Minnesota Flyer - Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

By George Felix
FAAST Team Rep, Flight Instructor 


WINGS To Live By


November 1, 2019

While speaking to respected Instructor, DPE, and FAAST Team member Barb Mack recently about the aviation community and the dissemination of information between instructors, students, and examiners she said that “the people we’re reaching through Wings (FAA Pilot Proficiency Wings Program) aren’t the people we need to be reaching.” That wasn’t to say we don’t want to reach those people. It was a statement of fact that the folks utilizing the program were and are the exceptional aviators. They are getting the message. They are the folks who are so safety minded that they are willing to participate in trainings both online and in person in order to enhance their knowledge in aviation in order to be excellent.

The point was that we need to somehow connect with folks who either haven’t heard of the Wings Program or have heard of the Wings Program but don’t really know what it is or what its benefits are. Ultimately the program can’t be as effective as it could be if it’s underutilized.

Typing “FAA wings” into a search engine brought several links including the FAA’s own, but this one gives great info and links: http://www.en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilot_Proficiency_Award_Program. Please visit and learn about the program.

There are real and tangible benefits to Wings participants not limited to knowledge but also in fiscal terms.

If you’re active in Wings let me enlist you in recruitment. Start sharing Wings with your fellow aviators. Invite someone to attend a seminar with you. Pull your iPad or laptop out and help someone register.

Instructors, promote the program by giving Wings credit and require students to register at FAASAFETY.GOV. Lead by example by getting phases of Wings and showing up at safety seminars. I don’t usually push products and never criticize fellow instructors with this one exception. I actively tell aviators to use instructors who will give them Wings credit and if the instructors won’t to find instructors who will.

Your FAA Safety Team Members can also approve your Wings program credits. A pilot recently asked me to assess him Wings Credit as his instructor failed to do so. Upon showing me evidence of his training, the credit was approved. This pilot smiled and said how much fun he was having getting new and higher levels of Wings. He equated it to a video game and was impressed with the knowledge he was gaining along the way. What a great way to keep your mind on the sky!

See you soon at a Wings Seminar.


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