Steam Gauges vs Glass Cockpit

June, 22, 2020 by

A common decision amongst student pilots is whether to train in an aircraft with steam gauges (sometimes called a six pack), or one with a glass panel. This issue will often divide even the most experienced pilots. Some pilots prefer the simplicity and ease of use of a six pack. Some prefer the compact efficient design of a glass cockpit. During instrument training, a glass cockpit greatly increases situational awareness, especially during instrument failure. For a new private pilot however, many aircraft available for rent feature steam gauges. Both are good to know, but it often comes down to personal preference.

Ryan Epps is a writer for the IFATC Education Group. He is also a commercial pilot, flight instructor, and helps run the Airport Editing Team, currently as an Airport Editing Manager.