Just a couple of years ago, the typical flight school airplane was using technologies that have changed very little since the 1950s. Even newly manufactured airplanes still had the standard six pack mechanical instruments. However, this changed dramatically when systems such as the Garmin 1000 and Avidyne Entegra quickly took over the General Aviation market. Today, you can find Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) with sophisticated glass cockpit avionics almost everywhere.
In the future, we can expect to see fewer “standard” six pack panels and more TAAs as they become the new standard. Glass cockpit panels have many advantages over the old standard. They provide a superb level of situational awareness by showing moving maps with different levels of clutter, weather info, advanced engine monitoring, traffic information and more.
However, with a greater level of sophistication comes a steeper learning curve. A student pilot training for his initial private pilot license already has a lot to learn without the complex systems that TAAs have. Any flight instructor knows how much work it takes to bring a student from zero experience to checkride-ready. Flight training for an initial private pilot license is demanding enough by itself. Adding a glass cockpit to the picture makes initial flight training a lot more difficult. A whole new way of training has to be adopted in order to prepare students for an initial private pilot checkride on a Technically Advanced Aircraft.
The book “21st Century Flight Training: General Aviation Manual for Primary Flight Training in the New Millennium” by Sean Lane deals with this increasingly common problem. The book covers the new challenges that pilots and flight instructors face with today as a result of technological advances of aircraft hardware, software and infrastructure. The author introduces a new model for flight training, called Integrated Sensory Flying (ISF) and explains all flight maneuvers for every checkride from private pilot to flight instructor in great detail using this approach. The book also discusses important concepts such as how to improve your learning of flight maneuvers and procedures, Aeronautical Decision Making, task prioritization and more. This book will help anyone studying for a checkride, not only on technically advanced aircraft but also on older ones. I highly recommend it if you are a flight instructor or a pilot in training for any certificate level.