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Weekly tips, technique and training from IFR.

Garmin's GTN Updates

Garmin's GTN Updates

Think about today’s sophisticated navigator. Start with the computer. That computer needs inputs—some buttons and probably a touch screen. Other local inputs include a means to get aviation database(s), a GPS engine that provides precise position data, and receivers for VOR, LOC and glideslope. Inputs for remotely provided data might include things like barometric pressure, fuel flow and data for weather, traffic and the like. Outputs include the local display and externally providing data from the GPS and the databases.

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Standard Charting and Non-Standard Approaches

Standard Charting and Non-Standard Approaches

Standard charting conventions can get confusing with unusual approaches. Beware obvious interpretations that are flat-out wrong.

I don’t know where the KEGE localizer resides, or how wide it is, but the chart shows it brings you aligned with Runway 25. The approach starts high and requires several step-downs, so you’ll need DME off the localizer, or IFR GPS equivalent. (As an aside, you can’t substitute even WAAS GPS for lateral guidance on this approach. You must fly the localizer needle by regulation.) This LDA is unusual in that it has a glideslope like an ILS, which optionally gives you an extra 300 feet of descent—but requires an extra half-mile of visibility. More on that in a moment.

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cumulonimbus tower in the foreground with a developing anvil in the background

Reading the Sky

A cloud is the visible manifestation of liquid water droplets or ice. It forms when humid air cools sufficiently for water vapor to saturate and produce condensation—the dewpoint temperature. On a dry summer day in California, this temperature might be 20 degrees F, and the weather remains clear. On more humid summer days in California, the cloud formation temperature might be 50 degrees, producing morning clouds along mountain peaks.

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airplane accident

Using Standard Operating Procedures in General Aviation

Some users of the National Airspace System live by Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and some do not. This is arguably the most significant difference between air carriers and general aviation when it comes to training, testing, and cockpit cultures. This is also, by some measures, a factor in accounting for the differences in accident rates. General aviation, particularly the single-pilot, personal-flying kind, relies not on the use of SOPs, but basic personal minimums for aeronautical decision making.

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Radio Readback Could Save Your Life

Radio Readback Could Save Your Life

A few seconds of read-back time on the radio can help stave off some real trouble. Take that time, and use it carefully to make sure everyone has the same expectations.

On any given day, per National Air Traffic Controllers Association statistics, there’s an average of 87,000 flights over the U.S. Dozens of these pilots may be on the same ATC frequency. They could be dodging weather, descending into complex terminal airspace, or conducting military operations. Perhaps they’re just out for a sightseeing flight or training. As they fly, they’re checking in, replying to instructions, taking frequency changes, and making requests.

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WingX flight app

You Need an Electronic Flight Bag

The AC defines an EFB as an electronic display system intended mainly for cabin or cockpit use. To that end, an EFB can display aviation data such as charts and make basic calculations such as time, fuel and distance calculations. An EFB can also include other databases, perhaps FARs, or additional applications such as crosswind, weight-and-balance and holding calculators.

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Garmin's GTN Updates

Garmin's GTN Updates

Think about today’s sophisticated navigator. Start with the computer. That computer needs inputs—some buttons and probably a touch screen. Other local inputs include a means to get aviation database(s), a GPS engine that provides precise position data, and receivers for VOR, LOC and glideslope. Inputs for remotely provided data might include things like barometric pressure, fuel flow and data for weather, traffic and the like. Outputs include the local display and externally providing data from the GPS and the databases.

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Readback: September 2016

I found the reader question and your response about squawking standby in the May issue interesting because Mode S transponders and especially ADS-B Out configurations have SBY/ALT positions when a GPS position is received rather than ON/ALT without a GPS position. At least that is how my Avidyne IFD540/AXP340 system works. The transponder powers up in SBY mode and automatically switches to ALT mode during the takeoff run. Perhaps I’m wrong, but my understanding is that the SBY position has a different transmission profile for Mode S than the ALT mode and that is reflected in what ATC sees.

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Garmin Flight Stream electronic data

Flight Database Update Costs

While that statement naively looks solely at the cost of distribution, ignoring the cost of development and maintenance, there’s also some validity to it. After all, with paper we’re not only paying all the back-end costs, but also the cost of printing and distribution. Shouldn’t the data alone be a lot cheaper? And with multiple devices that use that data, why should we have to purchase multiple copies? Shouldn’t there be one aircraft data subscription shared across all the devices?

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On the Air: September 2016

As I was progressing down the GPS 9 approach into Ramona Airport last February I heard the following: Cessna Training Flight: “Ramona Tower, ah, on this time around could you, ah flash us?” Female Tower Controller with hooting laughter in the background: “You want me to do what?” Cessna Training Flight: “Oh gosh, sorry, no I mean with the light gun. Yes, sorry with light gun signals for landing.”

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The Medical Reform Bill, ADS-B Rebates and Hybrid-Electric Planes

After a long struggle and many failed attempts by general-aviation advocacy groups, new federal legislation was passed this summer that mandates changes in the way private pilots are medically certified. The B-29 “Doc” took to the air in July for the first time in 60 years, following thousands of hours of restoration work by scores of dedicated volunteers. With a deadline of 2020 looming for the owners of more than 100,000 general-aviation aircraft to install ADS-B capabilities, the industry and regulators are creating incentives to encourage owners to upgrade sooner rather than later. On July 4, Siemens completed the first public flight of its hybrid-electric motor installed in an Extra 330LE aerobatic airplane, from an airfield near Dinslaken, Germany.

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IFR magazine

Download the Full September 2016 Issue PDF

From a flight plan perspective, waypoint sequencing is suspended at the hold waypoint. Thus, the CDI is always showing an error relative to the inbound course. But, as you near the hold and for each turn in the hold, you get an annunciation telling you what to do. In addition, if you have GPS steering to your autopilot, the autopilot will fly the hold, even though the CDI shows a large error on the outbound leg. While creating the hold is straight forward, there are some nuances to exiting the hold. If you select the hold from the flight plan, you have an option to simply, “Exit Hold.” Selecting this will have you complete the present circuit and then proceed to the next leg.

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