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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Aviation Administration
Advisory Circular

Subject: PILOT PROFICIENCY AWARD PROGRAM
Date: 3/6/91
Initiate by: AFS-20
AC No: 61-91F
Change:

  1. PURPOSE: This advisory circular (AC) describes the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Pilot Proficiency Award Program and outlines the eligibility requirements for pilots to qualify for Phase I through Phase IX pilot proficiency awards.
  2. CANCELLATION: AC 61-91E, Pilot Proficiency Award Program, dated 7/20/87, is canceled.
  3. OBJECTIVE. Regular proficiency training is essential to the safety of all pilots and their passengers. The objective of the Pilot Proficiency Award Program is to provide pilots with the opportunity to establish and participate in a personal recurrent training program. Aviation safety is a cooperative effort among all members of the aviation community. The FAA encourages pilots to establish a recurrent training program and invites their participation in the Pilot Proficiency Award Program.
  4. FORMS AND REPORTS. It is necessary to complete AC Form 3150-7, Physiological Training Application/Agreement, to participate in the program. The form my be obtained from the Accident Prevention Program Manager in the local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) or by a letter of request to:

    Mike Moroney Aeronautical Center
    Aeromedical Education Division, AAM-400
    P.O. Box 25082
    Oklahoma City, OK 73125

