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  • The Northeast Virtual Aviation Safety Stand Down
    was held September 12, 2020.
    If you missed the live event, a recording is now available.

    Please note that Wings credit cannot be earned by viewing the video.


    Gene Benson

    Host and Moderator

    An experienced professional pilot, flight instructor, author, and aviation educator, Gene has been a presenter at hundreds of aviation events, including national conventions.

    David St. George

    Executive Director of SAFE, Designated Pilot Examiner, Corporate Pilot

    Presentation: Safety is in YOUR hands.

    David is a well-known presenter at many safety events around the U.S. He presently serves as the Executive Director of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE).

    Kirk Thorvaldsen

    Pilot Coordinator - Patient Airlift Services (PALS)

    Presentation: Patient Airlift Services- Flying Patients to medical treatment with Safety as our First Priority

    Kirk has more than forty years of flying experience. His career includes being a USAF pilot and Delta Airlines Captain. His job responsibilities are recruiting, engaging and reengaging pilots for the operation. processing applications, collecting the required paperwork and certifying the pilots to fly with PALS as well as working with them in Outreach programs to patients, Veterans and pilots.

    Ben Struck

    FAASTeam Program Manager - Farmingdale, New York

    Presentation: Welcome from the FAASTeam

    Ben Struck earned his Private Pilot certificate years ago from DPE Frank D’Angelone, flew frequently for pleasure in the Northeast, and following a career change, pursued aviation commercially by completing all his training/ratings in Florida.

    Ben has instructed in Florida, New Jersey, and New York where he ultimately landed a job at Farmingdale State College (SUNY) and worked his way up the ranks to become the Chief Instructor for their 141 program. Ben has flown the Cirrus as a Single Pilot IFR qualified Captain for a 135 Operator here in the Northeast.

    Ben joined the FAA in 2012 as an Operations Inspector at the Farmingdale FSDO and has been the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) Program Manager since February of 2016. Ben lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two young daughters who keep him busy and always entertained.

    Nick Gregory

    Chief Meteorologist for WNYW-TV Fox 5 News in New York City

    Presentation: Understanding and Best Practices of NEXRAD

    In addition to his meteorologist duties, Nick is Chief Pilot and Flight Instructor in Cirrus Aircraft at Performance Flight located at KHPN and is also an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner and Captain for Part 135 ops at Hopscotch Air

    Toby Bucsescu

    Air Traffic Control Specialist

    Presentation: We're in this Together: Building your confidence when talking with ATC

    Toby Bucsescu has a combined 11 years experience as an FAA Air Traffic Control Specialist at The Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center and The New York Terminal Approach Control. He received his PPL in 2018. You can see some of his flying videos at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPkJYnrxCsImV3FPgQU3cYw

    Adam Rosenberg

    Major Airline Captain/A320 Check Airman, FAA Designated Pilot Examiner

    Presentation: Scenario Based Training for Abnormals and Emergencies

    Adam has done many live presentations as part of the FAASafety Team while he continues to perform his airline and DPE roles.

    Ace Rowley

    Operations Manager, Rochester Air Center

    Presentation: Stress Inoculation - Applying Principles of Law Enforcement Critical Incident Preparedness to Aviation Training.​Emergencies

    Ace is a veteran of the United States Air Force, a retired police sergeant, and an instrument rated private pilot turned aspiring CFI. In his law enforcement career, Ace held numerous assignments such as recruit training officer, crisis/hostage negotiator, detective, and crime scene team supervisor. He also served as a police academy instructor, use-of-force and defensive tactics trainer, and member of the critical incident review board. Ace is now part of the management team at Rochester Air Center, a Part 141 flight training center based in Rochester, New York.


    This event is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors.

    Westchester Aviation Association
    Aircraft Specialties Services
    Avia Flight Academy
    Bright Spot Schools
    Mid Island Air Service
    New York Jet