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Safety Topic of the Month: Pilot Proficiency and WINGS

Welcome to the Safety Section of the Flying Clubs Newsletter, Club Connector!

Every month we provide resources for flying club safety officers to keep their clubs informed and safe.   We also include links to slides that we use for our own meetings, so that you always have a topic for your club’s next safety meeting.  Along with the slides, we also provide links to relevant articles, videos, and other media that you may also find useful.

Okay then, let’s get on with this month’s safety topic!

Here is the link to the PDF of the presentation slides—please use them at your next club meeting:

March 2024 Safety Topic of the Month: Pilot Proficiency and WINGS

It can be easy to slip into a routine with your flying.  Many flights have a similar profile and don’t really allow us to practice all the skills we had to master for our check ride, let alone improve on them.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a proficiency program that makes it easy for pilots to grow in skill and knowledge?  Luckily the FAA has a program that does just that!  It’s called the FAASTeam WINGS program, and if you are not using it, you are missing out on some serious benefits and opportunities.

Background: 

Proficiency training is so beneficial to aviation safety that it is required of most professional pilots.  Proficiency training is also beneficial to general aviation pilots as well.  Studies show that pilots who participate in regular proficiency training are much less likely to be involved in mishaps and are much better prepared to handle unexpected situations in the air.

 

The FAASTeam WINGS pilot proficiency program is one way for general aviation pilots to ensure they are competent, confident, and safe in their flight operations.  Oh, and being persistently proficient will save you money in the long run.

Learning Points:

  • Growing proficiency is the best way to stay safe and sharp.  It also feels good to be ahead of the airplane, about improving our decision-making capability, and to enjoy wide-ranging situational awareness.  It is also really quite fun!
  • WINGS is FAA’s Pilot Proficiency Program.
  • Training under WINGS is most beneficial if it is spaced out throughout the year.  Think of it as a progressive flight review but completed every year.
  • The WINGS Topic of the Quarter is an easy way to pursue regular proficiency training.
  • Completion of any phase of WINGS satisfies the 14 CFR 61.56 requirements for flight reviews.
  • A cadre of WINGS Pros is available to assist flight instructors and pilots get the most from the program.

March 2024 Safety Topic of the Month: Pilot Proficiency and WINGS

References

WINGS User’s Handbook

 

Other Safety Resources:

Here is a reminder of just some of the resources available to all pilots:

FAASTeam:

faasafety.gov

The FAASTeam website is the portal to a vast array of courses, videos, links, and much more.  Remember that WINGS not only encompasses “knowledge” activities, but also flight activities.  Use the various search options to narrow down, to say, flight activities for a basic phase of WINGS and you’ll be able to find a syllabus and often a worksheet for each flight activity.

Highly topical is the FAA’s new Human Factors course.  This ten-module course (with WINGS credits) includes videos, quizzes, workbooks, and tests.  If you are serious about understanding the role of human behaviors in aviation safety education, then please, invest the time to complete this course.

Log into faasafety.gov, go to activities-> courses-> all available courses and scroll to find these ALC codes—one per module:  ALC-730, 731, 732, 825, 826, 827, 828, 829, 830.

Here is a link to get you to modules 1 and 2 (ALC-730 and 731): https://www.faasafety.gov/gslac/ALC/CourseLanding.aspx?cID=730

Don’t forget to regularly visit these FAA safety gems:

Pilot Minute

57 Seconds to Safer Flying

FAA Safety Briefing Magazine

From the Flight Deck

 

AOPA Air Safety Institute:

https://www.aopa.org/training-and-safety/air-safety-institute

AOPA’s Air Safety Institute, which by the way is funded by the AOPA Foundation just like the Flying Clubs Initiative, is packed with amazing content, including exceptional videos, podcasts, accident analysis, online courses, recorded webinars and more.  Completing these activities may also earn WINGS credits.  Of particular interest to flying club safety officers is the recently updated Safety to Go section.  There, you can download a selection of topics, each coming with PowerPoint slides and speaker’s notes!

 

WINGS for Clubs:

If you are interested in using the FAASTeam WINGS program with your flying club, feel free to contact Steve, who is a Lead Representative and WINGSPro, and introduced the program to his club.  More on “WINGS for Clubs” can be found here in Flying Clubs Radio Episode 8 and the May 2020 Question of the Month.

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Stephen Bateman

Contributor, You Can Fly Program
Steve retired from AOPA in April 2024, but continues to contribute to You Can Fly programs. Contact Steve at [email protected]

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