Tuesday, February 12 2013 18:52

Aspen Avionics’ Synthetic Vision

Written by  Michael Leighton
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June 2012

If you think synthetic vision is a gimmick, or one of those nice-to-have features that’s not worth the money, you don’t understand the technology.
To be honest, I too was skeptical about the value of syn vision at first. But I get to fly a lot of different aircraft and have had the opportunity to use several different synthetic vision systems.

My initial reaction was yes, it’s nice, but is it better?

That answer came to me while giving instruction to a long-time student who had upgraded his aircraft to glass with synthetic vision. I already knew from personal experience that glass panel students were getting their instrument ratings in less time than steam gauge students; I attributed this to vastly superior information interface that the glass displays provide. Instead of having to look at six instruments, you could find everything you need on one.

Since we were going out to shoot approaches as part of recurrent training, I decided to run a test. We flew the same approaches with and without the syn vision turned on. To my surprise, my student was observably more precise while using the syn vision than without it. It became clear to me that the synthetic vision yielded a quantum improvement in his situational awareness.

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