Garmin G1000 Training

by Philip Greenspun, CFII in March 2006

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This is a ground school program designed for ensuring that renters and instructors at East Coast Aero Club (Bedford, MA) are qualified to fly the Garmin G1000-equipped Diamond Star DA40. It is to be followed by some flight training in the DA40 and a checkride with an experienced instructor.

Materials required: (1) instructor PC with G1000 simulator, hooked up to video projector, (2) each student has a laptop running the G1000 simulator, (3) each student should have paper approach plates for New England

Philosophy: Scenario-based training. We pretend that we are going to accomplish certain missions with the G1000 and each pilot does them on the sim. The missions get gradually more complex and the pilots gradually learn more and more G1000 features.

Student Preparation

All students should have installed the G1000 simulator and downloaded the relevant G1000 manuals from the Garmin Web site in PDF format. Students should have read through the G1000 manual at home. Students should have carefully read the Diamond DA40 P.O.H. (also available online as a PDF). Students should have read the KAP 140 autopilot guide, available online as a PDF.


All of this is done by the instructor demoing on the big screen.

First some material about the DA40:

Now the Garmin G1000...

Lesson 1: VFR around the pattern at KBED

Lesson 2: VFR to Martha's Vineyard

Lesson 3: Malfunctions

Lesson 4: Pilot Profiles

Go to the map setup page and change the map from North Up to Track Up. Change about five more things. Save this as a pilot profile called "messed up". Reload the default pilot profile and verify that the map settings have reverted to what they were.

East Coast Aero Club policy: "if it starts with ecac, don't touch it!"

The following should be defined:

Lesson 5: Mountain Flying

Slew the sim to KLCI at 1000' MSL. Remember that it is bumpy on the lee side of mountain ridges and to approach them from a 45-degree angle.

Lesson 6: IFR Flight

You are "Cleared to the Bradley Airport (KBDL) via the Hanscom 6 Departure, BOSOX, V419"

Lesson 7: KAP 140 Autopilot

We have no simulator for this, so we will just go through some basics using the instructor's computer and the PDF pilot's guide.

Remember that this is a rate-based autopilot; it does not get any attitude information. It runs from a hidden mechanical turn coordinator behind the panel. If the G1000 dies, the autopilot still can tell whether or not the plane is turning. Turn coordinators are much simpler and more reliable gyros than attitude indicators. That's the good thing about a rate-based autopilot such as the KAP 140 or the S-Tec in the Cirrus. The bad thing is that these autopilots will put the plane into unusual attitudes if you're in turbulence and generally do exactly the wrong thing in bumpy conditions (FAA says "hold attitude, not altitude"; the KAP 140 says "hold altitude and heading precise; who knows or cares about attitude?")

Limitations: 800' AGL unless you're on an ILS, in which case it is 200' AGL. Keep the speed up to 90 knots or the attitudes get a little wild.
Text and photos (if any) Copyright 2006 Philip Greenspun.