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

Presumably glass cockpit aircraft that have been involved with fatal accidents have higher kinetic energy, so this study may be the usual apples and oranges statistical mash up.

Also lack of proper training in autopilot procedures and fault recognition, and troubleshooting, seems a more likely culprit than not understanding a G1000 display. Most glass cockpit differences training appears to focus on the colour of the live frequency display, and leaves fundamentals on the Autopilot out, or as an afterthought.

The US flight test standards philosophy that if a piece of equipment is installed the PIC has to demonstrate competence, both in the oral and practical, would be useful in Europe.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

people haven’t evolved their training methods and delivery to integrate the new technology. It is the same total disinformation that persists about use of GPS and whizz wheels during PPL training that some schools perpetuate because they can’t be a**ed to evolve!

Yes – IMHO that’s basically the issue.

The US scene has largely solved it, but they had big drivers:

  • the schools wanted to upgrade their fleets, and
  • the examiner doing the checkride is entitled to require the demonstration of everything installed

Europe has the first one (in theory, anyway; not everyone agrees) but the second one would cause havoc (well, in the short term, but short term is what is most visible). I discussed this with one CAA head of licensing and he wasn’t very keen on it.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

It’s even more simple than that:

All pilots who have modern glass cockpit avionics on board of their private plane, learn to love it and after one year they cannot imagine going back. When I flew my other plane (Warrior) again after the first year of Cirrus the analog instruments actually confused me, although I had flown that plane alone about 1200 hours, VFR and a little IFR, all across Europe.

The other party are the pilots who do NOT have glass cockpits, yet. For some reason unknown to me they are highly sceptical and try to find all kinds of arguments against the new technologies, and they say they don’t need any of that stuff. Digital autopilots with ESP, precise Flight Directors and features normally only found on jets, synthetic vision, integrated wind and TAS … I hear it all the time that real pilots don’t need that stuff, or actually, I READ it, becasue i don’t spend any time in airport bars (;-))

My point: I am glad that these new technologies exist, and I not only find them helpful, I enjoy them (the more important reason). I am also sure that prices will go down and that there will be more certified and affordable glass cockpits in the future.

Last Edited by Flyer59 at 20 Dec 10:57

All pilots who have modern glass cockpit avionics on board of their private plane, learn to love it and after one year they cannot imagine going back. When I flew my other plane (Warrior) again after the first year of Cirrus the analog instruments actually confused me, although I had flown that plane alone about 1200 hours, VFR and a little IFR, all across Europe.
The other party are the pilots who do NOT have glass cockpits, yet. For some reason unknown to me they are highly sceptical and try to find all kinds of arguments against the new technologies, and they say they don’t need any of that stuff. Digital autopilots with ESP, precice Flight Directors and features normally only found on jets, synthetic vision, integrated wind and TAS … I hear it all the time that real pilots don’t need that stuff, or actually, I READ it, becasue i don’t spend any time in airport bars (;-))

The third party are those who fly low hours, or who rent…

Avionics systems are often not trivial. Witness the countless debates here by SR22 and similar aircraft owners on ILS v. LPV etc etc.

I hear it all the time that real pilots don’t need that stuff

Has anyone written that here?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

But can’t those rent whatever they need or are competent enough to fly? At the moment the rental fleet is probably 95:5 in favour of “old avionics”.

No, absolutely not trivial! But we also tend to make things much more complicated than they are. And, at least to me, if it was “trivial” and “anybody could do it”, it would lose some fascination for me. Why should i ivest that much money into something that bores me? ;-) I love the challenge to understand that stuff better

LPV: Once a pilot has understood LNAV/VNAV, LPV, … they are much more simple and easier to fly for amateurs than an ILS. Which in the context of IFR flying means safer. That was my main motivation to install WAAS navigators.

Last Edited by Flyer59 at 20 Dec 11:02

O wise ones what is this glass cockpit you talk of….

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

I see a lot of glass there :-)
Would I want a glass cockpit in a J3C? No. It’s perfect as it is.

Flyer59 wrote:

But first of all you will not get insurance for an SR22 without the training

This may be true in the USA, but not in Europe. When I bought an SR22 a few months ago the insurer didn’t even ask if I intended to do the Cirrus transition training, even less require it as a condition of the insurance. (But I did do it, nevertheless )

IMHO the real problem with glass cockpits is nothing to do with them being glass. The flight instruments are a combination of (a) PFD/MFD (b) GPS and (c) autopilot. It’s the interaction between them and the inevitable WTF… moments. Plus the fact that there are so many variants and hidden gotchas. If the FAA and EASA were to do something really useful it would be to require (for certification) a standardised set of interactions between these cockpit elements. None of us would be impressed if, after owning a Ford, our next car was a Toyota and the clutch/brake/accelerator pedals were ina different configuration. But with aircraft it’s always like that.

There is an understandable reluctance by a pilot who has invested heavily in these gadgets to develop a mindset that admits that there are times when it is actually easier to fly the plane without the gadgets than with them. Ignoring that and getting behind the plane is the most likely thing to cause a fatal accident.

As an example, just recently (in the SR22) I was flying an ILS. I’d been left high by ATC, asked to descend very quickly for traffic separation and vectored very close to the localiser. Lots going on in the cockpit. Autopilot didn’t intercept the localiser. WTF! But I decided just to disconnect the autopilot and hand fly the rest of the ILS. Work out later what was wrong. As I was coming down the glideslope I glanced again at the autopilot. Obvious what was wrong – with lots going on I’d just not pressed APR, so the autopilot continued happily on the intercept HDG. But it’s only obvious once you’ve spotted it. When the WTF moment occurs, that’s the time to downgrade the automation.

TJ
Cambridge EGSC

This may be true in the USA, but not in Europe. When I bought an SR22 a few months ago the insurer didn’t even ask if I intended to do the Cirrus transition training, even less require it as a condition of the insurance.

I hear that stuff too, sometimes. But if you want a good deal with an insurance the Cirrus Standardized Training Syllabus is a good start. My insurance knew me for 20 + years and did ask about it.

((You don’t use HDG+NAV to intercept the Localizer?))

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