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WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program

#FlySafe GA Safety Enhancement Topic

FAA Safety Briefing
Cleared for Takeoff
6 min readApr 29, 2020

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Editor’s Note: This article has been updated annually with new content since it was first published. The last update was on February 28, 2024.

Proficiency training is required for most professional pilots and plays a key role in aviation safety. Studies have shown that pilots who participate in regular proficiency training are much less likely to experience accidents. The FAA’s WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program is one way for GA pilots to ensure they are competent, confident, and safe in their flight operations.

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Get Your WINGS

The objective of the WINGS program is to prevent the primary causes of GA accidents. WINGS is not an “award” program; it is a proficiency program designed to help improve pilot skills and knowledge. Pilots who maintain their currency and proficiency will enjoy a safer flight experience.

The WINGS program consists of knowledge activities and flight activities selected to address the documented causal factors of aircraft accidents. You can participate by selecting the category and class of aircraft in which you wish to receive training. Requirements for each aircraft category and class include specific subjects and flight maneuvers.

All pilots holding a U.S. pilot certificate may participate in the WINGS program.

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To participate in the Basic level of WINGS:

  1. Create an account on FAASafety.gov and fill out your “WINGS Profile” under “Account Preferences” and click “Save.”
https://www.faasafety.gov/Users/pub/preferences.aspx

2. Earn 3 Basic Knowledge activity credits through online courses, in-person seminars, and/or webinars.
= 1 credit from Basic Knowledge Topic 1
= 1 credit from Basic Knowledge Topic 2
= 1 credit from Basic Knowledge Topic 3

3. Complete 3 approved Basic Flight activities with your favorite flight instructor.
= 1 credit from Basic Flight Topic 1
= 1 credit from Basic Flight Topic 2
= 1 credit from Basic Flight Topic 3

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4. Go to “My WINGS” under the “Pilots” tab on FAASafety.gov to track your status.

https://www.faasafety.gov/WINGS/pub/default.aspx

5. If all credits to earn a phase of WINGS have been earned within a 12-month period, click “Claim Reward” on the “My WINGS” page.

Use a Checklist

The WINGS Topic of the Quarter makes it even easier to earn your next phase of WINGS. The program has pre-selected courses and flight activities that will earn a phase of WINGS. Go to bit.ly/GetYourWINGS to see all the program material. Download the “checklist” for the pre-selected courses and flight activities.

Click above to get the optional WINGS Topic of the Quarter Checklist.

Satisfy Flight Review Requirement

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In addition to helping you sharpen your flying skills, completing a phase of WINGS also satisfies your flight review requirement. You may also continue to select your own flight activities and knowledge topics for WINGS according to your own personal preference.

WINGS also provides you with opportunities to complete online courses, attend seminars, and participate in webinars from third-party activities, including those offered by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI), Aviation Supplies and Academics, Inc. (ASA), Sporty’s Pilot Shop, and many others.

As you participate in the WINGS program, your flight review date will be updated each time you earn enough credits to complete the Basic phase.

In order to keep playing your “A” game, get good coaching, and then stick with it. Fly regularly with a flight instructor who will challenge you to review what you know, explore new horizons, and to always do your best. Of course, you’ll have to dedicate time and money to your proficiency program, but it’s well worth it for the peace of mind that comes with confidence.

Find a Pro

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If you need more info or help with WINGS, you can contact a WINGSPro! Go to the FAASTeam directory on FAASafety.gov under the “Resources” tab. Next, type “wingspro” in the keywords field and enter your state abbreviation in the state field. Press “Search,” and then scroll down to find WINGSPros in your state. You can also contact your local FAASTeam Program Manager or Rep; they love to make new pilot friends and help with WINGS.

Did you know that loss of control happens in all phases of flight? It can happen anywhere and at any time. There is an average of one fatal accident involving loss of control every four days. Pilots that participate in a flight proficiency program are less likely to lose control or have an accident.

Resource Guide

The WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program helps pilots build an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements. It is based on the premise that pilots who maintain currency and proficiency in the basics of flight will enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience.

Download the WINGS Pilot Proficiency User’s Guide at bit.ly/WINGSguide for more information about WINGS.

Flight Instructor Validations

Certificated flight instructors by virtue of holding instructor privileges can validate or give immediate WINGS credits for flight activities through the “Instructor Portal” under the “Pilots” tab on FAASafety.gov. Instructors do not have to log in first to give credit. Instructors are also eligible to renew their flight instructor certificate through participation in WINGS. See section 6e of Advisory Circular 91–61J for more details.

E-Z WINGS

There is a new and efficient means to earn WINGS phases and credits thanks to the private WINGS Industry Network (WIN). WIN works to combine members’ resources to build higher levels of awareness to promote GA safety practices and proficiency more effectively.

Screenshot of a cell phone.

E-Z WINGS is mobile-friendly and available on any internet browser. E-Z WINGS makes it easy to find and submit FAA WINGS phase activities. Validation of WINGS phases for check rides, flight reviews, instrument proficiency checks, etc., can be completed as soon as the activity is completed.

Go to EZWINGS.net to use this E-Z WINGS tool.

Watch More Videos about WINGS

Got WINGS?
Pilot Proficiency Training

📅 FAASTeam Events (March 2024)

Go to FAASafety.gov to check for other seminars and webinars in your area.

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FAA Safety Briefing
Cleared for Takeoff

Official FAA safety policy voice for general aviation. The magazine is part of the national FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam).