Pilotwings takes place in a series of training areas called the "Flight Club". The player's objective is to pass each training area and earn licenses based on the difficulty of the courses. Each area features events, which may be played in any order. In these events, the player controls one of four aerial vehicles and must complete a task (usually flying through floating markers) within a time limit. Upon completing or failing an objective, the player earns points and receives comments from the instructors. Points are awarded based on criteria such as the time taken to complete the event, the accuracy of the landing, and the completion of certain tasks, such as flying through colored rings or orbs. To pass a training area, the combined scores from each event must exceed a certain threshold. Each training area can be replayed if necessary, and passwords allow players to save their progress.