The Garmin G1000 system has revolutionized the cockpits of aircraft it is installed in. It adds phenomenal technological innovations that improve pilot situational awareness. Glass cockpits have now become standard equipment on new aircraft. Satellite datalink weather now assists in-flight decision-making, diversion planning, and all other phases of flight. Digital autopilots on Skyhawks now rival those found on the commercial airlines. NDBs and VORs have faded out of the spotlight as GPS and WAAS technology take over as the navigation source of choice. Moving maps and iPads have replaced the traditional paper charts, plotters and E6Bs. To some pilots, “partial panel” means they lost their XM radio and have to revert to their backup iPad.
However, with all the new capabilities comes complexity. New cockpit technology increases safety and increases flying capabilities, ONLY if the pilot knows how to use the new systems and technologies. Unfortunately, the technology can also create distractions and cause pilots to fumble around with knobs wondering, “How do I do that again?” Reading manuals and figuring it out on the go is one way to learn. The trouble with that is, manuals were mostly written by tech writers, with lawyer input, and they aren’t exactly easy to understand. They certainly aren’t the most efficient way to learn.
Aspen Flying Club routinely hosts a “Basic G1000” course and an “Advanced G1000” course. These ground school classes cover everything from the fundamentals to the most advanced features of the G1000 system. These classes are FREE to Aspen Flying Club members and just $20 for non-members. This is an excellent way to get an introduction to glass cockpit technology by spending little to no money.
Following the ground courses, students are encouraged to schedule one of Aspen’s G1000 equipped aircraft or the Redbird simulator and a qualified CFI, to put the ground knowledge to use.