Avionics News September 2012 - 57

The pace of change is accelerating in all areas of technology. To stay current and keep things interesting, we must remain students with constantly changing viewpoints.

the correct answer to a question posed to the class. For example, at one point, the instructor asked about the location of a device. The class was silent for a moment, and then I answered, “Behind the P6 panel.” The instructor said in response, “You see, mechanics can read, but cone heads do read.” This was true. The slide on the screen showed a representation of the device, with a note below which read, “P-6.” Without the note, I would have been clueless. Mechanics are skilled in looking at a mechanical device, determining how it works, and often, how it’s broken. Electronic devices don’t yield information as easily. Components and circuit traces are hidden. What goes on in the chips and the circuit board are a mystery without a schematic. Even then, many find it useful to read the theory of operation portion of a manual. Yes, cone heads do read, but it’s because we must. Only the most obvious problems will reveal themselves by a visual inspection only. My responsibility for a change in approach came from a desire to make the avionics portion of our

program more attractive to students wishing to earn endorsements for the NCATT AET certification. In 26 years of teaching, I have revised avionics programs multiple times. In every other case, I revised and updated courses based on technology changes. Along the way, other issues were present, such as the need to increase academic rigor or fit the subjects into a different time frame. Still, the biggest engine driving the change was developments in technology. In the past, my approach to planning an avionics curriculum was the same as my predecessor, which likely was similar to his predecessor. Primarily, we packaged the subject areas using an engineering approach. The way systems were used was a secondary factor. For example, we would teach communication systems together, followed by navigation. Sometimes, we would teach communication and navigation together. Traditionally, these systems were mostly VHF, analog and utilized super-heterodyne receivers. From an engineering standpoint, it made sense to teach these together. Often, radarstyle systems would be grouped

together, as well. Although DME is a navigation device, it works like radar, so it made sense to group it with transponders and weather radar. It all made perfect sense. Many programs would have a comm class, followed by a nav class and finished with a pulse (radar) class. The first chink in the armor of this approach came many years ago with the invention of rho-theta area navigation systems. The first ones were analog, so it would seem they should be taught along with VOR. But, the RNAV required DME. As a result, it could not be taught well until students had an understanding of both VOR and DME. In some cases, schools developed a fourth course. In the course would reside RNAV, flight management and anything else that did not fit the nav/ comm/pulse mold. The next nick in the armor came with Paul Ryan’s Stormscope. The device was built for weather avoidance, so it made sense to include it along with radar subjects, but in some ways, it worked more like an ADF. If the goal of the curriculum designer was to put systems with
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Avionics News September 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News September 2012

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View From Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
Aircraft as Antenna Farm
Member Profile
Understated Success
Hooking Up With Aspen’s Connected Panel
Meet the AEA Board
Member Profile
A Conversation With...
Business Basics
Theory & Practice
Legal Ease
What’s New
Avionics News September 2012 - Intro
Avionics News September 2012 - Cover1
Avionics News September 2012 - Cover2
Avionics News September 2012 - 1
Avionics News September 2012 - 2
Avionics News September 2012 - 3
Avionics News September 2012 - Point of Communication
Avionics News September 2012 - 5
Avionics News September 2012 - AEA Now
Avionics News September 2012 - 7
Avionics News September 2012 - 8
Avionics News September 2012 - 9
Avionics News September 2012 - 10
Avionics News September 2012 - 11
Avionics News September 2012 - 12
Avionics News September 2012 - 13
Avionics News September 2012 - The View From Washington
Avionics News September 2012 - 15
Avionics News September 2012 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News September 2012 - 17
Avionics News September 2012 - 18
Avionics News September 2012 - 19
Avionics News September 2012 - Aircraft as Antenna Farm
Avionics News September 2012 - 21
Avionics News September 2012 - 22
Avionics News September 2012 - 23
Avionics News September 2012 - Member Profile
Avionics News September 2012 - 25
Avionics News September 2012 - 26
Avionics News September 2012 - 27
Avionics News September 2012 - Understated Success
Avionics News September 2012 - 29
Avionics News September 2012 - 30
Avionics News September 2012 - 31
Avionics News September 2012 - 32
Avionics News September 2012 - 33
Avionics News September 2012 - Hooking Up With Aspen’s Connected Panel
Avionics News September 2012 - 35
Avionics News September 2012 - 36
Avionics News September 2012 - 37
Avionics News September 2012 - 38
Avionics News September 2012 - 39
Avionics News September 2012 - Meet the AEA Board
Avionics News September 2012 - 41
Avionics News September 2012 - 42
Avionics News September 2012 - 43
Avionics News September 2012 - Member Profile
Avionics News September 2012 - 45
Avionics News September 2012 - 46
Avionics News September 2012 - 47
Avionics News September 2012 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News September 2012 - 49
Avionics News September 2012 - Business Basics
Avionics News September 2012 - 51
Avionics News September 2012 - 52
Avionics News September 2012 - 53
Avionics News September 2012 - 54
Avionics News September 2012 - 55
Avionics News September 2012 - Theory & Practice
Avionics News September 2012 - 57
Avionics News September 2012 - 58
Avionics News September 2012 - 59
Avionics News September 2012 - Legal Ease
Avionics News September 2012 - 61
Avionics News September 2012 - 62
Avionics News September 2012 - 63
Avionics News September 2012 - What’s New
Avionics News September 2012 - 65
Avionics News September 2012 - 66
Avionics News September 2012 - 67
Avionics News September 2012 - 68
Avionics News September 2012 - 69
Avionics News September 2012 - 70
Avionics News September 2012 - 71
Avionics News September 2012 - 72
Avionics News September 2012 - Cover3
Avionics News September 2012 - Cover4
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