Thursday, February 13, 2014

Aspen EFD1000

At my flight school, we have the Aspen EFD 1000 Pro Pilot system installed in three of our aircraft.  The more I fly with this system, the more amazed I am with its capabilities.  The Aspen was designed as a replacement/upgrade for aircraft with standard 6-pack instruments, but it does so much more.  The Pro Pilot adds an HSI, bearing pointers, ground track icon, wind direction indicator, airspeed and altitude tapes with bugs, TAS, basically all the things you'd have with a glass cockpit, but in a package that just replaces the center two instruments - the AI and DG.

On a lesson tonight, my student flew the HAO ILS RWY 29.

I like this approach for two reasons.  One, it has intersections made up of NDB bearings (as well as DME fixes and VOR intersections), which is somewhat unusual but good practice with NDBs.  Second, the missed approach procedure takes you back to the Final Approach Fix, where you can fly the approach again.  We were able to fly the approach three times in rapid succession, helping to really drill on flying an ILS.

The Aspen, though, almost makes it too easy!  Our 15-20 degree crab angle at altitude was readily apparent and easily adjusted for.  At one point I unselected the Localizer from the HSI display so the student had to fly using raw data on a regular CDI.  Here's a pic of the Aspen before glideslope intercept (yes, we're at 3000 when GS intercept is at 2600).  Sorry for the slightly blurry picture, it was at night.  The HSI (green arrow) is set to display the Localizer, while the number 1 bearing pointer (blue arrow) is tuned to the RID VOR to assist in identifying HOLGR.  Unfortunately, the aircraft we were flying did not have an ADF installed, so we couldn't practice NDB work.

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