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FAA WINGS program

matthewjohn

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Wanted to pass along that the FAA has a new WINGS program (faasafety.gov). By registering on the page and participating in the WINGS program you can get credit for your Flight Review by doing a few online courses and a couple misc flight items. Something the FAA seems to have done that is good.:)
 

JimNtexas

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Actually the new Wings program is a major step backward.

Under the old program you and your CFI could fly 3 hours and accomplish training that you both agreed was best for you, following only broad general guidelines. The old program worked as proven by the discounts insurance companies gave for it.

The only problem was that it gave too much freedom to individual pilots and CFIs.

The new program far more bureaucratic, and at the end of it you take an evaluation flight that you can fail.

There are zero reasons to jump through the new hoops rather than just forget the wings program and just take a flight review.

The FAA has destroyed the wings program.
 

DrProc

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Actually the new Wings program is a major step backward.

Under the old program you and your CFI could fly 3 hours and accomplish training that you both agreed was best for you, following only broad general guidelines. The old program worked as proven by the discounts insurance companies gave for it.

The only problem was that it gave too much freedom to individual pilots and CFIs.

The new program far more bureaucratic, and at the end of it you take an evaluation flight that you can fail.

There are zero reasons to jump through the new hoops rather than just forget the wings program and just take a flight review.

The FAA has destroyed the wings program.

I completely agree. It is amazing how it went from a successful program to a bureaucratic quagmire.
 

NJAPLT

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The new program far more bureaucratic, and at the end of it you take an evaluation flight that you can fail.

I'll agree that it is way more of a PITA than before, but I am not sure about the evaluation flight. My understanding was that for each of the flight modules you have to meet PTS criteria, not that you have an evaluation ride.

(Of course, certain modules, such as a 135 prof check do have evaluations in them.)

If someone does not meet PTS on the flight, I thought it was the same as before, you record that they received training, but do not endorse or approve the module in the logbook signoffs.

I am looking to getting back into some private flying, and have not instructed for several years, so I could easily be wrong, but I just did a FIRC that discussed the new Wings program, and no evaluation ride was mentioned during the module on the Wings program.
 

JimNtexas

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"If someone does not meet PTS on the flight, I thought it was the same as before, you record that they received training, but do not endorse or approve the module in the logbook signoffs."

The old program didn't say a thing about PTS standards. You did the three hours and that was that. The CFI didn't have to say anything in your logbook except to list the training that was accomplished.

Under the new system you could 'fail' if you exceed PTS standards, and have to do the ride again. Why bother?

The old system, that encouraged you to get training with no evaluation was better and cheaper IMHO.
 

JAFI

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So what you are saying is:

"You think if you do not fly proficiently you should still get signed off for the Flight Review?"
 

JimNtexas

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So what you are saying is:

"You think if you do not fly proficiently you should still get signed off for the Flight Review?"

What you don't seem to understand is that under the old program nobody 'signed off for the flight review'.

Experience showed that a pilot was safer with 3 hours of instruction and a safety seminar than an hour flight review. That's why insurance companies gave discounts for the wings program, and why the FAA found wings program pilots to be safer than those that got a mere flight review.

There was virtually no paperwork, I always used the from that the FAA used to pass out at Oshkosh. Cost, about a five cents to for them to make the copy, and a couple of bucks for the FSDO to mail you back your suitable for framing diploma.

The new system removes all incentive to participate in the Wings program. After you've established your accounts (check out the steps required) and found the accredited and approved training you still take a flight review.

So why bother with wings, just take a flight review and skip all the computer stuff?
 

matthewjohn

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to answer:
Because to be proficient takes more than one flight every two years. This is designed to get a person up with a CFI more often and keep them safe.

The program STILL helps with insurance as did the previous.
 

JimNtexas

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to answer:
Because to be proficient takes more than one flight every two years. This is designed to get a person up with a CFI more often and keep them safe.

You're exactly right, that's what was so good about the old program, and that's why they didn't need to include a flight review signoff.

The new program adds bureaucracy and removes the incentive that the old program provided.

I suspect that few pilots will bother with the new program, we'll see what the insurance does in a couple of years.
 

NJAPLT

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Well, being as the new Wings program is a train to proficiency type course, it could actually be better for some people, but worse for others.

First of all, the course is much more bureaucratic. You have to sign up on the Faasafety.com web site. You have to either get your CFI to sign up or find a cfi/school who will sign up and verify your records. Just the fact of having to sign up with the FAA will prevent a good amount of people from deciding to go for this program.

The FAA even had to make a 20 minute slide show to show people how to use the new site and how the new Wings program runs!

Rather than just attending one safety seminar, you may have to attend more than one to meet the knowledge requirements. With enough free online courses, it might just cost a pilot more time.

Now that the flight portion of the Wings program is to proficiency, it can help or hurt. You are required to review certain topics the FAA sees as "hot issues." These issues may not be the ones that a pilot wants to work on.

(I would not call this a evaluation flight you can fail, my understanding is that if a maneuver or procedure is not up to PTS standards, training is preformed to get the person up to PTS standards. It is more of a retrain to where the pilot can preform to PTS, then move on. If a person cannot be retrained to PTS during the flight, no pink slip or other indication is recorded, just the standard dual instruction given logbook entry. One of the reasons the FAA stated for changing the program was that someone could go do three flight hours scaring their instructor to death, and still qualify for the program.)

Now if you can go up and quickly meet all of the requirements of the lessons to PTS your first attempt at them, then the new Wings will take you less than the three hours the old Wings program took. If you need lots of instruction, it may take you well over what the old program required.

The new program has three levels of training, which might help the insurance companies in choosing how much of a discount they want to give. They could have different rates for the Basic, Advanced, and Master levels of completion. Depending how the insurance companies treat each level, this could benefit some pilots who do "advanced training", and hurt others who only do the minimum.

Note that the Advanced & Master levels do not count for a the BFR, the are strictly "bragging rights" right now. At some point in the future the Advanced & Master levels might affect insurance rates, but the ycurrently do not.

Also, almost all of the of the Basic, Advanced and Master training is done by commercial & airline pilots as part of routine training, IFR Prof checks, etc., so that group of pilots may find is easier to get a "wings" signoff using this new program, just simply show their training record to authorized FAA or a CFI, and apply for credit at the web site.

Anyway, as has been said before, "It is what it is." This program will benefit some, but cost other more (the less proficient pilots who would benefit the greatest from more training may choose not to bother due to the increased hours they need with this new program, and start doing BFR's instead.)

It will be interesting to see how this new program proceeds.
 

JimNtexas

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NJAPLT, thanks, that the best explanation for the new program that I've seen.

It's pretty much academic for me, I'm having my first flight review in ten years next week, I always did the wings program, but not anymore.
 
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