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Evan Reiter

BVA Launches Wings Over New England, a Comprehensive Self-Paced Pilot Training Program

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We are excited to announce that Wings Over New England (WINGS), Boston Virtual ARTCC's self-paced pilot training program, is now live! WINGS is designed to help teach pilots fundamental skills about operating their aircraft within the air traffic system. From VFR closed traffic at Nantucket to a back course instrument approach at New Bedford to RNAV approaches in the Adirondack Mountains, WINGS will take pilots across the New England airspace while offering engaging, self-paced learning. 

 

WINGS is the next chapter for our Pilot Ratings Program, which has seen more than 500 pilots complete at least one flight in its 6-year history. WINGS is not affiliated with the VATSIM Pilot Training Department and will not qualify pilots for VATSIM's P-ratings.

 

As part of the release, BVA has:

  • Reviewed and significantly re-written every existing PRP flight, adding new images, links to resources, and videos. 
  • Re-branded and re-designed the pages, making the training material significantly easier to read.
  • Designed the flights to take advantage of add-on scenery products to provide users of add-on scenery with a great visual experience.
  • Added specific "tracks" for pilots who may not want to complete the entire program; now, you can fly specific series of targeted flights for VFR Flying, Airline Flying, Complex IFR Procedures, and RNAV.
  • Moved three of the existing flights to new airports, removing DME arcs and NDB-based navigation from the program in favor of current/real-world procedures and more true-to-life complex IFR scenarios.
  • Significantly improved the descriptions for complex IFR procedures like holds, procedure turns, and ODPs.
  • In the four new IFR flights, introduced concepts including along-track waypoint creation, weather deviations, simulated failures, special use airspace, FBO locations, EFBs, PIREPs, and contact approaches to the training materials.

An entirely free program, WINGS helps teach members skills that can be used for online flying in VFR and IFR environments, making the most of what an at-home flight simulator can teach you. It includes structured, self-guided training lessons that do not rely directly on an instructor or mentor, allowing pilots to learn at their own pace and in a comfortable environment.

 

The program is comprised of 30 flights, each of which contain a series of tasks. Each flight is flown under the watchful eyes of BVA's air traffic controllers, who monitor your progress to ensure each of the tasks for that flight is completed correctly. If the controller determines you successfully meet the criteria for a flight, you achieve that rating. Any BVA member can take part in the program and achieve the corresponding ratings while ATC is online.

 

If you have previously flown our Pilot Ratings Program, find out what's changed


If you are new to WINGS and want to learn more about the program, visit www.bvartcc.com/wings!

 

Over the past several hours, we have been busy updating our many website pages that referenced the Pilot Ratings Program. If you find any outdated references to PRP on website pages, broken links, or identify any content errors in the new program, please use this thread to report them.

 

BVA is extremely grateful to the members who volunteered their time to help make this release possible. This included:

  • Creation of the "WINGS" logo and branding: Jeff Vlahos
  • Content reviewers:
    • Joel Kraft
    • Jonathan Halverson
    • Mark Rehnborg
    • Sharath Mahadevan
  • Screenshot contributors: 
    • Bradley Clinton
    • John Canavan
    • Mark Emery
    • Mateo Rodriguez 
    • Matthew Medeiros
    • Riley Shannon
    • Wil Tucker
  • Members who provided feedback as the program was being developed

(The danger with making a list like this is someone can get missed. Please, please, if I've forgotten your name, reach out to me so I can edit this post!)

 

Members are welcome to begin operating WINGS flights immediately. We hope you find the program to be a great addition to your online flying and welcome any feedback you have as you begin a journey throughout the beautiful New England region.


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Evan Reiter

Community Manager
Administration Team

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Deep respect for the amount of effort put into this. Thank you one and all. I look forward to tucking into the material and becoming a better pilot. I've already had an 'oh that's how that fits together, I never realised that' moment, and thats just skimming through one IFR flight supporting material.

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Folks!!  Really nice job getting this together, especially with the deadline getting pulled forward. Great updates to the program, the presentation, and even the navigation of the whole site.

 

Cheers!

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About Boston Virtual ARTCC

We are a free, immersive, and realistic air traffic control community for pilots and aviation enthusiasts. We provide air traffic control within the Boston ARTCC on VATSIM. We are not affiliated with the FAA, or the real-world Boston Center facility.

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