Seminars Aim for V-safe


By Bryan Smith, Director of Cirrus Operations

In the world of aviation, we use the term “V” speeds to define the “Velocity” at which we can achieve a particular aspect for our aircraft.  A fun fact about the term itself:  Most native speakers of English assume that V is for velocity, and that mostly works. To be precise, though, the word velocity means “speed in a particular direction.” Technically, V stands for “vitesse,” another aviation term borrowed from the French; “vitesse” being the French word for “speed,” “rate,” “velocity,” “pace,” “swiftness” “tilt” and several more.  In my world it also has an additional meaning.

I have been a Certified Flight Instructor, CFI, CFII, and MEI since 2000.  I did my primary flight training at Chesterfield in 1999, while being accepted into the U.S. Coast Guard Officer’s Candidate School.  I wanted a seat up front so I took flight lessons to get that edge!  After a cleared issue with a medical question, the Coast Guard messed up my acceptance date and I was rendered age disqualified and sent on my merry way!

I quickly assessed the situation and with the help of Dominion Aviation, I enrolled in a professional flight school in central Florida for my additional ratings.  I returned to Chesterfield, because I am from here (Freeman HS and University of Richmond) and I wanted to be an additional resource to my friends and my community.  I spent several years as a flight instructor under Becky Luther, and was moved up the ladder to charter.

As a Baron Captain, I learned an incredible amount.  I worked in several other aircraft and was eventually put in a Pilatus PC-12.  There, COL Chris Neale, USAF Retired, rest in peace, mentored me into the person I am now.  I continued to instruct throughout this time, and became an FAA Gold Seal Instructor with a 100% pass rate of my first 20+ applicants.

Now back in charter at Dominion, I fly a Jet!  A fun, fast, shiny one!  My love is still with instruction.  I do not have the available time to fly with everyone I want, so Dominion brought on a few instructors to help out!  And they are really great!  I find I can reach more aviators now through a new FREE ground based learning system.  The “V” Series is the third Wednesday of each month, and together we can keep our community safe while growing our aviation knowledge.

The “V” Series was started as a “Voice Series”.  The voice may be heard or spoken, from an experienced instructor, or from a pre-solo student.  It may resonate with you one month, and have no impact the next.  The voice may be an invited guest, which can shed light on particular subject matter, or it may be a video which has a different impact.  The point is simple.  We use our voice to communicate, educate, and open a line of communication on various subjects beneficial to our aviation community.  It is open to all; those at Hanover, Richmond, Farmville and anyone else transiting through our airspace.

The “V” Series is designed to be interactive and spirited, fun and enlightening, while bringing a subject matter to light which may or may not need that light!  It could just be an excuse for us to sit around and talk about airplanes and flying or how to tighten a loose wing nut, while looking for that bucket of prop wash that keeps going missing.

Please join us each month in the Chesterfield Terminal Building as we talk about subjects such as Icing, Risk Management, the new ACS guidelines, avionics systems, weather and hazards, ATC stuff, aircraft performance, systems and maintenance, ADIZ, Cirrus safety, aircraft calculations, and even….. DRONES!

Join us at 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month in the Chesterfield terminal conference room for a FREE seminar. Upcoming topics include:



  1. BRIAN,
    Love this new feature from Dominion Aviation and you! Can’t wait to attend your talk on Thunderstorms in a May.
    Donald Allen


  2. Donald,
    I’m so excited about the Monthly Series! I can’t wait to talk Thunderstorms! By now, you might be the best expert and I will seek your advice!


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