As we look at how to address the declining pilot population this note came through from a flight school owner.
“I have been exploring different options for modernization of my flight school fleet and I keep running into the same difficult question. Should I embrace the new simplified technology available by installing Aspen screens or a G500 into my primary fleet or should I only modernize the Nav/Com/GPS systems and maintain a six pack panel for teaching the core concepts before introducing the simplified way to interact with that information. Which serves the student better? Which do the students want when they are searching for schools?”
My unscientific observation is that cost is a big driver and newer aircraft with full glass tend to run 30% higher than a less glossy machine. However, “light glass” retrofits may offer less complexity and cost. I’ve also opined that new pilots need to learn the basics of flying with a bit less button pushing. That can certainly come later but let’s fly first and then develop the system management mentality as needed.
As we’re formulating direction, we’d like your thoughts.