Avemco Insurance Company announced that insurance coverage for pilots transitioning to glass-cockpit aircraft will be available, provided they participate in formal training in the use of the new avionics. The move comes following discussions with aircraft manufacturers, flight training organizations and vendors of training materials for the new avionics.
While the decision was made primarily for certified aircraft (in which factory-provided transition training is often part of the purchase process), it will apply equally to homebuilders as well. According to Jim Lauerman, Avemcos chief underwriting officer, any pilot who wishes to insure an aircraft equipped with a primary flight display (PFD) or multi-function display (MFD) must complete training that is FITS accepted. (FITS stands for FAA/Industry Training Standardization initiative.)
One example of acceptable training would be completion of avionics training software offered by Electronic Flight Solutions. But Lauerman indicated that Avemco would be flexible with homebuilders in how and when the training requirement is fulfilled. The best idea is to call the company in advance if you’re considering upgrading your instrument panel to glass.
The new glass cockpits offer the promise of vastly improved information for pilots, Lauerman said. To obtain the maximum value from the information, however, and to avoid having the new displays become a dangerous distraction, we believe that specific formal training is necessary.