Each winter, we come to your city, university, airport or flight school and give flying seminars entitled "survival flying". We pay our travel expenses by flying with seminar attendees in their own or leased aircraft practicing "survival" exercises.

"Survival Flying " is the concept of flight training we developed for training arctic pilots. We now use it to train the Alaska Fish and Wildlife troopers for the brutal off field operations that they face daily. It is a threat-based training program as opposed to the maneuver- based FAA program most pilots are trained under. In a nutshell, we use the latest risk management and situational awareness skills to assess the threats in any environment then focus on the techniques to deal with those threats. Sometimes these threats are actually personal fears that prevent a pilot from rationally evaluating each new challenge so an integral part of the training is exploring the limits of their flying skills and the aircraft's capabilities, ie. advanced handling. Often it is training the pilot to think of all the possibilities to position his aircraft in a lesser risk position than he was a few seconds ago. (See comments in our guest book.)

"Survival flying " is an odyssey of discovery to examine all the things we do in the air to uncover better solutions for our day to day flying whether it be from Miami to Modesto or Talkeetna to the glaciers of Mt. McKinley. Virtually, everything we do in our flying sessions you will not have seen or practiced in any military or civilian flight program but all are designed to teach "least risk" positioning of your aircraft while maximizing your in-flight awareness and options.


Seminar Scheduling and Advertising

The average seminar lasts one week in each location. Usually the ground training is broken into four hour-long periods over 2 consecutive nights, Friday and Saturday. The seminars are power point presentations superimposed on breathtaking scenes of Alaska's landscape and wildlife.

ACTS provides the sponsor with promotional fliers , radio and newspaper interviews for local promotions and flight scheduling materials at the time of the booking. Sponsors post fliers and arrange seminar location based on expected attendance. We have done seminars with as few a dozen and as many as 250 . Smaller groups tend to get the best interaction between participants and the most direct Q&A sessions.

The flying begins Saturday morning and runs 3 periods a day through Thursday with blocks of 2 hours from 9-11, 12-2, 3-5. Sign up with the sponsor on the ACTS provided flight scheduling forms. The cost for flying is $100/hr with no charge for ground briefs and debriefs provided the seminars were attended.

($80/hr ground time if not). We address many of the threats that have claimed so many pilots historically like low altitude engine failures, reversal maneuvers, precision landing skills, slips vs. skids, spin preventions, steep turns , low altitude steep turns, escape maneuvers, canyon turns, extreme glideslopes, turn radius determination, etc.

These sorties are a challenge to anyone whether they be a military test pilot, a working certified flight instructor, or a low time Cub pilot. (One day's flying on a 2009 seminar in Moline, Illinois). Our goal is to get pilots to reconsider how they fly so they can further reduce their risk factors in whatever type to flying they are doing.

Seminars can be booked by any sponsor usually associated with a flying club, airfield or university. The weeklong seminars include a minimum of:

4 hours of power point lectures and

16 hours of flight instruction for a total of

20 hours of "Survival Flying " concepts and flight instruction


"Survival Flying" Seminar Costs

The total deposit from the sponsor is $2000 / week with 50% deposit to book and 50% on arrival at the seminar location. Each hour of flying $100 is refunded back to the sponsor until $2000 is repaid. Some sponsors (colleges and universities) prefer to adjust the lecture sessions to 10 hours and reduce their flying to 10 hours with their instructors, examiners, or students. Additional hourly charges flown after the 20 hour minimum is met are split 50/50 with the sponsor for scheduling the flying and with ACTS for flying the additional instructional sorties. Sponsor who actively promote "survival flying" for their members and instructors rarely end up with any seminar costs and invariably get a spike in flight training requests. Instructors who fly two hours with us become ACTS certified "survival flying" instructors and become our out-of-state references for people seeking instruction prior to coming to fly with us in Alaska.

We do recommend that sponsors keep the seminars FREE, though they could easily generate added revenue from admissions. By offering FREE seminars to the public, we can tweek aviation interest and encourage prospective students and spouses to attend. In our seminars, the non-pilots discover that they too are a part of the "survival equation" and are occasionally enticed into flight training themselves. However, the sponsor sets the lecture schedule, location and charges for their 20- hour contract in any way they see fit.


Seminar blocks

Blocks are divided into 10 blocks of formal presentation with Q&A after every 2 hours. Presentations are interactive with the attendees but are usually limited to 2 per day. The first 4 blocks are mandatory for all seminars.

  1. Philosophy of "Survival Flying" – Intro. and Aviation History review
  2. Philosophy of " Survival Flying " – An Alternative approach
  3. Aviation Threats – Elements of Threat analysis
  4. Aviation Threats – Exercises to address common aviation threats
  5. Survival Flying - "Least risk thinking" vs. the dumb things we do
  6. Survival Flying – Bush skills for the Urban flier
  7. Mountain Flying - Formation flying to survive
  8. Mountain flying – Maneuver techniques for mt. operations
  9. Advanced concepts - Maximizing ME – caution vs. fear
  10. Advanced concepts – Instruction for instructors – Survival in the "Pit"