Here is the full press release:

BOSTON – August 16, 2020 – Are you looking for more information about flying VFR through complex American airspace? Want tips on speaking with air traffic control? Looking for guidance on flying full approaches, holds, and other complex IFR procedures? Want to know more about RNAV? Starting today, members of Boston Virtual ARTCC on VATSIM can learn all about these topics and more, for free, with Wings Over New England (WINGS)!

WINGS is designed to help teach pilots how to safely operate within the U.S. air traffic system. From VFR closed traffic at Nantucket (KACK), a back course instrument approach at New Bedford (KEWB), airline operations at Boston (KBOS), and RNAV approaches in the Adirondack Mountains (at KSLK), WINGS will take pilots on a scenic journey across the northeastern United States while offering engaging, self-paced learning along the way.

The program is designed for pilots who already know how to fly their aircraft; it won’t cover flying skills like using flaps or making turns. Instead, it addresses skills that apply to online flying in both VFR and IFR environments, making the most of what an at-home flight simulator can teach. It includes structured, self-guided training lessons that do not rely directly on an instructor, allowing pilots to learn at their own pace and in a comfortable environment.

WINGS is comprised of 30 flights, each of which must be flown online in the New England area of VATSIM, when virtual air traffic control is available. Every flight contains a series of tasks. During the flight, air traffic control monitors progress to ensure each of the tasks is completed correctly. If a pilot successfully meets the standards, a rating is issued and the pilot progresses to the next flight. Pilots can choose to complete all 30 flights in sequence or focus on specific subsets like “I’m new to online flying”, “I want to learn about VFR operations”, or “give me an intro to RNAV”. 

To participate in the program, pilots must complete a free application to join Boston Virtual ARTCC and fly each flight online with VATSIM, the international online flying network. Once approved for membership, flights can be completed any time air traffic control is online in the Boston Center (ZBW) area of VATSIM. A schedule with expected air traffic control coverage is posted at (For pilots new to online flying, BVA also provides a step-by-step set of instructions to help members get started.)

Pilots can fly WINGS using any aircraft, provided they can meet the standards for the applicable flight. While a slower, piston or turboprop is recommended, private jets and even airliners are welcome too. The first half of the program specifically covers “low and slow” General Aviation operations like VFR pattern entries, helicopter and Class B transition routes, and visual navigation. The entire program is flyable with conventional navigation (i.e., VORs only), though pilots that have RNAV capability will gain more from the later flights.

For more information, instructions on how to get started, and a link to join Boston Virtual ARTCC, visit

About Boston Virtual ARTCC

Boston Virtual ARTCC is an online community of pilots and air traffic controllers operating in the Boston ARTCC on VATSIM. Boston Virtual ARTCC’s numerous community-based and self-study programs help foster an environment where everyone is willing to learn and happy to help. The community is run entirely by volunteers and supported by donations. Membership is free, by application. Visit to find out more.


The Virtual Air Traffic Simulation Network (VATSIM) is a free global flight simulation network and community where users of Microsoft Flight Simulator, Prepar3D, and X-Plane can fly together and interact with virtual air traffic controllers. All flight simulator enthusiasts looking to add realism to their flight simulator experience are welcome to join VATSIM by creating a free account at