  5. WHO MAY PARTICIPATE. All pilots holding a private pilot certificate or higher and a current medical certificate, when required, may participate. Requests to participate in the program should be made to a flight instructor, an appointed Accident Prevention Counselor, or the Accident Prevention Program MAnager in the local FAA FSDO.
  6. INCENTIVE AWARDS - PILOT WINGS AND CERTIFICATE. Upon completion of each phase of the nine-phase program, pilots are awarded a distinctive lapel or tie pin (wings) and a certificate of completion. Phase I wings are plain bronze tone. Phase II wings are a silver tone with a star added. Phase III wings are a gold tone with a start and wreath. Phase IV wings are a gold tone and have a simulated ruby mounted in the shield. Phase V wings are a gold tone with a rhinestone mounted in the shield. Phase VI wings are gold tone with a simulated sapphire mounted in the shield. Phases VII, VIII, and IX wings are gold tone with the appropriate roman numeral displayed within the wreath. No complimentary wings will be issued. Pilots, regardless of certificate type, ratings, or position, must earn the privilege of wearing the pilot proficiency wings.
  7. PHASE I TRAINING REQUIREMENTS. Pilots may select the category and class of aircraft in which they wish to receive their flight training. All training requirements for each phase of the program must be completed within 12 mounts after the pilot begins the training required for that phase in the Pilot Proficiency Award Program. Minimum requirements, which include specific subjects and flight maneuvers, have been established for airplanes, rotorcraft, gliders, and lighter-than-air aircraft. The required training profile represent those phases of operation that have been identified by accident reports as phases most likely to produce accidents. These training profiles are established for each category of aircraft.
    1. Airplanes
      1. One hour of flight training to include basic airplane control, stalls, turns, and other maneuvers directed toward mastery of the airplane.
      2. One hour of flight training to include precision approaches, takeoffs and landings, including crosswind, soft field, and short field techniques.
      3. One hour of instrument training in an airplane, instrument simulator, or training device.
    2. Rotorcraft
      1. One hour of ground training to include use of the rotorcraft flight manual to determine operating limitation, weight and balance computations, performance data, aircraft servicing, use of optional equipment, and standard emergency procedures.
      2. One hour of flight training to include airport and traffic patter operations, including departures from a hover (helicopter only), normal and crosswind approaches and landings, maximum performance takeoffs, and steep approaches.
      3. One hour of flight training to include autorotative descents, power failure at a hover, settling-with-power, system or equipment malfunctions, slope takeoffs and landings, pinnacle/rooftop takeoffs and landings, and navigation procedures.
    3. Gliders
      1. One hour of ground training to include use of glider operation limitations, weight and balance computations, performance data, and standard emergency procedures.
      2. One hour or three flights to include launch procedures, proper position during tow, emergency procedures such as a slack line or tow rope failure, and tow release procedures.
      3. One hour or three flights to include thermalling procedures, flight in close proximity to other aircraft, maneuvers at various performance speeds, demonstration of best lift over drag (L/D) and minimum sink, and precision approaches and landings.
    4. Lighter-than-air
      1. One hour of ground training to include fuel management, refueling, proper inflation procedures, review of the flight manual, and proper weather check.
      2. One hour of flight training to include precision approaches, touch-and-go, level flight, rapid descent and level out, and simulated landing in a congested area.
      3. One hour of flight training to include relighting the pilot light, simulated high wind/short field landings, and other simulated emergency situations.
    5. Training Substitution. The completion of a training program which requires the use of a simulator and/or training device, such as FlightSafety International, Inc., SimuFlite Training Interational, Inc., or many of the nation's air carriers, may be substituted for the 3 hours of required instruction in a category of aircraft.
    6. Safety Meetings.
      1. All applicants must attend at least one FAA-sponsored or FAA-sanctioned aviation safety seminar, industry-conducted recurrent training program, or physiological training course. FAA-sanctioned aviation safety seminars and recurrent training programs are conducted by such organizations as the Soaring Society of America, American Bonanza Society, and Balloon Federation of America.
      2. Attendance at an Accident Prevention Program aviation safety seminar must be verified in the pilot's logbook or other proficiency record. This verification must be signed by an FAA Accident Prevention Program Manager, other FAA personnel, or any Accident Prevention Counselor involved in conduction the seminar.
      3. Attendance at a physiological course conducted under the FAA - U.S. Air force or FAA - U.S. Navy training agreements at various military installations in the United States is also acceptable for an Accident Prevention Program. AC Form 3150-7, Physiological Training Application/Agreement, is required for this training. Students completing a physiological training course will receive FAA Form 3150-1, Physiological Training. A completed FAA Form 3150-1 must be submitted for the Accident Prevention PRogram Manager for verification of course completion.
  8. PHASES II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, AND IX TRAINING REQUIREMENTS.
    1. Phase II. Twelve months after the date of meeting the final requirements for the Phase I award, a pilot may initiate action to qualify for the Phase II award. To qualify for the Phase II award, a pilot must repeat the same requirements as those stipulated for Phase I. The primary difference between pilot and flight instructor training requirements is that after completing Phase IV, he instructor no longer must wait 12 months before beginning the next phase.
    2. Phase III. Twelve months after the date of meeting the final requirements for the Phase II award, a pilot may initiate action to qualify for the Phase III award. To qualify for the Phase III award, a pilot must repeat the same requirements as those stipulated for Phase I
    3. Phase IV. Twelve months after the date of meeting the final requirements for the Phase III award, a pilot may initiate action to qualify for the Phase IV award. To qualify for the Phase IV award, a pilot must repeat the same requirements as those stipulated for Phase I.
