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Changes in FAA Wings Program, Training Announced


For those of us who participate in the FAA Wings Pilot Proficiency Program, there are some changes coming up. Sections on preflight planning and fuel and risk management are being added. Plus changes in IFR flight training regulations.

FAA Updates Flight Training Regulations
In an effort to enhance safety, respond to changes in the aviation industry, and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens, the FAA published a final rule which amends regulations on pilot, flight instructor, and pilot school certification. Among the amendments in the rule published August 31 is the ability for student pilots to train concurrently for both the private pilot certificate and instrument rating, and for flight schools to apply for a combined private pilot certification and instrument rating course. In addition, the rule will allow pilot schools to use Internet-based training programs without requiring schools to have a physical ground training facility; revise the definition of “complex airplane”; and allow the use of airplanes with throwover control wheels for expanded flight training. The final rule also amends the FAA’s procedures for converting a foreign pilot license to a U.S. pilot certificate. 

These amendments become effective October 31, 2011. To view the final rule, click here or go to www.FederalRegister.gov/a/2011-22308.
Relieving the Aches and Pains of Aging GA Aircraft 
Aging is a fact of life that humans and aircraft alike must face. However, whereas humans are better able to heed warning signs of an impending health issue, aircraft are less likely to divulge any critical details of an age- or fatigue-related ailment. But with the right tools and a proactive plan of inspection and maintenance, you can help keep your aircraft safe and sound for years to come. The article “Too Old to Fly?” on page 25 of the new issue of FAA Safety Briefing examines this very subject and provides readers with a number of tips and resources to help owners keep their aircraft young, spry, and able to fly. 

Modification of the Wings Program Requirements
Notice Number: NOTC3173
The FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) is pleased to announce an addition to the Basic Level requirements of the Wings Pilot Proficiency Program. This change takes effect with the new launch of enhancements to www.FAASafety.gov, tentatively scheduled to have occurred September 14.  

Based on a recent analysis of accidents in the years 2008, 2009, and 2010, and in accordance with paragraph four of Advisory Circular 61-91J, Wings Pilot Proficiency Program, the FAASTeam has revised the required subjects at the Basic Level of the Wings Program.

By adding preflight planning, risk management, and fuel management as a major component of the Knowledge 3 subject area, the FAASTeam hopes to generate increased emphasis and understanding of this vital part of flying. An increased level of awareness of risk management principles will have a positive impact on the number of accidents by general aviation pilots. 

One of the advantages of the automated Wings Program on FAASafety.gov is the dynamic nature of the requirements. When an area that deserves greater focus is discovered, the FAASTeam can address that subject almost immediately.

Please note that all the current subjects are still valid; however, the FAASTeam is adding a new key subject area for the Basic Knowledge 3 slot. Here’s the new Basic Level lineup:

Knowledge 1 – Aeronautical Decision Making
Knowledge 2 – Performance and Limitations
       Alternate Knowledge 2 – Runway Safety
Knowledge 3 – Preflight Planning, Risk Management, and Fuel Management  
       Alternate Knowledge 3 – Other Subjects (as listed on FAASafety.gov)

Flight 1 – Takeoffs and Landings
Flight 2 – Positive Aircraft Control
Flight 3 – Basic Flying Skills

A new syllabus has been written for training providers, course providers, and seminar presenters and is available now on FAASafety.gov. The FAASTeam will add additional activities, courses, and seminars to the list of available credit items over the next several months.

Download the September/October 2011 issue here: www.FAA.gov/news/safety_briefing.

Address questions or comments to: SafetyBriefing@faa.gov.

Follow on Twitter @FAASafetyBrief or www.Twitter.com/FAASafetyBrief.


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