Real Answers from Real Pilots

Glass vs. conventional

I’ve been working on my instrument rating for a little under a month now, and I’ve been training exclusively with the G1000. I went through my entire private pilot training in the conventional, so I’m confident in my ability to fly the conventional, but as I go further into instrument training I’m afraid of lacking the ability to fly IFR in a conventional cockpit. Would this at all be bad for my career?

I’m reluctant to continue instrument training by alternating between the two, since I really want to master the glass cockpit as much as possible. Our FTD’s only have conventional cockpit displays, but we won’t be doing any actual IFR flights in those.


It is hard to comment on what is best when I do not know the specifics of what your flight school offers. I have never thought that it was necessary to train on the glass. If you have it available to you, great, but if you don’t then I wouldn’t worry about it. I would pick with one and stick with it though.



I think you’ll be fine either way. What I don’t like is the flying in one format while the FTD is in another. Like Chris alternating while working on a rating is less than a great idea.



My opinion is that the conventional cockpit would be a better choice for your basic training. You will have plenty of time in glass later on in your career, whether it be as a CFI building time or in the jet at a regional.

Depending on how far into instrument you are and how much you have left, I would consider making the move back into steam gauges.