    4. Phase V. Twelve months after the date of meeting the final requirements for the Phase IV award, a pilot may initiate action to qualify for the Phase V award. To qualify for the Phase V award, a pilot must not have been involved in an aircraft accident within the past 5 consecutive years in which he or she was determined to have been at fault, and must repeat the same requirements as those stipulated for Phase I.
    5. Phase VI. Twelve months after the date of meeting the final requirements for the Phase V award, a pilot may initiate action to qualify for the Phase VI award. To qualify for the Phase VI award, a pilot must not have been involved in an aircraft accident within the past 6 consecutive years in which he or she was determined to have been at fault, and must repeat the same requirements as those stipulated for Phase I.
    6. Phase VII. Twelve months after the date of meeting the final requirements for the Phase VI award, a pilot may initiate action to qualify for the Phase VII award. To qualify for the Phase VII award, a pilot must not have been involved in an aircraft accident within the past 7 consecutive years in which he or she was determined to have been at fault, and must repeat the same requirements as those stipulated for Phase I.
    7. Phase VIII. Twelve months after the date of meeting the final requirements for the Phase VII award, a pilot may initiate action to qualify for the Phase VIII award. To qualify for the Phase VIII award, a pilot must not have been involved in an aircraft accident within the past 8 consecutive years in which he or she was determined to have been at fault, and must repeat the same requirements as those stipulated for Phase I.
    8. Phase IX. Twelve months after the date of meeting the final requirements for the Phase VIII award, a pilot may initiate action to qualify for the Phase XI award. To qualify for the Phase IX award, a pilot must not have been involved in an aircraft accident within the past 9 consecutive years in which he or she was determined to have been at fault, and must repeat the same requirements as those stipulated for Phase I.
  9. PILOT PROFICIENCY AWARDS EARNED BY FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS.
    1. Phase I. Pilot Proficiency award wings may be earned by certificated flight instructors who provide the required instruction for completion of a phase of the Pilot Proficiency Award Program to three pilots (a minimum of 9 hours of instruction). To qualify for a Phase I wings award, an instructor must document the completion of the training he or she has given to at least three pilots, and attend or participate in an aviation safety seminar or clinic. The instruction given must be in accordance with paragraphs 7a, b, c, or d, as appropriate.
    2. Phases II & III. The completion of the required instruction for three additional pilots and attendance or participation in an additional aviation safety seminar or clinic is required to earn a Phase II award. An instructor may repeat the requirements stipulated for the Phase II award to earn a Phase III award.
    3. Phase IV. After completion of the Phase III requirements, Phase IV award wings may be earned by the successful completion of an evaluation or proficiency flight with a designated flight instructor examiner or an FAA operations inspector. The instructor need not wait 12 months after earning the Phase IV award to begin to earn the Phase V pilot proficiency award. Twelve months after the date of meeting the requirements for the Phase IV award, a certificated flight instructor may initiate action to qualify for the Phase V award.
    4. Phase V. To qualify for the Phase V award, a certificated flight instructor must not have been involved in an aircraft accident within the past 5 consecutive years in which he or she was determined to have been at fault. The same requirements as stated in paragraph 9c for the Phase IV award must also be repeated.
    5. Phase VI. To qualify for the Phase VI award, a certificated flight instructor must not have been involved in an aircraft accident within the past 6 consecutive years in which he or she was determined to have been at fault. The same requirements as stated in paragraph 9c for the Phase IV award must also be repeated.
    6. Phase VII. To qualify for the Phase VII award, a certificated flight instructor must not have been involved in an aircraft accident within the past 7 consecutive years in which he or she was determined to have been at fault. The same requirements as stated in paragraph 9c for the Phase IV award must also be repeated.
    7. Phase VIII. To qualify for the Phase VIII award, a certificated flight instructor must not have been involved in an aircraft accident within the past 8 consecutive years in which he or she was determined to have been at fault. The same requirements as stated in paragraph 9c for the Phase IV award must also be repeated.
    8. Phase IX. To qualify for the Phase IX award, a certificated flight instructor must not have been involved in an aircraft accident within the past 9 consecutive years in which he or she was determined to have been at fault. The same requirements as stated in paragraph 9c for the Phase IV award must also be repeated.
    9. Safety Meetings. Flight instructors must also attend or participate in at least one FAA-sponsored or FAA-sanctioned aviation safety seminar, attend an FAA-approved Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic, or attend a physiological training course as specified in paragraph 7f(3) to meet the requirements for each phase of the awards. Attendance must also be verified in the flight instructor's logbook or other proficiency record. This verification must be signed by an Accident Prevention Program Manager, other FAA personnel, or any Accident Prevention Counselor involved in conducting the above programs.
  10. AWARDING OF THE PILOT PROFICIENCY WINGS AND CERTIFICATE.
      Endorsement Verification. As pilots complete each step of the training outlined in paragraphs 7 and 8, whichever is appropriate, their logbook or other proficiency records must be endorsed by the persons who gave the instruction. That endorsement should read substantively as follows:

      Mr./Ms.__________, holder of pilot certificate no. __________, has satisfactorily completed the training requirements outlined in Advisory Circular 61-91F, paragraphs 7a, b, c, or d (state which).
      s/s M. Smith [date] 652472 CFI Exp. 7/31/92 Award of Pilot Proficiency Wings and Certificate. The pilot Proficiency Award certificate and the appropriate wings will be awarded after the pilot's logbook or other proficiency record is presented to the Accident Prevention Program Manager for verification of completion of training as stipulated in this AC.

    William C. Withycombe
    Acting Director, Flight Standards Service

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