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6 Answers

G1000 / Glass cockpit transition

Asked by: 7080 views Aircraft Systems, Flight Instructor, Instrument Rating, Private Pilot

I'm interested in getting checked out on using the G1000 system so I can rent and fly G1000 equipped aircraft.


I am a very quick learner when it comes to electronics.  I'm a tinkerer and I can work the Garmin 430's until they smoke (Very efficient and proficient at them).  I'm a computer geek to boot.


How long does the transition take? Is there a set FAA requirements you need to cover/accomplish or is it simply based on instructor's view on how comfortable you are using the system?  Would I be out of line If I say I want to get signed off on using the G1000 in 2 hours of instruction (2 flights)? or is that a pipedream?  How long does it usually take?

6 Answers

  1. Paul Tocknell on Oct 12, 2010

    There are no set FAA requirements for a transition course.  As far as the FAA is concerned a B36 Bonanza is the same as a G36.   Single Engine Airplane Land.

    However, flying a G1000 equipped aircraft in weather does take study (especially if it is your first glass cockpit) and training.  The amount of time before you can take one up on your own depends on your instrument experience and comfort with the system. More important than if an instructor feels comfortable with you and the G1000, I would be sure that you feel comfortable with using it, especially in serious weather.

    If you have experience with the Garmin 430 / 530 series that will definitely help.  Loading and activating approaches is very similar and the UI has some other common elements.

    My recommendation would be to purchase the G1000 simulator from Garmin and practice for several hours before heading to the airport.  You’ll save yourself a lot of money and maybe pick up some things in the manual, that may not be coverered during the checkout.


    The G1000 simulators are running about $24.95. Just make sure you purchase the appropriate simulator for your aircraft type / software version.


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  2. Josh Martin on Oct 14, 2010

    I’d say 2 hours is pushing it, speaking from experience. I was in a similar situation when I transitioned. Good with electronics, very proficient with the 430/530. When a non-pilot 172 owner bought a 182 with the G-1000 he wanted me to fly it for him. I did about 2 hours on the ground and then 3 hours in the air which included flying in actual instrument conditions. I felt comfortable after that and though I fly it infrequently (3 times a year or so) I don’t have trouble getting back into it.

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  3. Jon on Oct 15, 2010

    I really think it depends on what flight school you go to, or the FBO you rent from. I think certain FBO’s have insurance requirements requiring you to fly a certain amount of hours in a G1000 to get checked out, and some just want you to go up with an instructor to make sure you know what you are doing.
    When I went to get checked out in the G1000 I first bought Sporty’s G1000 Checkout course which comes with a G1000 simulator for your desktop and a DVD explaining some of the features. I thought it was very helpful and when I went to go fly in the G1000 with an instructor for the first time I felt very comfortable. My suggestion would be to call the FBO you plan on going to for the G1000 aircraft and asking them if their are any requirements for getting checked out. 
    Have fun the G1000 is a blast!

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  4. Michael Jastrzebski on Oct 21, 2010

    2 hrs for strictly VFR use is possible but for IFR is impossible.

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  5. Scott Stahl on Aug 28, 2011

    As with ANY flight training, it will be dependent on you, and your intended use.
    Basic functions for VFR can be quickly learned and mastered.  Whether or not it would take 2 hours, I can’t say.
    That said for IFR, the G1000 is a lot more capable and will require a lot more experience before you are truely ready to use it solo.  I have been flying them for 5 years now on a daily basis, and I still occasionally learn new things.
    The G1000 is fantastic and relatively easy to use, but it is much harder to master.

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  6. Russ Still on Nov 23, 2011

    The big question is IFR or VFR. Transitioning to the G1000 for VFR only will take quite a bit less time than training for IFR use. Yes, you could learn minimal functionality of the G1000 for VFR in two hours. This would get you up to speed on reading the flight instruments, finding nearest airports, and plotting direct courses. That’s a pretty bare bones level and won’t be anywhere near full mastery of the system. Through continued VFR flight on your own, you will add a few new functions to your skillset, but a commercial training program is preferable.
    Prior to going for your first flight with an instructor, study up on the PFD, MFD, and Audio Panel. Then, when you’re in the airplane you’ll at least have a fundamental understanding of where the main buttons are. It’s also important that you learn a bit about the system’s LRUs – the line replaceable units. This knowledge is necessary so that you can handle in-flight system failures.
    Doing homework before climbing into the airplane is the key to a speedy and effective transition flight. Try the online multimedia course for the G1000 at http://www.Fly1000.com. This will get you up to speed on everything so that your first flight goes MUCH easier.

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