In today’s Sydney Flyer article, SFC private member, and PPL holder Colin Dibdin shares his recent experience converting from steam gauges to the digital flight deck onboard our new Archer TX fleet. Colin shares his aviation journey through a personal flying blog, which can be found here.
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Converting to the Piper Archer TX
Part of the joy of flying is the satisfaction of achieving goals. Today I am feeling satisfied after my first private hire of the new Archer TX. It was not an easy goal to reach, but well worth the effort.
Colin enjoying VH-XHE on a private hire to Parkes
I say ‘reluctantly’ because I can glance at a circular altimeter or ASI and instantly “see” my altitude and airspeed, but when looking at a “tape” I see only a number which needs some mental interpretation. That was my thinking then, and to some extent still is. However that was not my main problem. My biggest challenge was the number of buttons and knobs. If I want to set a target altitude I must use a knob. I look down at the panel and see knobs everywhere. 9 on the PFD, 9 on the MFD and 1 on the audio panel. My 7yo granddaughter could master this in 5 minutes, but I need to practice a lot and only gradually does it start to stick in my mind. And don’t get me started on the knobs within the knobs, and the buttons and soft keys. I just want to look at the scenery!