Allow me to generalize — pilots love gizmos and gadgets. And that’s part of what makes the Garmin G1000 so popular.
Like most pilots, I opted to train on steam gauges. My reasoning was simple: when I started flying the G1000 didn’t exist, and when I restarted flying, I didn’t want to take any more time than I needed to get back to speed.
I also felt like it would be easier to transition from round gauges to glass than the other way around.
So, hypnotized by the allure of those big shiny screens, getting checked out in the G1000 was one of my first flying to-do’s after I earned my PPL. To minimize the amount of time I’d need in the plane (and thus need to pay for), I bought Sporty’s Garmin G1000 Checkout course on DVD.
The course comes with:
- Course DVD
- Garmin’s G1000 Simulator for PC
- Cessna 182 G1000 Poster
If you’ve ever taken a DVD ground school course from Sporty’s — or anyone else — you already have a pretty good idea of what the course DVD entails. The material is pretty fast-paced, but it’s also surprisingly complete for a 107-minute tutorial. In addition to systems familiarization, the course covers using the G1000 for a local flight, a VFR cross country flight, and an IFR cross country flight. Something for everyone…
As a VFR pilot, I skipped the IFR portion to avoid confusing myself. I’ll save it for later on.
The G1000 simulator is useful for putting the concepts from the DVD into practice. The big downside is that it’s PC-only, so being a Mac guy I had to borrow my wife’s laptop when I wanted to practice with it.
The Actual Checkout
So, how well did the DVD prepare me for actually getting checked out in a G1000-equipped plane?
Really well. In fact, my CFI said it was the quickest checkout she’d ever done.
The big benefit of using the DVD and the simulator is that you know where everything is and what everything does — actually flying it gives you an opportunity to get more real world practice in. Because the DVD is fast-paced, it doesn’t cover everything. Your CFI can fill in the gaps quickly.
Better still, owning the course means that I can get a refresher or practice with features whenever I want, and not just when I’m paying to rent a plane and/or APU. That adds a whole lot of value for pilots who rent both glass and steam gauge aircraft — or for pilots who own an older plane, but rent G1000-equipped planes when their mission requires it.
I’d strongly recommend the Sporty’s course for anyone who’s considering flying glass. It’ll make the transition painless… and cheaper too.