While working towards my private pilot's license in the United States in 2004-2005 (in a steam gauge only airplane), I very much remember my instructor covering one or more instruments to simulate failure and recovery techniques. He used covers which are commonly available in pilot shops:

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I don't remember the examiner asking me fly under such conditions, but this type of failure is covered in the FAA PTS both for private and commercial.

Now that more and more pilots are training with glass cockpits, I was wondering how covering instruments the same way would work. For reference, let's take the Garmin 1000, standard in the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, which I have to guess is one of the most common civil aviation trainers:

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I am, of course, assuming it would be much more difficult to cover the altitude indicator, airspeed indicator, artificial horizon, etc. on a glass cockpit display, not to mention being a questionable practice on a multi-thousand dollar LCD screen.

Then it occurred to me that perhaps the glass cockpit manufacturer would just provide the ability to temporarily disable specific instruments. But (at least for the G1000) I did not find this feature in the manual.

To summarize, my question is, how do flight instructors/examiners simulate the loss of one of the "six pack" flight instruments in an airplane with a glass cockpit?

  • $\begingroup$ You can use a post-it note and you can cut it to whatever size you want and put it directly on the glass. $\endgroup$ – Devil07 Jul 9 '17 at 1:43
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps the avionics system has training mode which allows for the disabling and hiding of certain displays? It is software, I am rather surprised that's not a feature at least in more fancy systems $\endgroup$ – cat Jul 9 '17 at 3:39

For conventional instrument gauges, I recommend the disks above for blanking out the attitude indicator or the DG/HSI. Post-It notes are also a common way to blank out instruments to be used.

For partial panel work in glass cockpits, manufacturers and pilot supply shops sell soft stickers custom made for this purpose.

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