The FAA’s Wings Pilot Proficiency Program was created to increase safety in general aviation pilots. It’s changed significantly over the years, and is now really useful to the average pilot. The reward you’ll first see is that you can use your participation in the Wings program to fulfill the requirements of a Flight Review. You’ll also have the confidence of maintaining a higher level of safety, currency, and proficiency. Insurance companies are taking note, too, and offering discounts to Wings program participants.
The program is broken down in to “phases”, which are blocks of training. There are three levels of phases : Basic, Advanced and Master. You have to start on the Basic level. The completion of any phase will count as a flight review. You could do the Basic phase over and over, or work your way up to master.
To complete the Basic phase, you need to get credit in 3 different flight topics, and 3 different knowledge topics. Flight credit can be earned by completing a new rating or endorsement, or flying with an instructor. You can get credit for flying you’re already doing, if it’s done to PTS standards. A checkout in a 172 or a new tailwheel endorsement could easily count for one or more flight credits.
Knowledge credits can be earned in even more ways. Ground time with an instructor, free online courses, safety seminars, adding a new rating, and advanced training can all count for knowledge credit.
How To Do It
This may already seem a bit complicated, and that’s because it is. This is why we’ve made guides specific to the types of people using the Wings program: