Having 1300 hours teaching in Cirrus’ equipped with both the Avidyne and Perspective by Garmin, I’ve gotten to know both avionics suites quite well. I put together a pros and cons list for both systems for your educational purposes.
SIMPLICITY! The Avidyne PFD at first glance appears to be overwhelming, but in actuality, with a little quality instruction, it is quite user friendly. The MFD is nearly as easy and simple to navigate while producing the same information as the Perspective MFD. The checklist is easy to use and the pilot can scroll between the map and engine page with minimal attention.
REDUNDANCY! The Avidyne gets all COM, NAV and GPS information from it’s dual GNS 430’s (Newer Cirrus’ come equipped with WAAS) which I like better for both redundancy and ability to perform to different tasks on each 430.
Single AHRS. Unlike the Perspective, the PFD is a different unit than the MFD, limiting the Avidyne to only one AHRS. Not to worry though. In the event of a PFD failure in IMC, the Pilot can easily shoot a coupled GPS approach.
STEC55X. The autopilot is better than what most single engine airplanes come equipped with. However, it’s not as amazing as the GFC 700 which comes with the Perspective. The 55X is completely integrated with the PFD HSI and ALT/VSI bugs, has GPS steering mode, altitude capture via vertical speed, and will track both an ILS or WAAS glide slope. My biggest complaint with the 55X is the leveling phase of altitude capture. It will not hold a vertical speed all the way to you preselected altitude. Rather it will begin decreasing the rate of climb or decent as it approaches the desired altitude. This feature does make “Chop and Drop” approaches more difficult.
TECHNOLOGY! Garmin put more bells and whistles on the perspective system than anyone could ever ask for! Synthetic vision with color coded terrain, TCAS and “highway in the sky,” WAAS, Dual AHRS, VNAV, Jeppeson approach plates, IR camera, Full alpha-numeric keypad and a Digital autopilot that we’ll get to next.
GFC 700! This autopilot will do almost anything you ask. As long as you ask the right way and nicely. You can capture altitude via Pitch, IAS, Vertical speed or VNAV. (Setting a 120+ KT climb in the Turbo’s make life much easier) It rarely over shoots anything and will hold your desired Pitch, IAS, Vertical speed or VNAV all the way to the desired altitude. It’s easy to use (as long as you set it looking at top of PFD and not at the lights on the autopilot) and even has an auto-level button even though it is rare you should require it.
VNAV! On the flight plan page of the MFD, you can set a VNAV profile to cross a point in space at any altitude on a glide slope you set. For instance you can set up a 3 degree slope to the runway and fly your own WAAS glide slope to land. Every approach also comes preloaded with step down fix altitudes so you cross each fix at the appropriate altitude via a constant decent. Neat stuff.
Too much stuff! There is way too much going on with the PFD. It definitely has a wow factor and can come in handy (Like flying around Aspen night VFR.) But when I fly Perspective IFR I remove the synthetic vision and all that goes along with it. Prepare to be overwhelmed.
MFD navigation. Garmin increased the standard 4 chapters on the 430 and G1000. I much prefer the G1000 and early perspective 4 page navigation.
Overall both systems are fantastic and you will not be disappointed with either. Neither one is perfect but what is in aviation!
Coast Flight Training will have new ground school dates for ground lab:
Private Pilot – August 2, 2010
Instrument Pilot – August 3, 2010
Ground Lab is Coast’s version of ground school. What makes Ground Lab different from other conventional ground schools is its way of making lessons funner and more “hands-on”.
Hana is a spiritual place, it looks like a rainforest but sees a good mix of sun! The Runway winds favor runway 8, the end of the runway disappears into lava rock the falls off into the Pacific. We landed and walked to the edge of the cliffs and watched massive waves crush into the rocks. We shot the GPS26 with a Circle to runway 8. Hana is a must visit for anyone!
The General Aviation Manufacturer’s Association (GAMA) said that Cirrus Aircraft has increased its airplane deliveries and market share every year during its first quarter.
In total, worldwide general aviation airplane deliveries numbered 390 units, which meant a 15 percent drop from last year in the same period. But GAMA said that this is to be considered an improvement juxtapose the decline that’s been experienced last year.
1. Canyon & Drainage Routes
-Fly the windward side, never up the middle of a canyon.
-Scan for opposite direction traffic.
2. Ridge/Pass Crossing
-Terrain Clearance: at least 1,000 feet AGL.
-Always identify your “escape” paths as early as possible.
-Approach at 45 degrees; exit at 90 degrees.
Descent And Landing Procedures
1. Know the pattern or approach track for the destination field.
2. Determine a safe go-around trang for the destination. Remember, as go-around may not be possible!
3. Fly a stabilized approach at appropriate IAS.
4. Plan the touchdown at 1,0000feet from the start of useable runway.
5. CLOSE YOUR FLIGHT FLIGHT PLAN(& give a final PIREP when you do!)
Do you want to fly but don’t have the time to learn? Many of our clients are working professionals that mix the pleasure of flying with business. The picture above is The Wheat Group using the Professional Pilots of Coast. Our client made a round trip flight to LA in 1:30 to pick up a family member! This saves a lot of time when trying to fight rush hour between San Diego and LA! To learn more check out Coast Access Program.
In a cooperative effort to boost the pilot population and to spread the wonder and joy of experiencing flight, the Experimental Aircraft Association with pilots, companies, governments and organizations around the world declared May 15 2010 as International Learn to Fly Day.
Coast Flight Training is proud to take part in this glorious celebration of aviation and will have pilots on standby all day for introductory flights.
A few weeks ago I visited 8 flight training centers in San Diego Southern California (SoCal) area. I wanted to get my private pilot’s and IFR certification at a sound school and, at the same time, to have the opportunity to enjoy training in modern, safe and reasonably new aircraft. Unfortunately these requirements were hard to meet given the fact that most schools are equipped with 20 to 30 year old aircraft, mainly Cessnas 172.