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Transition to Glass. One Pilot’s Personal Experience and The Insurance Industry Perspective. Introduction. Who I am EVP and CUO of Avemco Insurance Company Member of the FOC Flight Training Experience Flight School Owner Chief Flight Instructor Director of Operations.

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Transition to glass

Transition to Glass

One Pilot’s Personal Experience


The Insurance Industry



  • Who I am

    • EVP and CUO of Avemco Insurance Company

    • Member of the FOC

  • Flight Training Experience

    • Flight School Owner

    • Chief Flight Instructor

    • Director of Operations

My transition to glass
My Transition to Glass

  • Thousands of hours of instrument flight and training, but dated

  • Attended Cirrus SR-22 Initial Flight Training in September of 2003 in Duluth (it snowed!)

  • Purpose was to evaluate the aircraft, the avionics, and the training

  • Accompanied by my VP of Underwriting

My transition to glass cont
My Transition to Glass (Cont.)

  • No pre-flight training on avionics

  • Totally overwhelmed by “knobology”

  • After about 20 minutes, I transitioned to total visual reference – much better

  • In about 1.5 hours of flying I was comfortable with aircraft handling

My transition to glass cont1
My Transition to Glass (Cont.)

  • Over next three hours or so, I became comfortable with PFD and MFD, so long as CFI performed knobology

  • Left three days later very comfortable and knowledgeable of flight characteristics and aircraft systems other than avionics

  • I had no clue how to set up MFD

My transition to glass cont2
My Transition to Glass (Cont.)

  • Had I owned the aircraft, I’m not sure I would have flown it home due to unfamiliarity with avionics

    • Certainly VFR only

My transition to glass cont3
My Transition to Glass (Cont.)

  • Diamond DA-40 Transition Course October, 2004

  • Substantial computer based pre-school avionics prep

  • Two days of G-1000 Training, using scenarios to be used in actual flight training

  • Cirrus and Cessna have simultaneously upgraded their courses at the same time

Other observations
Other Observations

  • UND CFI’s were knowledgeable and effective instructors

  • They confessed that their largest challenge “by far” was ignorance of avionics by new owners. Many owners took UND CFI’s (or their own CFI’s) home with them

Other observations cont
Other Observations (Cont.)

  • Pilots my age (but less experience) were the most common demographic and greatest training challenge

  • CFI’s believed that another significant challenge was get the “hard chargers” to take the time to do their training right

Other observations cont1
Other Observations (Cont.)

  • Goal-oriented successful entrepreneurs were the people who were buying these aircraft

  • Scenario based training was critical to a successful transition

The guidelines we implemented
The Guidelines We Implemented

  • Required FITS Accepted Transition Training for all pilots transitioning to aircraft with PFD and MFD

  • Became part of FITS Oversight Committee to accomplish two goals:

    • Make sure training had “teeth” in it, and

    • Provide “clout” to encourage quality training without heavy hand of FAA regulation being forced upon consumer.

Results of our actions
Results of Our Actions

  • Our underwriting results with glass transition training have been better than acceptable

  • Hard chargers “underwrite themselves”

  • We were attacked in some quarters for engaging in a form of “de facto” regulation of pilots

    • Free market regulates

Why fits

  • My “sales pitch”

  • Scenario based

    • My experience as a flight instructor causes me to strongly endorse this concept

    • “Real world” training for “real world” pilots

    • Not as effective IMHO for ab initio training

Why fits cont
Why FITS? (Cont.)

  • Flexible

    • No constrained by bureaucracy of FAA rule-making process

    • The leaders in flight training, regulation, and product delivery voluntarily working together for common good

    • Can adapt to dramatically changing avionics scene

      • No way the FAA could do that

Current situation
Current Situation

  • OEM’s all appear to have developed very effective FITS training courses

  • Much more needs to be done for “in the field” training

Insurance industry response
Insurance Industry Response

  • FITS Accepted Training required by some insurers. No absolute standard

  • Avemco requires it

    • Provide a 5% Safety Rewards credit for it

    • We continue to support the FITS initiative as the most realistic and effective response to the rapidly changing training requirements brought about by TAA