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Archive for the 'GPS' Category

GPS Database Currency

Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

This is an update and expansion of an earlier post. Prepping for a recent flight to KFAT and then to KPAO, where we expected to make an instrument approach at both airports, we checked the database and it was out of date by a cycle. It was easy enough to update but it did generate […]

Using Garmin GPS Simulator Apps

Sunday, December 22nd, 2019

Garmin has a new box—the GNX™ 375—that combines GPS and ADSB in/Out in one unit. They also have a similar product that combines a radio with GPS—GNC 355. And if you don’t need ADSB or a radio they have a box that just has the GPS—GPS 175. They all have the same GPS interface so […]

RAIM and the Service Availability Prediction Tool

Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

Non-WAAS GPS units (and WAAS units if WAAS is not available) have the ability to self-detect whether they can accurately depict the aircraft’s position. This is called Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM). The GPS does a bunch of calculations using various combinations of GPS satellites and if the answers match, you are good to go. […]

AC 90-108: GPS in Lieu of Ground Based Nav

Monday, February 25th, 2019

Guidance on using RNAV systems, what the AIM refers to as GPS (non-WAAS) and WAAS, is scattered around various publications. AC 90-108 addresses using GPS in place of equipment that you probably no longer have in your panel—ADF and DME—and for determining fixes from cross-radials. Basically, you can use GPS to determine distances and fixes […]

Barometric Aiding

Monday, February 18th, 2019

I have been flying a Cessna 172SP with an old-school Bendix stack and unlike the Garmin GPS and S-Tec autopilots that I am used to flying, I need to enter the altimeter setting into the KLN 94 GPS and the KAP 140 Autopilot. Most of the GPS systems in GA aircraft use Barometric Aiding to […]


Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

I was reading the Airplane Flight Manual Supplement for my Garmin 430W and ran across this acronym. GPS/SBAS TSO-C146a Class 3 Operation The GNS complies with AC 20-138A and has airworthiness approval for navigation using GPS and SBAS (within the coverage of a Satellite Based Augmentation System complying with ICAO Annex 10) for IFR en […]


Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

I had seen these terms before but I forgot what they meant. TL;DR, they are a new system of ground based augmentation that will improve navigation performance in the immediate vicinity of an airport. Currently only Newark and Houston-Hobby have the systems installed and the required equipment is installed on some Boeing aircraft flown by […]

Magnetic Variation

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

This section of the AIM describes the reason that you may see differences between charted courses and the course on the PBN (Performance Based Navigation e.g. GPS and WAAS) system. Basically, the system uses true north to determine the course and then makes a correction to display magnetic course. It uses published airport or navaid […]

Powering your iPad in the cockpit.

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Keeping your iPad charged without introducing noise in your headsets can be challenging. Not all chargers work in all aircraft. I recently bought two PowerGen 7.2 Amp (36 Watt) Tri-Port USB chargers. They charge my iPad Pro in both the 12 volt Cherokee and 24 volt Cessna 210. I attached Monoprice cables to the panel […]

VOR Radials and Magnetic Variation

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Get out a sectional and look at the radials that define Victor airways between two VORs. (Note the radial is usually printed just outside the compass rose although sometimes other objects on the chart are in the way and it is inside the compass rose.) Frequently, the two radials are reciprocals, but often they differ—sometimes […]

Garmin GNS 430W/530W—Basics

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

We had some down time on our Cessna T210 when I removed the leaking Aux Fuel Pump and the mis-behaving Vacuum Regulator and sent them off to be refurbished. Since the plane was in the hangar, rather than the shop, I took advantage of the downtime to do some real hangar flying with the Garmin […]

Garmin GPSMAP 496—Notes

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

I upgraded to the Garmin GPSMAP® 496 from the Garmin GPSMAP®295 a while back and it was easy to use the new GPS since the navigation is the same and most of the commands are basically the same. There are a few things that are new on the 496 and a few things that I […]

Garmin GNS 430—Notes

Friday, January 4th, 2008

The good way to learn to use the Garmin 430/530 is to read through the manual with the simulator open on your laptop (Windows only unfortunately). It took me a good 4 hours to get thru the manual, but I’m a bit compulsive about things like that. Then fly to a nearby airport with a […]


Thursday, November 29th, 2007

AOPA has a good course on GPS usage. Garmin has a simulator that you can use to explore the features of their GPS products. GPS has a 100′ horizontal accuracy. If augmented with WAAS it has 10′ horizontal accuracy. The WAAS capability also allows approaches with vertical guidance—LPV and LNAV/VNAV. LPV—Localizer performance with vertical guidance. […]

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