Planehook Aviation Services, an aviation safety consulting firm, has announced that its online UAV flying safety training course, published on e-learning platform Opango, has been granted WINGS Program credit by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). WINGS is a pilot proficiency program developed by the FAA.

The course — Aeronautical Decision Making for Small UAS Operators — focuses on the unique aspects of flying aircraft from the ground up. “Those flying UAVs for commercial purposes receive an exemption from the U.S. Department of Transportation,” stated Dave Hook of Planehook Aviation Services. “Those UAV operators who are conducting for-profit unmanned flights are currently FAA-licensed pilots. Therefore, receiving WINGS credit for taking a UAV-specific safety course encourages fellow pilots to continue their safety education for this new form of civil aviation.”

Tom Allen, CEO of Opango, Incorporated, the online training partner with Planehook, is pleased with the flying community’s response. Allen stated, “Since launching the course in September, we’ve had a great response. As a pilot myself, it’s good to see the interest UAV flyers have in flying safely.” Opango is well known in aviation circles as a long-time provider of online aviation training.

“There are more UAV safety courses currently in development. We’ll get these courses online as quickly as we can. With the FAA predicting as many as one million new drones flying in the United States by the end of the upcoming holiday season, flying safely and sharing the skies responsibly will be of the utmost importance.”

Aeronautical Decision Making for sUAS Operators is the first of the online aerial drone safety courses available on Opango. The course takes a similar approach to teaching the systematic, risk-based methods for making good aeronautical decisions that pilots of manned aircraft learn. Licensed pilots who fly UAVs can now receive WINGS Program credit for continuing their flying safety education into the rapidly growing sector of unmanned civil aviation.