The ever-increasing amount of technology being offered for aircraft can make a pilot’s job much easier.
Learning how to use it, though, often presents a challenge.
The National Business Aviation Association has a new podcast released Tuesday that delves into the pros and cons that technology brings.
And the experience of Jim Lara shows exactly the kind of pitfalls pilots and owners are facing.
Lara, principal of Gray Stone Advisors in Knoxville, Tenn., updated the avionics on his Beechcraft Baron last December.
What he hadn’t counted on was how much studying would go into understanding the new system.
“I’m a pretty inquisitive guy and I’m pretty patient,” Lara told NBAA. “But the documentation for the system that we put in our aircraft was 1,200 pages. That’s a lot of reading.”
Lara, who is also secretary of NBAA’s Safety Committee, says his experience is an example of the increasing need for manufacturers to provide comprehensive training for their avionics systems.
NBAA has listed the impact of technology as one of its Top 10 safety concerns.
And while technology can often truly help a pilot, Lara is also concerned that it is contributing to an erosion of basic piloting skills as the technology is leaned on more and more.
There is also concern, however, about the implications of not upgrading and keeping up with the technological advances.
By not upgrading, Lara said, flight departments might not be able to operate as safely as possible or in the most efficient ways possible as implementing new technology has become a “way of life” in the industry.
For more on the pros and cons the situation presents pilots, check out the podcast with Lara on NBAA’s website.