlos Flight Center and is committed to promoting general aviation in the SF Bay Area.
The Emergence of Electric Airplanes Technology continues to advance forward for electric aviation. These aircraft are starting to prove themselves to be a reliable platform for some flight missions, including flight training. Electric airplanes cut lead and other emissions, and reduce noise - two critical ways to reduce the environmental footprint of aviation. Join us to hear about some of the latest advances in electric aviation. Cory Combs is the CTO & Co-Founder of Ampaire, a CA startup aimed at providing the world with affordable, quiet, and environmentally conscious electric aircraft. He holds the patent for Ampaire's aircraft design and has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford.
Joseph Oldham is one of the founders of the Sustainable Aviation Project, a joint effort by the cities of Reedley and Mendota to build a network of charging stations, hangars, and flight training in electric aircraft to California’s central valley. He is director of the San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center for CALSTART and lives in Fresno, CA, with his wife Donna and two adult children.


Air Traffic Control Panelists

ATC Panel: Tips for Improving Pilot/Controller Coordination Safety in the skies depends on a good working relationship between pilots and controllers. Access to the nation's busiest airports and airspaces is a careful coordination, and it is critical that both sides understand what the other needs and wants. This panel discussion should provide tips to help us work together better. We have gathered a team of controllers from various facilities with diverse backgrounds, so you can be sure that someone will be able to answer your specific questions. Stacey Maye began her air traffic career in the US Air Force before hiring into the FAA. She retired from SoCal TRACON in the Los Angeles Arrival Specialty and now is Tower Manager at San Carlos Airport.
Michael Osburn works the control tower at Hayward Executive Airport. He has 15 years experience specializing in TRACON and Control Tower Operation both domestically and in Iraq. He previously worked for the US Navy, Marine Corps, and the DOD before moving to the FAA.
Todd Cormier has worked as a controller at several military and civilian airports around the US, with over 28 years of experience. Todd currently works at Oakland ARTCC. Todd is also a Supervisor, Certified Trainer, and Union Representative.
NorCal Approach Controller - NorCal TRACON manages approach and departure traffic for the Bay Area all the way south to Monterey, north to Sacramento, and east to Reno. NorCal is one of the busiest facilities in the country.
San Francisco Tower Controller - San Francisco International Airport is a busy Class B airport. It is one of the busiest airports in the country with a high volume of traffic.
Oakland Tower Controller - Oakland International Airport is a busy Class C airport, which is unique in the sense that it is directly underneath one of SFO's Class B shelves. Oakland has a mix of Passenger, Cargo, and GA Operations.