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training aircraft cockpits

storchy neil

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Loads of folks love EFIS, and so do I... so long as it has a set of analogue instruments as backup.


When flying the Tecnam, which has both, I prefer to use the analogue instruments, and reset the EFIS to show the DGI as well as AH. I use this as a backup to the compass.


The big issue with the current EFIS, and I guess screen manufacturers are aware of this, is that its bloody hard to read when the suns shining..





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Stick with the tried and true old style instruments, because that is what you will find in most aircraft and when converting to a new type you will not want to be also coping with new instruments. Of course this will change as electronics get more common but so far I havn't seen a plane with all electronics except at air shows and I can't afford them!



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Guest pelorus32

This is a very interesting question. I think that there are two aspects to the answer:


  1. There is a growing view that the young people learning to fly today will probably end up flying behind glass as they progress. So learning behind glass is no bad thing. Think that the B744 has probably been in service for 20 years and that it is all glass. The first guys to fly those as captains would have learned to fly as early as the late 40s, probably the 50s; and
  2. Primacy is important. I fly an aircraft with a Dynon EFIS. I use it a lot but as someone else pointed out when doing an approach I use the old analogue gauge. I think there are two reasons for that. The first is that I learned on analogue gauges when I was young - primacy - when the pressure is on go back to what you know first. Secondly analogue gauges are easier to read quickly because the readout is positional and can be taken at a glance unlike the glass. Having said that my daughter flies the same aircraft and she knows nothing else but the EFIS - she thinks I'm mad when I say I use the round gauges.







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Guest browng

Gauges? we don't need no stinkin gauges......Six packs are for beer, gimme a high tech panel like this one! The white one is the ASI, the others are just there fill the extra holes in panel.




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hi all, some interesting comments. To add mine. I would prefer 'glass' if i was starting out today. i have never used them. except flight sim i prefer gauges of the american type with the ygr marks for reference. much quicker for the(my) brain to respond. I started flying with just a Hall disc tube type ASI on the ol Stolaeros.. nothing else. (not even brakes or steerable tailwheel). Sometimes the Hall just fell off or filled up with moisture and it jams.


Something to think about the first time it happened but no big deal really. Just learn to fly by power and attitude. A few hours later a high time glider pilot had been watching me slipping an a skidding around St Marys and taped a bit of stick and ribbon to the ol Hall. After a couple of hrs my flying had way improved. wish i could have said the same for my taxying and takeoff runs. It took many hours of practise before i could do a high speed tail up strip run with some confidence. quite a few times lift off was nowhere near the heading i started out on. but lots of hours later it was fun just to play with it up and down the strip hop from wheel to wheel put the tail wheel on and keep the mains off, then try and pull the t/w off without putting the mains down. tricky. taildragers, love them, instruments just enough for the mission.


how do you tell if a pilot flies taildragers? look at the soles of his shoes.





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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Flyer40

A lot has been written about transitioning to glass, I think an interesting question to round off the debate would be what's it like transitioning to gauges after learning on glass? Might be a while before anyone can answer that.


I'm a convert though and I seem to be good at stiring up the crusty traditionalists in this forum, so here goes....


After facing the usual challenges of getting used to a glass PFD (was going great until I tried a steep turn - those trend vectors didn't help at first) I've reached a level of familiarity where the "buttons and switches" as storchy put it are achieving what the designers intended, to reduce pilot workload. To answer your question storchy, the buttons are only a distraction until you learn them, then they make life a lot less distracting.


A recent trip to Coolangatta with lots of controlled airspace work really confirmed for me how much safer the modern cockpit is when you have some distance to cover. My situation awareness was up and workload was down. I had more time for looking out for traffic and arranging separation with other pilots was not something that had to be multi-tasked.


I was more in control yet more relaxed. My wife even commented on how easy it looked. It's true that you could become lazy behind a glass panel with auto pilot, but thats an airmanship issue it's not the fault of the technology. On the contrary, I have no doubt that the big display/GPS/autopilot combination is major safety enhancement for single pilot operations.


I'm not writing-off the gauges though. Glass would be unsuitable if not detrimental in stick and rudder aircraft like the Citabria. But when I've got somewhere to go, give me glass and an autopilot all the way.



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