While it is fantastic that the SAFE Technology corrects errors as you fly and has a Panic Mode for those occasions when a person gets in trouble, it does not teach you how to keep from getting in trouble and it quickly becomes a crutch resulting in a learning impairment. On a traditional Buddy Box, the instructor would let a student pilot get into trouble but more importantly allow the student to get slightly disoriented to be able to teach that person how to detect their flight attitude and recover on their own. Working with a number of pilots who have learned to fly on the SAFE Technology I am noticing their skills do not advance at the rate of a student pilot who is traditionally trained on a Buddy Box, in fact their skills seem to hit a wall because they never really solo and become afraid to fly without the SAFE Technology which makes my point that they really have not learned to fly.
As I have worked with a number of these "SAFE Pilots" as I call them I find the primary skill they are lacking is how to identify the direction and attitude of the aircraft when they become disoriented? Once the attitude and direction is identified a pilot will know what controls to input to bring the aircraft back to straight and level flight without activating the SAFE Panic Button. In a traditional Buddy Box teaching process, I teach all of my students what I call an Orientation Maneuver which is simply a Climbing Left Turn.
The Climbing Left Turn is just that, the pilot applies moderate up elevator and at the same time a little left aileron. If the aircraft is flying right side up and away from you, the result will be a Climbing Left Turn. If the aircraft is flying toward you, the result will be a climbing right turn. If the aircraft is upside down it will become a diving turn (the reason you apply moderate up elevator and not full up) with the first correction required to "right" the aircraft and then perform the maneuver again to determine the direction of flight. As a pilot's skills improve, they will typically be able to recognize the direction of flight if the maneuver is performed upside down but that can be a more complicated process and it is best to start out with correcting the attitude to upright straight and level flight first to avoid further disorientation.
Next time you fly, give the Climbing Right Turn a try, it could save you plane someday.