NTSB to examine safety effects of 'Glass Cockpits' in GA . .

March 4, 2010



The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a public

Board meeting to consider a study on what effect the

introduction of glass cockpits into small light general

aviation airplanes is having on the safety record of those


In 2000, almost all new single engine light airplanes were

manufactured with conventional analog flight instruments.

Today almost all new light planes come equipped with digital

flight display avionic systems, also known as "glass

cockpits." The enhanced function and information

capabilities of these systems represent a significant change

and potential improvement in the way general aviation pilots

monitor information needed to control their aircraft.

The NTSB initiated this study to determine if the transition

to glass cockpits in light aircraft would improve the safety

record of those planes.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 9:30

a.m. ET, in its Board Room and Conference Center, 429

L’Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, DC.

A live and archived webcast of the proceedings will be

available on the Board’s website at

ntsb.gov/Events/Boardmeeting.htm. Technical

support details are available under “Board Meetings.” To

report any problems, please call 703-993-3100 and ask for

Webcast Technical Support.

A summary of the safety study, which will include its

findings and safety recommendations, will appear on the

website shortly after the conclusion of the meeting. The

entire study will appear on the website several weeks later.

Directions to the NTSB Board Room: Front door located on

Lower 10th Street, directly below L’Enfant Plaza. From

Metro, exit L’Enfant Plaza station at 9th and D Streets

escalator, walk through shopping mall, at the CVS store (on

the left), and take escalator (on the right) down one level.

The Board room will be to your left.

Media Contact: Peter Knudson



It’ll be interesting to see the results. I could see it go both ways, yes the engine monitoring and more advanced NAV and sometimes WX displays might improve safety, by the same token maybe some of the “Fly the plane” aspects may be gone? I’ll admit, I’m a steam gauge guy, and my glass cockpit experience is limited to jumpseat rides, and flight sim.

I mean, what can they do? As much as everyone’s aware that with the advent of glass cockpits and Cirrus-types making full use of them, more SA and inexperience type accidents are happening, but it’s called “technology” and it’s proven to work (in capable hands). Some of this has to be attributed to the less mechanically inclined (that would never learn to fly otherwise) and are turned off/scared by traditional gauges, but feel more at home with and are drawn to a computerized displays and learn to “fly” (while not actually learning the art of flying). They’re not going to erase technology from the cockpit - they can’t fight it. The only measure that they can create is to either add more hours before being able to obtain PPL and instrument ratings, and/or add an additional endorsement(s) for glass cockpits. Either way, if they go either of those routes, they’re just passing additional cost to the GA flying public. At what point does the government say that people have to start looking out for themselves and quit trying to babysit everyone? To me, this is like saying that people that drive cars with AT’s are more likely to crash than those that drive manuals, so let’s look at what we can do to limit the amount of cars with AT’s on the road.