Pilot Proficiency Center Sets Focus for Oshkosh 2024 Training

In four-hour workshops held during EAA AirVenture, flight instructors help pilots create their own customized proficiency plan.

PPC flight instructors will work with pilots to determine where their soft spots are and how to address them. [Courtesy: Meg Godlewski]

There's a big difference between being aircraft "current" and aircraft "proficient." The FAA provides the metrics for currency, but proficiency is a very personal thing. 

Pilots visiting the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, next month can explore what it means to them at the organization's Pilot Proficiency Center (PPC).

The PPC, which is adjacent to the EAA Museum, is a learning center equipped with Redbird Flight Simulation advanced aviation training devices (AATDs). During AirVenture it will be staffed with experienced instructors who will provide seminars and hands-on learning to put a pilot through their paces. The idea is to identify weak spots in performance and give the pilot the tools they need to achieve proficiency on a regular basis. 

'Hands-On, Minds-On'

This year the PPC promotes contents inspired by aviation educator Rich Stowell's book, The Nine Principles of Light Airplane Flying, as delivered in Community Aviation’s Learn-To-Fly framework.

“We’re creating a dynamic atmosphere at the PPC that fosters discussion and a flow of ideas," said Community Aviation president Billy Winburn.

To make this happen the PPC is bringing in experienced flight instructors known in the industry for their dedication to aviation education to lead "hands-on, minds-on" activities.

Each session will be structured as half-day, four-hour workshops consisting of a briefing, interactive discussion, activity and simulator labs, and debriefing periods.

The training does not end when the participants go home. During AirVenture, surveys will be taken as part of a research project spearheaded by Central Washington University’s aviation program.

Researchers want to answer at least two questions: Did participating in the experiment change how pilots approach their flying? And did it change the way instructors teach? The results will appear in a documentary-style video to be produced by Community Aviation.

The experiment in optimal learning will run July 22-26 at the EAA Pilot Proficiency Center.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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