I’ve written about FAA’s slaughter of the “WINGS” program for pilot proficiency. It dies officially on December 31, 2007. I just received my last Wings certificate, Level 4. Of course FAA neglected to send the actual wings that I earned.
Today, more proof that the so-called replacement program is worthless.
I received an email today from FAA Safety, saying I have 1.0 Accredited Activity ”credit ajustment” [sic]. So what is it? Went to the new/”Plucked Wings” site to see. It’s virtually impossible to tell what this is (in fact, there appear to be two identical credits…) Everything is in FAA code. No real course/seminar names or dates.
And the recurrent training flights I’ve been trying to get credit for since summer? Catch 22! I cannot apply for the credit unless I list a validator (because we pilots are habitual liers, you know). Well, my instructor still has not signed up for this program (I even had to send him the link because he never heard of the program). He’s the only one who can validate the training. And I cannot request credit without listing a validator. He has not signed up. So I’m stuck.
And this is one of MANY big problems with the Plucked Wings program. Under the old program, I had a card that got signed off by a real instructor for each activity, when I did the flight (before I wrote him the check). Then I copied the card and mailed it to the FAA, always retaining my own record. I had control.
With Plucked Wings, there is no card. It’s all in the FAA database and my instructor has not signed up, so there is essentially no record of this training. Since he has not signed up, do I stop payment on the check? It’s all far too complicated.
So, farewell and RIP: “WINGS”. Good riddance: Plucked Wings.