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Which of these 32 optional equipment upgrades would you insist on when instructing?

Being a student my instructor teaches me from the early beginnings to fly the numbers and we even simulated IR approaches although that was not standard in a VFR education, but he said once that might be helpful to know. Finally it paved my path to IFR flying. Regarding this experience I would recommend a well equipped IFR trainer.

Additionally I do often see traffic conflicts on VFR airfields because of a lack in proper radio communication. So any build in or flexible traffic avoidance and alert system makes sense.

EDDS , Germany

(a) PPL
None of those are needed

(b) IRR
11 CDI (fully working, VOR/ILS with glideslope)
12 DME

Remember most schools are a financial basket case

To some extent I agree with Bathman.
But for PPL here you really need a compass. Another method of maintaining a heading such as a DI is also useful.
An ASI and an Altimeter. We also prefer some sort of vertical speed indicator and a slip ball preferably with a turn coordinator.
An 8.33 radio is essential if you are going to enter CAS as is a transponder, preferably mode S.
Many of us learnt with a hand microphone and speaker so any decent headset is a bonus. Students tend to choose their own..Many do not like noise cancelling headsets and others can’t afford them.
When costs get too much possible PPL students stop signing up.
Anti collision lights are useful especially on dull days.
For night VFR you perhaps should add landing lights, nav lights and instrument lighting. Plus a standby torch.
For IFR flight, you will need all of the above plus much will depend where you will be flying but an ILS and DME is useful in many locations VOR is also handy. Not sure about ADF these days, buying you already have it, keep it. However a good GNSS system is possibly the most helpful in most locations these days.
Of course you will need updated databases.
A regulatory requirement for RNP.
IIRC pitot heat is also on the MEL for IFR flight.
Standby or back up instruments are also part of MEL (I’m not sure this is necessary under NCO)
In France a 2nd radio is also desirable as it is suggested that during cruise you monitor 121.5. But it is also helpful when you want to leave the frequency you are working to talk to one further down the line or listen to an ATIS without necessarily asking if you can leave the frequency.
Whether VFR or IFR you need a PLB/ELB and life jackets and life rafts will be required if crossing water outside of glide range.
Much of the other stuff is up to your own experience and situation.


What “power factor” is there for the average FI in the average constellation to “insist” on any of the features above?

Normally you take what is there to fly.

So for basic PPL training I see none of them to insist on. If there was one it’s FLARM, ADSB, and LED lights. FLARM can be “retrofitted” with a tablet and small receiver. Where I fly it’s very commonly used, so quite some FI carry around such a portable device. (However not a sender, just a receiver) LED lights can be left ON so that’s an improvement in landing pattern. You don’t even need built-in GPS, it’s perfectly safe with a tablet.

For IR the more the merrier 😉 but without built-in GPS you miss a very serious part of the game. You even need RNP approaches else you may not fly them later. So I don’t know whether I would do training with an aircraft without GPS. From the FI perspective, GPS and its potential issues are a major part of the training. So I really would insist on that.

Last Edited by UdoR at 09 Jun 07:56

lionel wrote:

Aren’t 1, 2 and 8 mandatory for IFR, so for IRR/IR/BIR level?

1 and 2 are not. Some attitude indication is necessary, but not need not be a mechanical AI.

Last Edited by Airborne_Again at 09 Jun 08:09
ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

DavidC wrote:

G1000 or similar

The main trainer (PPL/LAPL) at our club is a G1000 equipped C-172. What happens is that later they won’t fly anything but a G1000 equipped aircraft. Should the instructor care? Perhaps, perhaps not, but that’s a different topic.

The elephant is the circulation

From the list provided i would choose adf, cdi, dme, egt, headeset with anr and definitely a usb charger.

However going back to my ppl, i would have loved to do it on a fast 4 seat tail dragger with mixture control, constant speed propeller and a manifold pressure sensor in kpa, egt and cht sensors for each cylinder,an injection system or carburettor temp sensor, stick/yoke elevator and rudder trim and all ifr instruments

Unfortunately i coudnt find anything close to what i wanted even though i made it clear that i was more than willing to pay for all of this, so i had to settle with whatever my ato had.



Top priority:
1. GPS – let’s face it, it’s how we nowadays navigate, GTN650 or better is chefs kiss
2. EDM – a good EDM allows for good powerplant management and fault detection – it’s a must have
3. Fuel flow – self explanatory
3. second 8.33kHz radio – so one can listen to ATIS while staying on freq
4. AP – for VFR for first 1000h it’s anyway better to hand fly to get good stick and rudder skills but after that an AP that can at least hold heading and alt is nice

Those are my most important equipment items. The rest I really don’t care, can be a simple six pack and I will be happy. Of course a nice HSI in a six pack is nice but also not needed.

Last Edited by hazek at 09 Jun 13:21
ELLX, Luxembourg

hazek wrote:

GPS – let’s face it, it’s how we nowadays navigate, GTN650 or better is chefs kiss

For VFR navigation something like SkyDemon running on a tablet is much better than a GTN650 or even a GTN750.

second 8.33kHz radio – so one can listen to ATIS while staying on freq

Many (most) modern radios have a monitoring facility so that you can listen to the ATIS while still staying on the ATC frequency.

Fuel flow – self explanatory

For maximum endurance flights, yes. For the typical training or sightseeing sortie, you can do very well with making a sensible power setting and having good margins of fuel in the tanks.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden
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