Transition to Glass Cockpit

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Transition to Glass Cockpit

Category : General

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Transition to Glass Cockpit

By Ofonime Essien


As a pilot in transition training from the traditional world of “steam gauges” to the new all-glass generation of aircraft, I thought I would start a thread here to discuss this with others.

If you have experience with learning any of the new systems, please post here what you have found to be your areas of adjustment and so forth.

I know that many flight instructors already say that one big problem is getting the head of the VFR pilot back outside as the panels are really eye-catching, and information overload can be a factor too. While those are valid considerations, I’d like to go beyond that in our discussions here so each of our experiences can benefit those that will come after us.

I’ll pony up with my first “gotchas” with this transition experience.

1) Don’t take anything for granted even if it’s the “same” plane but now with a glass cockpit. The preflight procedures can, and likely WILL change. I found quite a few differences between the C-172SP “steam gauge” versus the C-172SP G-1000, for instance. Exterior preflight is the same, but once inside, the similarities ended. Even the engine start procedure was slightly different, and we are talking about the difference in model years from 2004 traditional SP to 2005 G-1000 SP!

2) Keeping the flight co-ordinated. The visual cueing provided by the trapezoid takes some getting used to versus the old style Turn Coordinator, which one can keep a peripheral eye on more easily (in my humble opinion). I would prefer to see the trapezoid color shifted and maybe trend-line ghosted for easier visual pickup without having to focus so intently on the trapezoid shape.

3) Training the eyes and brain to pick the information out on runway rollout during takeoff to make sure everything is “in the green” takes much more attention. I’m sure this too will ease with experience and having my eyes learn to pick things out more intuitively, but right now it’s still an interpretation lag-time greater than with the old style gauges… at least for me.

I’m still working on my checkout, so I don’t have a lot more to add to this just yet, but they are my observations from my first two flights in the G-1000 equipped C-172SP (now totally about 3.1 hours of actual in-flight experience in the new cockpit so far for me).
I’m looking forward to hearing other people’s experiences, and the p.o.v. of instructors giving such training and what they went through during their transitions, and what they are seeing in students and experienced pilots doing these transitions.
Source: Flying Magazine

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About Author

Ofonime Essien

Mr. Ofonime A. Essien, is a Helicopter Pilot. He is also a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), a Computer Forensics Expert, a Blogger, Web Master, a Writer and an Entrepreneur. He is an avid reader. He likes motivating others to achieve their dreams through writing and speaking.



September 10, 2015 at 8:22 am

Nice job .. Mr ofon, good to know there are airmen out there who think beyond the pay, and talk about the passion and art of flying.. I chose to call flying a type of art done wif precision ..rotary wing training is nigeria Is still unrecognized as alot of guys go abroad ie south Africa and the US to get quality training, but then I believe we have good instructors here.. I would like to know if the flight school in enugu trains strictly military officers..there is a huge need for a standard state of the art rotary wing training school..if the government could only invest more in the aviation sector, over time I believe it could be a source of revenue besides oil..

    Ofonime Essien

    September 15, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Thank you so much, Mr. Olise. Am sorry for not replying immediately.The flight school in Enugu – International Helicopter Flying School (IHFS) is a civil school.It trains both military officers and civilians. The school uses four (4) Robinson 66 Turbine Helicopters and one (1) FLYIT Simulator for training. The school is working on starting fixed wing training soon.

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