Thursday, May 3, 2007

G1000 transition tips

Here again, what I can tell is how I made it, which worked quite well, but there is no absolute / universal way to manage this transition, which is not obvious as it could seem.

One first advice is that if possible, you should to your G1000 transition on a plane type you already know, so you can truely focus on the G1000 only.

The first step is to do some theory training, either on your own or withing a school with an instructor. I took such a one day course, but I prepared myself by self-studying before. Material for this includes the User Manual and Cockpit Guide published by Garmin (available on Be careful when choosing your download. As the G1000 includes engine parameters display, there are variants of the documents to match each plane type.

Garmin also created a software simulator running on PC. Not on all PCs, by far not as only a few video chipsets are supported. Unfortunately, this simulator is only delivered to people actually buying a G1000, and it is not available for download. Nevertheless, as some clubs did buy such planes, they put it on the internet for their members... Using the google searchbox on top of this page, you should be able to find it easily, especially if you look for Norwegian aeroclubs...

If you can run it, this is a good tool, but as there is no throttle / AP like in the GNS430 simulator, its use is a bit more complex. The help file is definetly worth a good look.

The next step is to consult some books or CD / DVD / web training tools. I personally used the one from Max Trescott, which can be found on It is quite good, even if the procedure part addresses only the US way of flying (please remind I'm a Swissie...).

Once you will feel ok with the G1000 theory, you can envisage some practice. For the first few hours, an FNPT-II is really the good tool. If you fly on MEP, you will save money anyway. On SEP, you won't save money, but time, as your instructor can create any useful situation, failures, and so on. You will also be much more relaxed in an FNPT-II than in the actual aircraft. I made that part by cannes-aviation, a good FTO located in Cannes (LFMD), on the french riviera. They have several DA40 and DA42 with G1000, and a frasca FNPT-II based on DA42.

If you think that the FNPT-II will not reproduce the G1000 realistically given its complexity, you're wrong. In fact the sim does not repdoduce the G1000 at all, it INCLUDES an actual G1000 ! Garmin designed an external connection allowing to feed the unit from external signals from a simulator. This is why this time is really beneficial.

More on G1000 IFR nav settings and DA40 specifics to follow..