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Glass cockpit aircraft more likely to have accidents which are fatal?

From US AOPA magazine

They don’t give references to the studies, however.

There could be multiple reasons for such a correlation.

EDIT: the two documents are linked in Post 65

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Certainly, there is a subsection of 6 pack aircraft that will be used for aerobatics and short fly around pleasure flights. Another obvious point is that 6 pack airplanes as a group would have a higher average age compared to glass cockpit so that could also be a factor. It would be good to get the actual statistics from the studies mentioned as statements like “proportionally fewer total accidents” could mean many things.

EGKB Biggin Hill London

I would say that this is just another (mathematically meaningless) statistics drawn from a very small number of samples. Let’s talk about this again in ten or twenty years…

EDDS - Stuttgart

I can believe that a glass cockpit might throw the pilot into deeper water because as the amount of sh*t hitting the fan increases (in some progressively worsening critical situation) one’s attention span becomes narrower and narrower, eventually leading to an exclusion of many peripheral cues, and leading to a focus on one or a very few inputs.

This is normal behaviour and is how it should be. The key thing is that the exclusion process excludes stuff which is genuinely less important than what remains.

And if you look at say a G1000, you see a screen covered in information, most of which ranks roughly equally. A lot of it is small text which needs extra brain power to interpret. So when you are forced to start excluding some stuff in a progressive crisis scenario, it’s not obvious which to retain within your attention span.

Whereas with simple avionics it is easy to focus on the AI and the ASI, for example, and this is not only easily taught but is easily retained even when way out of currency.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

In my experience after the initial problems changing over the glass cockpit is much easier to fly. Just take the almost 30 cm wide AI indicator of the Garmin or Avidyne PFD that shows the smalles deviation from straight and level … or the route display inside the HSI combined with a very capable and precise Flight Director. Hand Flying in IMC is so much easier, cannot even be compared. Andf you have all information right in front of you, and what’s most important, you don’t have to “interprete” anything like with a traditional HSI … its all right there in froint of you!

If the whole “cinema” fails, you have mechanical standby instruments of the same size as in a traditional airplane.

The only explanation I have is that modern glass cockpit airplanes are flown on lomg routes and in hard IFR much more than old airplanes, especially the ones with old avionics.

Last Edited by at 18 Dec 17:02

That’s a piss poor article – raises more questions than it answers …

FAA A&P/IA
LFPN

Bit of a misleading title really…..‘an accident in a glass cockpit aircraft is more likely to be fatal?’ Would be fairer!

EFIS like Garmin 1000 is magnitudes better in ease of use and capability than old dials. IR pass rates on Garmin equipped machines are leagues higher than gauge equipped machines. I think like many technologies the issue is that it can breed over confidence and people get into situation that are more difficult to get out of.

FI - FE - FICI
Oxfordshire / Glocs

Balliol wrote:

magnitudes better in ease of use and capability than old dials

In what respect?

When I see how many club members struggle to set the QNH or the squawk while they didn’t have any problem to do that in an old round dial cockpit, I fail to see how a G1000 has magnitude better ease of use…

LSZK, Switzerland

When I see how many club members struggle to set the QNH or the squawk while they didn’t have any problem to do that in an old round dial cockpit, I fail to see how a G1000 has magnitude better ease of use…

Sorry, but you cannot be serious. I cannot take a licenced pilot serious who does not have enough interest in flying a high-tech equipped airplane to learn how to set the QNH … which is so simple that it is beyond words. Like anything in aviation you have to learn how to use it. But the main features, necessary for VFR, are so simple I can teach them to anybody in 5 minutes.

Bit of a misleading title really…..‘an accident in a glass cockpit aircraft is more likely to be fatal?’ Would be fairer!

Fixed

That’s a piss poor article – raises more questions than it answers …

Food for thought, however. If someone published a 1000-page study, nobody would read it.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
83 Posts
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