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Flying IFR with GPS: How Much Practice Is Needed?  (2004)
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Sixteen instrument-rated pilots with no prior experience with IFR GPS completed a program of ground study and five practice flights in an airplane. Eight pilots completed the ground study following a self-study program, while eight pilots received dual ground instruction. The ground study and flight practice covered knowledge and skills required by the instrument rating practical test standard that are affected by the use of IFR GPS. A detailed record was kept of errors made by pilots during each practice flight for six selected skills. The data were analyzed to determine: (1) whether or not the ground study and five practice flights were enough to allow pilots to master the skills; (2) how effective was self study compared to dual instruction; and (3) which skills presented pilots with the most difficulty and accounted for the most errors. The results show that pilots had still not reached proficiency after five practice flights, regardless of ground study method used. Furthermore, pilots were highly similar in the errors they committed while acquiring these new skills. These results show that the learning challenges for proficient IFR GPS are significant.
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GPS, IFR, Proficiency
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International Journal of Applied Aviation Studies 4 (2), 81-97
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Alonso Vera
Last Updated: August 15, 2019