FAA Revamping Wings Program

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The FAA Safety Team (FAAST) is changing the focus of its Wings-Pilot Proficiency Program from an awards-based program to a true proficiency program. The new system is expected to be in place in June. In a release on the FAAST Web site, spokesman James Pyles said the goal of the program is to instill a culture of constant education and re-education in pilots. "It encourages pilots to continue their aviation educational pursuits and requires education, review, and flight proficiency in the Areas of Operation found in current Practical Test Standards (PTS) that correspond with the leading accident causal factors in the United States," he said. That would be the stick. The carrot is that as long as a pilot keeps up with the curriculum, the requirement for flight reviews is suspended.

Under the program, pilots design their curriculum to fit their own requirements and continuously study and review the material. The educational activity is monitored by the FAA and, as long as it meets the requirements of the basic level. Of course, the program also encourages more advanced courses of study as a way of keeping pilots actively thinking about safety. If they drop out, though, the time table for flight reviews is reinstated.