I wasn’t born in Missouri, but I’m definitely a “show me” kind of guy. That’s especially true when it comes to learning how to do or operate something. When I was working on my Instrument ticket, I could read about procedures all day long, but none of it clicked until I was in the left seat. “Oh, so that’s how you capture the glide-slope. D’oh!”
And don’t get me started on all the different owner’s/maintenance manuals I have around my house. Everything we buy comes with one. And they’re probably as worthless to you as they are to me. Go ahead. Just try and look something up: The subject on page B27 refers you to a sub-note on page E19, which then sends you to some other section. Who writes these things?
In fact, in today’s world of instant information, whenever I need instructions or information – and as a ‘technical person,’ I’m a bit reluctant to admit this – I go to YouTube. There, I said it.
You probably do too. It’s just so much easier to see someone else do whatever you need to do or learn. Need to install a faucet? Go to YouTube. Need to cook a turkey? Go to YouTube.
And while I have to pause here and stress that YouTube videos are for entertainment purposes only, if you know where to go, you can actually learn a lot about today’s avionics systems.
Popular YouTube aviators like 310Pilot, BaronPilot, SoCal Flying Monkey (yes, that’s his moniker), Stevo1Kinevo, Aviation101,and Matt Guthmillerare just a few of the pilots who give us the chance to ride along on their GA adventures.
So how do these videos help us learn about new avionics? Well, like I said, they’re not for how-to instruction. Aspen, Garmin, Avidyne, and all the rest do a fine job with online instruction.
No, the YouTubers give us the opportunity to see how they use the various functions in their avionics in real-world situations. It’s not step-by-step instruction. You’re in the virtual right seat with the opportunity to watch them use the systems.
Will these videos make you a wiz with your Aspen PRO PFD, Garmin GTN750, or STEC 3100? Absolutely not. That's not their intention. But, many of the YouTube pilots take great pride in knowing a lot about the systems in their aircraft and sharing that information with their aviation-minded viewers.
The bottom line is, if you’re lucky enough be in the market for an avionics upgrade, then spending some quality time with your favorite YouTube pilot, may be a great first step. You’ll not only get to meet some wonderful people, you may get some valuable insights as to which systems may best meet your particular needs.
And, as always, if, after some quality viewing time, these videos prompt any particular questions about you and your avionics needs, give me a call at 863.709.9714 (x 112). If I don’t know the answer, I do know of a few YouTubers I can ask.
Until next time, fly safely and have fun,