SIU TRAINING AIRCRAFT FEATURES GARMIN AVIONICS
Home to over 170 flight students annually, Southern Illinois University (SIU)’s Aviation Program is using a wide range of Garmin avionics in its fleet.
These aircraft feature Garmin avionics from the GTN 650/750 series navigators and G500 TXi touchscreen flight displays, to the G1000 Integrated Flight Deck.
“We believe it is important to have standardized avionics packages and continuity so that students can quickly adapt between airframes,” said Kenneth Bro, Chief Flight Instructor and Program Coordinator, Aviation Management and Flight. “This allows our curriculum to flow neatly from private to commercial.”
The Garmin Flight Stream 510 is also in two of SIU’s higher-performance aircraft, the Cessna 340 and Cessna 421, allowing wireless database updating, flight plan transfers and more. By flying these aircraft, Bro added, “The students gain experience in a corporate environment, moving campus executives about the country, and the Flight Stream integrates neatly into this fast-paced environment.”
Southern Illinois University’s Aviation Program opened in 1960, and the university has been offering the Aviation Flight degree since 1984. “Our graduates are everywhere in the industry—airline captains, airport managers, professors of aviation, and the armed forces,” said Bro.
But before SIU students move on to a variety of aviation careers, they are part of a championship collegiate program. The university fields an aviation team—the Flying Salukis—that competes in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association championships. This competition includes aviation events ranging from navigation to flight performance. For the past eight years, the Flying Salukis have placed first in regional competitions and hold nine national titles overall.
The university is home to over 170 flight students annually, and averages around 13,000 flight hours per year. The fleet that supports this many flights operations includes:
– Seven Cessna 152s
– 12 Cessna 172s
– Three Cessna 310s
– Three Piper Arrows
– One Cessna 340
– One Cessna 421 Golden Eagle
– Three Frasca Cessna 172 G1000 Simulators
Optimizing an aircraft’s service time is paramount for any fleet operator, and keeping aircraft running safely and efficiently is always top-of-mind. SIU’s G1000-equipped aircraft benefit from advanced data-logging capabilities that can aid the flight department in keeping their aircraft airworthy.
“This is actually one of my favorite aspects of the advanced flight deck as Chief. We have 100GB of data spanning seven years and nearly 20,000 hours. This data is used in both research and safety monitoring,” Bro said. “It’s also been used in predictive analytic research—we are studying the ability to predict powerplant problems and pilot behavior. This field of research is quiet fascinating and would not be possible without the data logging.”
Operators can also take advantage of engine data logging with Garmin Flight Stream 510 and G500 TXi/G600 TXi flight displays that are capable of displaying engine information. Via the Connext ecosystem, aircraft engine data can be wirelessly downloaded to the Garmin Pilot app and flyGarmin website automatically, providing additional insights to pilots and mechanics.
“Our students are well prepared for entry level jobs due to their experience with an array of Garmin products. With the advanced avionics found in the G500 TXi and G1000, our students are also prepared to work in the flight decks of modern airliners,” Bro said.