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  1. #1
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    Default Glass Cockpit or Steam Gauges for PPL?

    My boy will embark shortly on what will hopefully become a career in aviation (long ways and many many ZAR to go on that one - will see how it develops). We are in the final stages of selecting a flight school (Virginia) for his PPL.

    So, the question.

    Glass Cockpit or Steam Gauges for PPL?

    What say you clever avaitors?

    We are strongly leaning towards Glass Cockpit as we believe this to be the future.
    Jaco Nell

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Glass Cockpit or Steam Gauges for PPL?

    No doubt the future is glass, however for PPL my view is that focus should be on the basics. Learning to fly & navigate without those aids is important and could literally be lifesaver.
    PPL is the foundation, Id select the school based on the quality of the instructors, not the amount glass on offer. For younger folks switching to glass later should be a very easy & natural progression.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Glass Cockpit or Steam Gauges for PPL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig McK View Post
    No doubt the future is glass, however for PPL my view is that focus should be on the basics. Learning to fly & navigate without those aids is important and could literally be lifesaver.
    PPL is the foundation, Id select the school based on the quality of the instructors, not the amount glass on offer. For younger folks switching to glass later should be a very easy & natural progression.
    Totally agreed. A basic, basic flying skill you cannot really learn on glass is to scan properly. A proper, structured scan of instruments could have saved many lives. If all else fails in instrument flying conditions, if only you keep the AH upright you have more than a fair chance, but letting your eyes flit from one instrument to the next is a short step away from losing control. Steam driven instruments are best for teaching the basics of an instrument scan, which you will use even on glass. It's like learning to drive on an auto or manual gearbox, except in a car you can stop next to the road.

    Lastly, do the night flying rating early so for hour building you can do lots of night flying at an airfield with clear terrain, a good aeroplane and with more than half moon. Many first flying jobs are in the contract world where they seldom if ever do night flying. I have met lots of youngsters who can't do ATPL because they are short on night hours.

    Best of luck, and have a look at https://www.faa.gov/regulations_poli...nuals/aviation - lots of good stuff there for free.
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Glass Cockpit or Steam Gauges for PPL?

    Try and get him to go gliding. There, he will learn to FLY properly, using his eyes and his noggin to keep afloat by reading the weather, wind, topography etc.
    Cheers,
    John Kilfoil

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    Default Re: Glass Cockpit or Steam Gauges for PPL?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnoK View Post
    Try and get him to go gliding. There, he will learn to FLY properly, using his eyes and his noggin to keep afloat by reading the weather, wind, topography etc.
    Yes, even with no instruments at times

  9. #6
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    Default Re: Glass Cockpit or Steam Gauges for PPL?

    To build solid pilot skills, learning the fundamentals in a no gyro tail wheel aircraft with some glider time would be my recommendation to start out with, or if the desire is to learn to be a systems manager to fly in the airlines, learn in a glass cockpit with over-reliance on autopilot from the start…

    Nearly all my flying as a freight dog was single pilot with no glass, GPS, or deice boots, but with an ADF to listen to music

    Two other bits of advice I can give is to learn “Captain Skills” in a two pilot crew environment early in training, that was the biggest difficulty I faced transitioning into the airline environment after flying single pilot for years…

    …and learn how to actually know how to navigate, plan, and make cross country flights, too many of my transitioning students to instrument/commercial training had built up plenty flight time with local flights, but couldn’t plan/fly a 250 mile cross country flight.
    Last edited by AardvarkNV; 2022/07/29 at 02:37 PM.
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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Glass Cockpit or Steam Gauges for PPL?

    As a non aviator, can someone kindly explain what is meant by the glass cockpit vs steam gauges comparison?

    Thanks
    Last edited by Francois Theron; 2022/07/29 at 02:05 PM.
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  12. #8
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    Default Re: Glass Cockpit or Steam Gauges for PPL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Francois Theron View Post
    As a non aviator, can someone kindly explain what is meant by the glass cockpit vs steam gauges comparison?

    Thanks

    Me thinks its modern computer screens vs old school analogue gauges in a plane's cockpit.
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  13. #9
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    Default Re: Glass Cockpit or Steam Gauges for PPL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Francois Theron View Post
    As a non aviator, can someone kindly explain what is meant by the glass cockpit vs steam gauges comparison?

    Thanks
    This is how I would describe it…

    ”Steam” refers to the analog gauges reminiscent of steam locomotive gauges, not steam powered


    ”Glass” refers to digital representation of instruments/gauges, usually a multiple number of gauge depictions on flat glass panel(s) electrically powered
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    Last edited by AardvarkNV; 2022/07/29 at 02:36 PM.
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