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So once you get your license you only need to fly with an instructor every 2 years for a flight review. This 2-3 hour block of time is supposed to keep you safe, make sure you are up to date on FAR’s, your flying abilities are up to FAA standards, etc. There are some Advisory Circulars and other publications giving guidance on how to conduct the flight review, they have also been known to cure insomnia problems.

I have written other articles on how to maximize your time with an instructor, show up with questions, practice something different, etc. This week is more of an emphasis on continual education. Lets spend the two years continually learning, growing, becoming a better pilot, and let’s use that learning to count towards our flight review.

Last week I did get to do a flight review I enjoyed. We got to work on some items that the pilot felt he was weak on and wanted to spend the time improving his skills. He showed up with questions!!!  It was early in the morning so we were not able to work on thermalling, but last time we flew I wrote an article on the 210 degree turn… We spent our time perfecting his off-airport landing skills.

So lets look at something that is available from the FAA 61.56 (e):

A person who has, within the period specified in paragraph (c) of this section, satisfactorily accomplished one or more phases of an FAA-sponsored pilot proficiency award program need not accomplish the flight review required by this section.

Take a look at the FAA Wings Program. You can read through their propaganda and the ideas behind it’s design. But one of the goals is continual education. You can throughout the years log into their system and complete interactive modules, go to lectures and different local meetings. The SSA Webinar series now has the ability to count for WINGS credit and there are 2 per month for your entertainment and learning. Once you sign-up through the FAA safety program you will find weekly events that you can participate in to earn your credits.

There are some local power clubs that are requiring members to be in the WINGS program.

You do not get out of flying with an instructor. However you can select different flight maneuvers and bring them to your instructor to complete those flight maneuvers. After your flight you log back into the system and have your instructor validate that you preformed those maneuvers to those standards.

From an instructor standpoint it is great. All I am doing is validating that the pilot did those maneuvers to the required standards. Nothing more, nothing less. The FAA is taking care of the 61.56 and not the instructor. The instructors is able to reduce their liability. The instructor is no longer endorsing the flight review, only validating the specific flight maneuvers. If they did not meet those minimum standards you do not validate that they met the standards. But if something happens to them later on there is a nice electronic paper-trail of what the instructors involvement was in accomplishing 61.56. Which is probably a lot better then sitting on a stand saying I did 3 pattern flights with the pilot and we talked for 1 hour.

We use the WINGS program for all of our non-current power pilots that are working on there glider add-on rating. They can sign-up showing an interest in gliders, do the glider flying, have it validated, the FAA issues them a statement that they meet the requirements for 61.56 and then I can solo them in a glider.

For continual education and less liability for an instructor WINGS might be something to look into


Banner Photo:  Anna Klopocka


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Mountain High EDS

Mountain High EDS – The Pulse Demand™ Kit is designed to deliver aviation oxygen in the most efficient and convenient manner possible. With its user–selectable settings, APNEA Alarm and small size, the EDS is the most flexible portable digital electronic oxygen delivery system in the world.

The EDS unit supplies the oxygen you need to stay alert and comfortable while flying by providing a measured pulse of oxygen at the beginning of each inhalation. In contrast to constant flow systems that deliver more oxygen than the body needs, the MH EDS provides oxygen only when you inhale. This patented delivery technology ensures that you stay safe and comfortable by delivering the proper amount of oxygen based on your pressure altitude and breathing rate. The efficiency of this method provides a dramatic increase in cylinder duration, which enables you to enjoy the benefits of oxygen use below the mandated altitude. This means fewer headaches, less fatigue and increased alertness when flying at night or for long distances. It also enables you to save weight and space with a smaller cylinder, and fly longer between refills!

Unlike constant–flow oxygen systems, the MH EDS features “set and forget” operation and can be set to begin providing oxygen either immediately, or above a specified altitude. Oxygen flow is automatically adjusted according to your pressure altitude.

garret willat  Garret Willat holds a flight instructor rating with over 8000 hours in sailplanes. His parents have owned Sky Sailing Inc. since 1979. He started instructing the day after his 18th birthday. Since then, Garret has represented the US Junior team in 2003 and 2005. He graduated from Embry-Riddle with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Aeronautics. Garret represented the US Open Class team in 2008 and 2010 and the Club Class team in 2014. Garret has won 3 US National Championships.