For those who fly aircraft with traditional panels - steam gauges and maybe a GPS - transitioning to a glass cockpit can seem overwhelming at first. You'll be learning to punch virtual buttons and switch screens on multifunction displays to pull up the information you need like weather and traffic information, moving map, or instrument approaches. Even your checklist will be computerized (you might feel like you'll need a paper checklist just to help you complete it). But all of these enhancements are designed to make flying safer and more efficient with proper training.
To help prevent the glass cockpit-induced glazed look that many pilots get, AOPA has updated its "Glass Cockpit Technology" subject report to include the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Technically Advanced Aircraft Safety and Training Special Report and AOPA President Phil Boyer's column "President's Position: ADS-B" from the January 2006 AOPA Pilot. The information will help you better understand the new technology being installed on many personal and rental GA aircraft.
"Think back to your very first flight in an aircraft - remember how overwhelming that instrument panel was? Your first flight with a technologically advanced panel may leave you with the same feeling," said Woody Cahall, AOPA vice president of aviation services. "But just as you did with your primary training, keep with it, and flying an aircraft with a glass cockpit will become natural."
February 27, 2006