There are several alternatives for G1000 simulation. One is the Garmin G1000 software simulator provided by Garmin on CD-ROM. Microsoft Flight Simulator X, or FSX, also now includes the G1000. Another is the full scale G1000 Flight Training Devices available from two manufacturers (Elite Simulation, Precision Flight Controls and Frasca) which are installed in several locations in the U.S., including one locally here in the S.F. Bay area. These are excellent for initial and recurrent training. The last is the Garmin 430 and 530 simulators, since the GPS programming in these is identical to the G1000. You can also learn to operate the G1000 using our new Max Trescott's Garmin G1000 CD-ROM Course. Or, you order the CD-ROM course by calling 800-247-6553. The price is $99.95 plus shipping. You can also view a free 5 minute sample of the CD-ROM course online.
Garmin G1000 simulator software
We have tested this software extensively, it's very inexpensive, and we recommend it with two qualifications. The G1000 simulator software requires a reasonably powerful Windows XP computer with a graphics card, such as those available from Nvidia and ATI.
Many if not most desktops computers do not have a plug-in graphics card and instead use an integrated graphics chip on the motherboard, such as an Intel graphics chip (not to be confused with an Intel microprocessor). The Garmin G1000 simulator will not work with these computers or with most laptop computers. Some high-end, expensive laptops will support the software.
The other criticism you'll hear of this software is that it doesn't teach you the G1000. For that you'll need an instructional program, like our Max Trescott's Garmin G1000 CD-ROM course. The Garmin G1000 simulator can only be purchased through Garmin's online store (see below). It cannot be downloaded over the internet.
Microsoft Flight Simulator X
We haven't tried it, but people tell us the deluxe version of Flight Simulator X, released in October, 2006, includes the Garmin G1000. The deluxe version retails for $69.99 and includes three airplanes, the Beechcraft Baron, Cessna 172SP and Mooney Bravo with G1000 cockpits. One nice feature, if you have two displays on your computer, is that you can display the PFD on one screen and the MFD on the other display (if you don't know what the PFD and MFD are, consider buying our G1000 Handbook or G1000 CD-ROM Course). You will need a DirectX 9 compatible video card, such as those sold by Nvidia or ATI, and we're told that the bigger the card the better, as this is a graphics intensive program. Flight Sim X does differ from the real G1000 in at least 3 ways: 1) The sim autopilot is the same in all three airplanes, but in actuality, these planes use 3 different autopilots, 2) There is no FPL key for entering a flight plan; instead, Microsoft provides flight planning software that loads a flight plan into the G1000, 3) the MFD does not include the many screens found in a real G1000.
Garmin G1000 Flight Training Devices (simulators)
These full scale cockpits that you sit in incorporate the real Garmin G1000 displays, so they are highly realistic. Hence they are are very valuable for initial training and recurrent training, since virtually all of your actions are identical to what you would do in an airplane. They are ideal learning environments, since students don't need to worry about keeping the wings level and looking for traffic. Hence they are far more relaxed than they would be in an actual aircraft and it's easier for them to learn the systems. Up to 20 hours toward an instrument rating can be logged in these simulators. If you'd like to train in the G1000 simulator in the S.F. Bay area, contact us via email.
Garmin GNS 430 and GNS 530 GPS Simulator Software
Programming the GPS in the G1000 is one skill that requires a lot of training, and you can use the free Garmin 430 and 530 software simulators to practice these skills. The keystrokes required are virtually identical, though you won't see the G1000 softkeys which are an alternate way to program the G1000's GPS. The advantage of this software is that it will run on a much wider set of Windows computers and doesn't require a graphics card. It's also free and can be downloaded over the internet.
Garmin web site links for simulator software
Garmin GNS 430 and GNS 530 software simulators
Garmin online store for purchasing G1000 simulator software
Note that there are currently separate software versions available for Beechcraft, Cessna, Columbia, Diamond, Mooney and Tiger aircraft. Under "Product Accessories," use the pull down menu to select "G1000" and the aircraft in which you're interested.
Learning to Fly the Garmin G1000
Now, there's finally a comprehensive guide to the popular Garmin G1000 glass cockpit: Max Trescott's G1000 Glass Cockpit Handbook. Written by a Master CFI, this book makes it easy for you to quickly become an expert on operating and programming the G1000 system in any aircraft.
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Learn more about Max Trescott's G1000 Glass Cockpit Handbook