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FAA Wings Program
By Ian Brown, EAA #657159
August 2016 - Ever wonder whether the United States has a similar system to the Canadian flight currency requirement, which is satisfied by the Aviation Safety Newsletter quiz or a Transport Canada seminar? The answer is yes.
The FAA WINGS program is a similar system of improving pilot safety while at the same time avoiding the biennial flight review with a system of online training credits. There are Basic, Advanced, and Master versions of this training. Whenever you see “qualifies for WINGS credit,” you will know that our U.S. pilot friends will be able to take advantage of a similar system to our own. Many of the Oshkosh forums qualify for WINGS credit, which satisfies the requirement for a biennial flight review. The guiding principle of the WINGS program is to improve flight safety by training pilots in topics related to pilot decision-making. It would be nice if WINGS credit qualified for the Transport Canada requirement.
This level is designed for those pilots who want to establish a recurrent training program that will provide them a higher level of proficiency than merely preparing for a normal flight review as required by 14 CFR 61.56.
Note that a pilot need not accomplish the flight review requirements of 14 CFR part 61.56 if he or she has satisfactorily completed any phase in the WINGS -Pilot Proficiency Program within the 24 calendar months prior to acting as pilot in command.
Advanced- and Master-Level WINGS
All pilots enrolled in the WINGS program must qualify at the Basic level before taking Advanced- or Master-level WINGS credits. The FAA program generates wallet-sized documents that may be carried by the pilot to prove that he or she has qualified for exemption of the requirement for a biennial flight review.