Your First Glass

A successful transition from steam gauges to glass demands some formal training with your new gear. 

A successful transition from steam gauges to glass demands some formal training with your new gear. 
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  1. JEB:

    I enjoyed your article, “Your First Glass,” in your January issue. I bought a new Cirrus SR22 G2 18 years ago with an Avidyne glass panel. At that time, I had nearly 800 hours of flight experience with commercial and instrument ratings. I had flown many hours in actual IMC and was current with my instrument rating. Nevertheless, it took me nearly 20 hours to become comfortable with the digital displays and with what you rightly referred to as “the buttonology” of the new panel.

    After four years and several hundred hours of flying behind the original Avidyne panel with Garmin 430 navigators, I upgraded to an Avidyne R9 system. Again, even with hundreds of hours in the airplane, it took me hours of flying with a Cirrus CSIP instructor to become comfortable with the new avionics.

    The Avidyne R9 system, similar to many other TAA panels, offers synthetic vision on the PFD. In my opinion, this is a mixed blessing. With the runway and the runway environment clearly depicted on the PFD in front of you, it is very tempting to continue an approach below instrument minimums. ForeFlight on my iPad also displays a digital depiction of the runway. I suppose this would be useful in an emergency situation when all the aircraft instruments failed, but I also believe that it is dangerously tempting to use it to go “just another 100 or 200 feet below minimums” with the airport clearly depicted on the digital screen. I caution my instrument students about this temptation.

    Thanks for an excellent article and your publication that always addresses key issues for our continued safe flying.

    Blue skies,

    Victor Vogel, MD, CFII, IGI


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