New On-Demand Video Series Serves Pilots and AMTs With FAA Credits


SocialFlight’s free web and mobile app flags aviation events, restaurants and “interesting places to fly” for pilots and enthusiasts. The Marlborough, Massachusetts-based company recently announced a new product, the FAA Learning System, created in cooperation with the agency’s FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam). The video series includes free on-demand, accredited video education for pilots, A&P/IAs and other FAA-certificated Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMTs).

The new video series was created in cooperation with the FAASTeam’s WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program, a voluntary pilot safety initiative designed to encourage general aviation flying proficiency with online learning, in-person seminars and tailored flight training. On the aviation maintenance side, the FAA’s AMT Awards program prompts AMTs and their employers to participate in recurrent training by offering awards based on documented annual training.

Endorsing the new program, pilot, author and aviation educator Barry Schiff said, “Embracing new technology is the key to reaching more pilots and educating them about aviation safety. By making the program free, on-demand, and offering FAA credit, SocialFlight’s FAA Learning System makes it easier than ever for pilots and mechanics to continue learning and refining their skills.”

Along with the FAA, SocialFlight’s partners on the new initiative include Aspen Avionics, Avidyne, Bose, Continental Aerospace Technologies, Hartzell Propellers, Lightspeed, Masimo Health, Tempest, Wipaire, Barry & Brian Schiff, Savvy Aviation’s Mike Busch and many others.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. Wow!!… I’ve only been asking the FAA to do this for over 30 years. They told me it couldn’t be done. We have shut our shop down for two or three days in order to travel to a live IA Renewal event (sometimes just to watch a video). Many years we just had to skip the event do to weather or work conflicts.

    The Recurring training should also include all A&Ps. The industry has so many changes and 8 hours a year is not enough to keep up but, it beats NO recurring training at all. By-The-Way, where’s all the FAA FAR courses? The FAA should have been first to create courses with regulation clarifications and updates. Form 337, Amateur Built Certification, Online Resources and Record Entries to name a few. Many of the Advisory Circulars should have a video clarification.

  2. Klaus M (above) nailed it!

    How about a course on getting credit for experience working on aircraft as well? I’ve taken 13 people through getting FAA personnel validating their experience requirement in working on airplanes, so that they can take the test. It USED to be fairly easy–get documentation of experience. Pay stubs, letters of verification from the A&Ps or AIs that they worked under–military training records, military MOS qualifications. The FAA would look at their qualifications and then give them an oral question and answer session–Examples: “Describe in detail how to do a compression check?” “Pick out the AN hardware from this selection of bolts.”

    It USED to be that the FAA gave credit for experience in homebuilding–then they didn’t–and they now say they MAY give credit for experience. IF a person can document their experience, they OUGHT to get credit toward qualifying for the FAA testing for building a homebuilt–whether from a kit or not.

    I did a magazine article on the shortage of A&Ps–and sought guidance from the local FSDO. When they found that it would be in print, they clammed up–“You’ll have to get that from the FAA Public Relations Department if it will be publicized.” I contacted the PR department–they promised to get me an answer–after a month, I tried them again–NOT AVAILABLE. Tried again–same story–and 6 months after the article was published, STILL no answer.

    In the meantime, I have had a number of people ask about getting the required experience credit to enable them to go to a testing facility and take the A&P test. Many have been experienced military techs and crew chiefs–both aircraft and helicopter. I’ve also had a number of homebuilders ask about getting the signoff on required experience to let them attend a completion course.

    We have a critical shortage of A&Ps–and the FAA can’t even get back on what it takes for an FAA maintenance inspector to sign off on the required experience. NOT getting back as promised with clarification (to me, or to FAA inspectors) is not just RUDE–but it affects everyone applying for a license. My next phone call will be to AOPA and EAA–my guess is that they won’t be able to stonewall THOSE organizations.

    We have people with EXPERIENCE in working on aircraft and components–let’s let them get licensed and USE that experience!

    • Jim, I just had two of my apprentice acquire the almighty coveted ‘A&P’ last week. The FAA Inspector signing them off to take the test was so hesitant. They both had maintenance logbooks combined with the three or four letters of recommendations. Not only that, they both had built homebuilts and rebuilt certified aircraft. I guess they drowned the FAA Inspector with enough qualifying material he couldn’t put them off anymore.

  3. In this case, we have FAA FSDO people that have been WILLING to review credentials and issue an authorization to take the test for the exam–the problem is that unlike the past, they no longer will–because the practice came out in the article, they need “clearance from FAA Public Relations” to comment on the practice–and “Public Relations” won’t offer an opinion (in 6 months!)–so the local FSDO people have “clammed up.” One of the people that contacted me on the article lives outside the local FSDO–he followed my documentation advice, and was authorized to go to the A&P prep school and take the exam.

    Bottom line–the local FSDO people have been very accommodating over the years–but no longer do the background checks and preliminary exams to allow candidates to go to the two week prep school for the oral/practical exam–the entire process is held up by FAA “Public Relations” (a misnomer if there ever was one!) THAT CAN’T GIVE LOCAL FSDO’S PROPER GUIDANCE–AND “STONEWALLS” INSTEAD!