January 26, 2010
By Ian J. Twombly
Western Michigan University’s (WMU) aviation program has selected the Avidyne Entegra Release 9 integrated avionics package for its fleet of Cirrus SR20 aircraft, the avionics manufacturer announced Jan. 25. WMU’s fleet of 26 aircraft will feature dual displays, the WAAS-capable flight management system, and the datalink weather.
David Powell, dean of WMU’s College of Aviation, said, “We are fully committed to Avidyne, and Release 9’s fantastic FMS capabilities make it especially valuable for training tomorrow’s corporate and air transport pilots.”
Powell says that the college’s goal is to train future commercial pilots, so the transition between general aviation airplanes and the more complex transport-category aircraft must be as seamless as possible. “We try to equip our general aviation Cirrus fleet so that they are configured as much as possible like the commercial cockpits our students will use in the future,” he said.
WMU is one of the few in the country that uses Cirrus aircraft for training, and the advanced airplane coupled with the FMS-equipped R9 means the cockpits are highly integrated.
Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
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