“SkyDisplay” @SAFE Dinner #OSH21

With every change and technological advance, “you expect results but get consequences!” The promise of each new development is hard to predict as we move onward. But I am increasingly optimistic about the newly-approved “SkyDisplay” from MyGoFlight. This amazing device will be available for you to demo at our annual SAFE dinner on Thursday, July 29th. Readers of this blog are invited to attend; grab a ticket and stop by if you are at Airventure. But the big question – “Is this new step forward in aviation technology or the newest “tech toy? – is really in the hands of the CFI that teaches this new device. Charlie and his team from MyGoFlight will be at the dinner to answer your questions. If you are *not* attending in person, watch our SAFE Facebook Live from the show at 7PM.

When I met Charlie with the prototype of this device at OSH several years ago I was skeptical for two reasons. One was the huge challenge of bringing something this innovative to market (and achieving FAA certification) in a very competitive field. The second challenge I saw was that a GA HUD could just become another “geek gadget” or “tech toy” if not properly presented. This second question is a challenge for every CFI. We all know how pilots like the “newest shiny thing.” Is this a tool or a toy? Can a GA HUD be effectively integrated into flight training and create serious safety improvement?

After watching the promo video of this device in action, (and the AvWeb test flight) I am more optimistic about the safety potential of a usable HUD for GA pilots.  And I appreciate the “safety first” presentation in their marketing. You do not have to teach too long to see how much time early students (and even veteran pilots) focus “inside,” grasping for numbers instead of looking up for the bigger picture outside the windows. This becomes an unfortunate habit for pilots at every level that has to be broken for safety (and smoothness). This problem grew much worse when we added glass panel displays and tablets into aviation (consequences not results). Maybe if a GA HUD was integrated early in training and taught correctly (the aviation educator is at the heart of this question) this device could become a safety game-changer.

The one huge negative “consequence” I think we all can anticipate is the “gamification” of aircraft control. “Just put the jelly in the donut and even a chimp can fly a plane” would be the wrong approach. A thorough understanding of energy management is critical to achieving truly safe aircraft control. (Like many of you I suffered through the pitch/power war and the answer is “both”) I would like to see a prominent AOA depiction in view (like we have in jets and in more GA A/C) to integrate the energy state into every pitch attitude. Again, the way this is taught and integrated into the market will be critical to its effectiveness as a “tool not toy!” Kudos to the team at MyGoFlight for bringing this device to market. Fly safely out there (and often!)


If you are a subscriber to this blog (friend of SAFE) and want to attend our SAFE dinner at Oshkosh, you are invited to join us at the Oshkosh Terminal on Thursday, July 29th from 6-8PM for our SAFE dinner. This is a networking opportunity (after a year of quarantine) and we would love to Meet/Greet/and Eat with you. Tickets are $25 and include; food, drinks, and dessert (also FUN!) The presentation segment will be on SAFE Facebook Live at 7PM.

 

Author: David St. George

SAFE Director, Master CFI (12X), FAA DPE, ATP (ME/SE) Currently jet charter captain.

9 thoughts on ““SkyDisplay” @SAFE Dinner #OSH21”

  1. Wonderful tool that is in itself 25% to 100% of the value of the vast majority of existing GA airframes. I am greatly impressed! Wen we add the underlying glass that powers the HUD and the economics of equipping existing aircraftv becomes even more intimidating. I’m very intrigued by the tool and would like it in aircraft I own or fly. But…

    To get this and other technology enhancements where significant safety improvements are needed we need both enterprising entrepeneurs AND!! the FAA regulators in the game. For any meaningful impact on safety we need to lower the veil between equipping the EAB and legacy Standard category aircraft. Otherwise I seriously doubt cutting edge tools like this HUD and the underlying avionics can ever migrate to to owner/operators of aircraft that comprise the vast majority of the US fleet.

    1. Agreed. I fly a Champ for personal enjoyment (far removed from this world). I don’t foresee HUDs soon in most trainers either at this price point. But past the bleeding edge we know many start-ups will fill the economic divide. It all starts here.

  2. In general, do HUD’s stay in position during the round-out/landing or moved out of the line-of-sight somehow?

    1. Warren: I have an AOA that is in my view as a small HUD. I use it on approach to land then transition entirelty to sight picture as I descend into the flare. The stand alone AOA is significantly!! more economical than the full meal deal of glass + the new HUD display (and, of course) offers just the AOA information.

  3. There is work being done on an app that you can mirror display as a hud using your iPhone that will give all of this info, plus airport and aircraft location pins. I wanted augmented reality (clear see through data screen) in a visor version for my helmet, for easy airport ID and possible EMS beacon location for Medevacs in all weather.
    Vertigo comes on hard if an aircraft is maneuvered while turning the head without reference to the horizon. This type of system would completely eliminate this problem.

    1. Agreed; for IFR a HUD like this is a slam dunk. All the “inside outside” in GA (no crew) can create vertigo (especially if CFII does not emphatically train “move eyes not head!) Anxious to try this!

      1. Yes, if the eyes go straight to the HUD before changing aircraft attitude, I bet vertigo cases will be almost eliminated. The brain will no longer be confused as to what is going on with the feelings the body is giving. Most people are use to seeing this type of display now in basic home sims. Getting older six pack pilots to see and understand these displays is needed and really shouldn’t be hard at all.

      2. Lots of cars now use HUD technology to eliminate distraction and keep *eyes outside!*=

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