Colonel, USAF, Ret.
Four Shuttle Missions (STS-55 Columbia, STS-71 Atlantis, STS-84 Atlantis, STS-91 Discovery)
Shuttle Commander (STS-84 & STS-91)
Q&A with Charlie Precourt
Charlie Precourt is a retired NASA astronaut. His career in flight began at an early age, and spans his entire lifetime. He served in the US Air Force, piloted numerous jet aircraft, and piloted and commanded the Space Shuttle. Notably, he piloted or commanded several missions which involved docking with the Russian Mir Space Station and was heavily involved in Russian/US Space relations as well as the International Space Station collaboration. He retired from the USAF with the rank of Colonel.
Why did you choose Avidyne?
I have found the combination of total capabilities and the comparatively low cost makes it a great solution. The continuous improvements are putting the capabilities of the IFD in front of the other options that are out there.
What are your favorite features of the IFD550 and 545?
Weather planning in real time, in flight situation awareness, use of Syn Vis and loading and executing instrument approaches on autopilot are all very straightforward exercises with the IFD550 and 545.
How has the experience made piloting easier?
Being able to do my preflight at the office, file a flight plan on Foreflight ® then, once in the cockpit, load all the data to the IFD FMS via WiFi is a huge feature for me. Saves lots of time on the ground and ensures accuracy of input. The auto fill feature for fixes, navaids and airport IDs is awesome too.
Do you recall a specific time when the IFD was most helpful?
Once when doing a weather divert, having integrated weather options in real time plus flight pre-planning on the FMS I found it to be a real workload reducer. Also, I had to fly an LPV to nearly minimums in pretty bad winter weather, and the integration of flying that kind of approach was a really nice asset to have.