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The following appeared in the March 2002 issue of AVIONICS NEWS


ElectronicFlight Solutions and AEA Bring CompleteLearning™ To Members

By Howard Reisman & Paul Novacek
ElectronicFlight Solutions, Inc.

This is the third of a four-part series devoted to the often overlooked area of advanced avionics training. Parts 1 and 2 published in the January and February issues of Avionics News introduced the ElectronicFlight Solutions Avionics CompleteLearning™ Library, an innovative and effective high-tech training alternative for both pilots and avionics technicians.

AEA-member avionics shops can now offer customers, as well as in-house technicians, access to ElectronicFlight Solutions’ CompleteLearning™ Library of avionics training programs. Five separate modules address GPS Navigation, Autopilot, Weather, Traffic and Terrain Awareness technologies in both a generic and product specific manner.

A New Breed of Training Organization is Born

ElectronicFlight Solutions, inc. was founded by Howard Reisman, a computer engineer and successful software entrepreneur who sold his software company in the mid-nineties only to discover the world of aviation, which quickly became his passion.

ElectronicFlight actually found its genesis with the JFK Jr. tragedy in 1999. Reisman knew JFK Jr. from their flying days around Hyannis, Mass. (KHYA), both initially flying Cessna 182's and sharing, for a time, the same flight instructor at FlightSafety Academy. It is well acknowledged that the JFK Jr. accident may never have occurred had he received adequate training on the use of his Bendix/King KFC-150 autopilot in his Piper Saratoga.(see CompleteLearning™Autopilot module below)

Then in the fall of 2001, after installing almost $100K of avionics in his Piper Saratoga, Reisman discovered, to his amazement, that comprehensive training was not available for his Garmin 430/530, Goodrich Skywatch, Stormscope and Bendix/King EGPWS. “I then decided there would be an exciting opportunity to combine my engineering, business and software background together with my passion for aviation.“ Reisman explains.

AEA Assists in Making ElectronicFlight a Reality

After detailing his vision for this new breed of training company at Oshkosh 2001 to Paula Derks (President of AEA), Jim Cook (owner of Palm Beach Avionics and past AEA chairman) and Dr. Ian Fries (AEA Board Advisor), Reisman was introduced to Paul Novacek, who shared his vision for a paradigm shift in advanced avionics training. Novacek, who earned a Masters Degree of Aeronautical Science in Human Factors from Embry-Riddle, actually wrote his thesis on GPS Pilot Training Methods. With twenty years experience in avionics repair and design, he is currently on the Avionics Advisory Board of the Aircraft Electronics Association and is an accomplished commercially-rated pilot and Multi-engine Instrument Instructor. As Vice-President of Product Development, Novacek integrates the efforts of subject matter experts, software developers, graphic designers, flight instructors and OEM’s in creating the ElectronicFlight CompleteLearning™ Library.

CompleteLearning™ Weather Module

The Weather Module of the CompleteLearning™ Library details the operation of Radar, lightning detection and DataLinked weather information systems. The first issue highlights the two lightning detection systems, the Goodrich Stormscope™ and Insight StrikeFinder™ . The overall general theory of thunderstorms and lightning detection is explained before progressing into the specifics of strike interpretation. The self-guided training then highlights the operation of the StrikeFinder and Stormscope. The training continues with the specific operation of the Stormscope on Goodrich’s own CRT display, the Avidyne FlightMax, Bendix/King KMD-550/850 and Garmin GPS-430/530 display systems. The training implants the knowledge of lightning strike symbology, thunderstorm depiction, weather environment interpretation, limitations, operation modes and the formulation of weather avoidance strategies.

CompleteLearning™ Autopilot Module

The autopilot, in its basic mode of operation is a wing leveler yet according to the NTSB final report of the JFK. Jr accident, at the time of the crash the autopilot was not even engaged. Christopher Andersen, author of the book “The Day John Died” writes: "In fact, the autopilot could have flown the entire route from New Jersey but apparently no one told him about this feature of the Piper Saratoga or how to use it."

The ElectronicFlight Autopilot module addresses a total void in autopilot education and  details the general theory of both position and rate based autopilot systems available for general aviation aircraft. The training explains the methods employed by different autopilot manufacturers for sensing, computing and driving the aircraft. Basic stability and feedback systems are explained as well as the various systems driving the autopilot. Navigation and trim system operation are explained in detail with the use of moving graphics and concept demonstrations.

ElectronicFlight deploys computer generated animation and highly interactive exercises to implant mental models (pictures) of autopilot capabilities into the working knowledge of a pilot, thus providing the tools to formulate an integrated operational strategy. All aspects of autopilot operation are covered in great detail to allow the capabilities of an autopilot system to integrate into the decision making process. After successfully navigating the entire Autopilot Module, the operation, and familiarity, of an autopilot should become second nature when it counts the most—under high-workload situations.

For further information on how you may become an ElectronicFlight/ AEA-member shop partner, click on www.ElectronicFlight.com or call (505) 265-4055.