DR. STEVEN MARK SACHS
Dr. Steven Mark Sachs got his introduction to aviation in the 1950s when he was a passenger on the inaugural Polar Route flight on a Pan Pacific World Airways “Connie” (Lockheed constellation). He enjoyed enthusiastically the wonder of being taken from Los Angeles to Switzerland with four motors dragging him and his family through the sky.
In 1980, his flight-instructor brother, later to fly for numerous airlines and eventually retiring as a Captain for Continental Airlines, provided him with a “demo flight.” He was hooked and started taking flight lessons shortly thereafter.
Dr. Sachs earned his private pilot license almost 40 years ago, and currently holds an Instrument rating, a Remote Pilot certificate, and Advanced Ground instructor and Instrument Ground instructor ratings.
Very active in the aviation community, Dr. Sachs serves on the Portland International Airport Community Advisory Committee, on the Clark County Technical Institute’s Aviation Program, and as an active member of the Camas/Washougal Aviation Association. He is also a volunteer instructor for the fire service in handling small-airplane fires on the airport surface.
Dr. Sachs has authored numerous articles for AOPA (the national Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, with about 450,000 members) and for California Aeronautical University. His book, The Back-Seat Pilot, is currently in the final stages of preparation.
When flying on instruments, Dr. Sachs is usually in a Cessna 172 with a glass cockpit. That means that most instrumentation and navigation is provided on video displays, but with “round-dial” backup instruments. His wife, Lisa, prefers it when he flies under visual conditions (as differentiated from instrument conditions) because it’s a more-relaxed experience and it lends itself more easily to pilot-passenger conversation.
THERE IS MORE ON DR. SACHS’ YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Let’s begin with this: You can be a terrible communicator as a pilot, make every mistake I’m about to describe, and still have a safe and comfortable flight. There is considerable finesse in handling pilot communications properly, but it is not the end of the world if you have flaws in your technique.
GREAT FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR OR HORRIBLE FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR
Thinking about becoming a pilot? Anyone who wants to fly needs to be taught by a competent instructor. If you’re not in the military, you get to choose who will teach you, and it’s a much bigger decision that it first seems to be. Like in all things, you can have a great flight instructor or horrible one, and it makes a world of a difference.
TRAINING FOR AVIATION EMERGENCIES
Dr. Sachs was involved with significant training for the firefighters of Clark County, Washington’s Fire Department (East County Fire and Rescue, or ECFR) on how to deal with airplane fires.