The FAA’s Airman Testing page (www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing) is an online resource for certification requirements and airman knowledge testing. There you can find testing resources such as the Airman Certification Standards (ACS), practical test standards, and reference handbooks. Topics that contain new and revised material are featured in the “What’s New and Upcoming in Airman Testing” section, located at the bottom of the page. Subscribe to receive email notifications, updates to new information and material, and much more.
The WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program
Reviewing and refreshing your knowledge is just as important as actual flying. The WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program is designed 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. Participation provides opportunities to help improve your skills and knowledge with online courses, seminars, and webinars.
Encourage pilots you train to participate in the program and take advantage of the wealth of information and proficiency training available. They can also benefit from the on-going training programs that provide opportunities for pilots-in-training to fly with a flight instructor. Many third party activities, such as those offered by pilot groups and organizations, qualify for WINGS credit. Check out the WINGS program at the FAA Safety Team’s website, faasafety.gov.
Flight instructor organizations are great resources for continuing education, access to new flight training information, accreditation programs, resources and techniques for flight instruction, and the ability to network with flight training peers. Notable organizations geared to support the professional development of both independent and flight school-based instructors include the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI), nafinet.org, and the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE), safepilots.org.
Pilot organizations such as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), aopa.org, and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), eaa.org, bring like-minded aviators together for information and resources, and the promotion of general aviation. These and many other organizations provide instructors and pilots-in-training with access to speakers and aviation experts, workshops, and webinars. Some also offer discounts on trade publications to keep you up to date on the latest pilot techniques, tips, and advances in aviation technology.
Groups like the EAA/IMC and EAA/VMC Clubs provide opportunities for instructors and pilots from a wide range of aviation interests and backgrounds to share knowledge, learn and discuss different ways to approach flight scenarios, promote safety, and improve decision-making skills in both IMC and VMC flight conditions. The club’s founder, Radek Wyrzykowski, is an instrument and multi-engine flight instructor who started the clubs as an opportunity for pilots to exchange practical experience and knowledge in a group setting. Members bring real-life, in-flight scenarios for group discussion and input on new ways to approach unexpected events during flight.
“These scenarios are not what you’d read about in any book,” explains Wyrzykowski. “It’s an exercise to develop a thinking process — everyone learns from group interaction. It also provides a great opportunity for pilots to promote safety and build proficiency in instrument and visual flying,” says Wyrzykowski. Located at GA airports throughout the United States, these clubs are EAA proficiency programs that you can find at eaa.org/imcclub.
Type clubs enable instructors, pilots, and pilots-in-training to connect with professionals and enthusiasts interested in a particular type or brand of aircraft. If available, consider joining a type club to learn more about the specific airplane you’re using for flight instruction. Point your pilots to this resource as well to pick up additional skills in the aircraft they’re flying now, or to find information about transitioning to another airplane.
Guiding Principles for Instructors
The Aviators Model Code of Conduct advocates safer operating practices for instructors, and the entire aviation community. Visit their website at secureav.com.