[Avionics Today June 17, 2014] The National Business Aviation Association's (NBAA) Safety Committee has made pilot adjustment to advanced avionics systems one of its top safety focus areas for 2014.
According to James Lara, a member of the NBAA Safety Committee, simply reading the manual for new cockpit systems is not enough in some cases. Instruction often does not come bundled with new avionics technology, which often leaves pilots to learn the nuances of new avionics suites themselves, Lara said.
“When pilots step into a new avionics suite, it’s not an evolution, it’s a transformation,” said Lara. "In order to make that leap, you really need to have significant study and professional instruction in order to be competent and safe.”
According to NBAA, a considerable number of runway excursions are caused by flight crews inputting waypoints and other information into their Flight Management Systems (FMS) while taxiing for takeoff. Lara also said clearance deviations can often occur when pilots are forced to make changes to their FMS profiles while in the air.
“If you find yourself asking, ‘What is it doing now?’ You’re behind the curve,” said Lara. “You need to talk with a flight instructor who is an expert in your particular avionics suite to understand what’s going on.”