254 Begin glass cockpit training with Flight Safety Academy
A welcome added feature of AP254â€™s training is 3 hours flying a Cirrus SR20 from Air Safety flight academy based at 5 miles away at Glendale airport. Now this is one Gucci piece of kit! Basically the Cirrus has two large displays, an airbus style side stick, TCAS, a combined throttle/propeller pitch lever, even Satellite Radio so that you can listen to tunes on the go! This is all in place of the standard analogue instruments and controls, as you can see above.
The purpose of this extra course offered by OAT is to help us to understand what is like to fly an EFIS type aircraft, the type of aircraft that we can expect to fly one day (hopefully). If anyone gets the chance to fly a Cirrus it is really recommended, itâ€™s a great weekend of flying for pleasure but you learn a great deal. There are pictures in the gallery and we have also made a video of Kev and Pandaâ€™s glass cockpit weekend, which you can view, or download, below:
Dailymotion blogged video
You can download this video, courtesy of pilotmonkey productions (available for Birthdays, Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs), here (50mb)
The Saturday of the course is taken up with 1.5 hour classroom session where the systems of the aircraft are explained so that the jump from Warriors to the 21st century is lessened. Then you and your flying partner go out with your Flight Safety flying instructor for a 1.5 hour flight each, where one does general handling to get the feel of the aircraft and start to play with the very capable autopilot. The autopilot is great to use, you can climb and descend at various rates, manually input headings, fly flight plans, instrument approaches and it makes you feel as though you are flying a mini airliner.
The Sunday is taken up by a great cross country flight to Lake Havasu City about 150 miles away to the West and that is the best part. The autopilot really comes into its own, one can plug in a flight plan into the GPS and then one has to engage the autopilot and off you go! About the only thing that you have to do is monitor the route and adjust the throttle, the engine performance page on the aircraft even allows you to adjust the mixture from best power to best fuel economy electronically!
Many thanks must go to all at Flight Safety Academy and especially Justin Gossard for their great instruction and making it a hugely enjoyable weekend!