"How safe is it?" Along with "How much does it cost?" this is a question we often hear when someone is considering flight training as an option for depleting his or her discretionary income. Our industry has experienced a marked reduction in overall accidents and statistically, a 27.8% reduction in the most recent 7 years! During this same time period General Aviation fatal accidents dropped 32.6% to just over 1 fatality for every 100,000-flight hours. Of these accidents, 80% are either partially or completely pilot induced, with weather related accidents and controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) accounting for the majority of fatalities.
So what is the industry doing to address the issue of pilot errors? Bendix/King has taken the bull by the horns and addressed this challenge with several new avionics products, and Cessna has taken the next step by including the Bendix/King advanced avionics package in their aircraft. Situational Awareness: With its moving map and IFR approach capability, the KLN94 GPS provides added safety through increased situational awareness. This GPS with its full color screen is as easy to operate, as it is to view. Weather: Bendix/King Data Link Weather features a state-of-the-art data link system to bring textual and graphical weather to your cockpit with a high speed, high bandwidth system. With the KDR 510, weather information (including METARs, TAFs, and PIREPs) is automatically updated and displayed on your KMD 550 (multi-function display) in your cockpit. For a small monthly fee, you can also receive NEXRAD radar and additional weather products that promote additional weather avoidance capability.
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT): The KMH 880 Multi-Hazard Awareness System combines traffic and terrain avoidance features in one unit. Combined with the KDR 510 and displayed on the KMD 550, you can have all the situational awareness available to ensure an up-to-the-second picture of your flight situation. Workload Reduction: The KMD 550 Multi-Function Display (MFD) lets you spend less time looking at your instruments and more time flying your aircraft. The system gives you the information you need without added clutter, all while reducing the time required to manage each safety system. Along with its capability to display traffic, weather, terrain and moving map information, the KMD 550 also provides a wealth of reference information to the pilot including airports, NDBs, intersections, VORs, special-use airspace, victor airways, rivers, roads, lakes, cities and towers. When interfaced to the KLN 94, the KMD 550 can also display holding patterns, procedure turns and DME arcs for even greater situational awareness.
Most importantly, this MFD is simple to use and sports a bright, razor-sharp display! So, how much safer can General Aviation become? It seems to me that the sky's the limit! Who would have guessed that today's General Aviation aircraft would have these capabilities? And I suppose the question follows . . . "What else is possible.
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