July 1, 2020
You have just had your old airplane updated with some new electronics. The availability is endless for general aviation airplanes, as is the cost. You want to update and expect it will make your life easy when you are flying VFR or IFR right? How much training are you going to get before you jump in and take off? If you are going IFR, you could get into trouble if you are not comfortable with the new equipment and how to set it up.
As a CFII, I see people get the latest updates and normally a few hours on them to make sure they are operating them correctly is enough. But if you are one of those people that doesn’t like training, you should reconsider.
Imagine you just got rid of the steam gauges and put in that nice Garmin glass panel. Can you set up the approach or the course? How do the radios work and can I switch frequencies? How do I tell what the other screens are? When you are flying is not the time to figure this out!
I will get people that I fly with operating just a Garmin 430 or 530 that have never known how to enter a flight plan or get airport information such as frequencies or runway length.
Operating your aircraft is a task that takes constant training and updating. New things require more so don’t allow yourself to be caught not understanding what’s available in your new electronics before you need it. Ask yourself how long since I have flown the plane?
If you are flying the G1000 and have not been up in a few months you may feel very uncomfortable for the first 15 or 20 minutes of flight as the knowledge that you had will fade very fast. Maybe attend an FAA safety seminar on it or contact a CFI for some dual. Also, a great opportunity to get enrolled in the wings program and open the door to online seminars and training that may help you out.
AOPA videos online may help you with many topics. Getting credit for your training with wings program is worth it if you are doing training and the AOPA training transfers to wings credit and that also helps towards a biennial flight review.
Be safe and enjoy the privilege of flying that we have as pilots. It’s easy to take it for granted.