Report: Glass Panels Enhance Safety

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It's one of those things that's been intuitively accepted -- glass cockpit technology improves situational awareness, thereby enhancing safety. Now a study published this week by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation (ASF) confirms that technologically advanced aircraft (TAA) are involved in fewer accidents when compared with the overall general aviation fleet. The analysis shows that advanced aircraft account for 2.8 percent of the GA fleet, but were involved in only 1.5 percent of the accidents. Most notable was the difference in accidents related to fuel. TAA have fuel-monitoring and warning systems, and there was not a single fuel-related accident reported in the ASF study. In other GA aircraft, fuel-management accidents occur at a rate of almost three per week. "As more TAA begin entering the flight-training market, we'll look for changes in the accident statistics," said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the ASF. "There's a potential for more takeoff and landing accidents when these aircraft are used more for instructional missions." The report also noted that instructors must maximize on-the-ground systems training to avoid too much head-down time in the cockpit during flight. The report, Technologically Advanced Aircraft: Safety and Training, is available for free on the Web.