If you’ve dropped the habit of timing your approaches, know that running the clock is simple, cheap insurance. While you’re at it, there are many other things you should time.
The trusty digital timer is a fixture in IFR training. You learned to time your turns, your flight segments, holds and approaches. You learned to keep an eye on your arrival times, lest you run late and need to inform ATC.
Lately, though, the practice of timing approaches and related operations has largely gone by the wayside with the use of GPS navigators. With your flight plan laid out and the ETA for each upcoming fix displayed nicely on your screen, few pilots bother to separately use a timer. And, let’s face it: Timer use for navigation is solely a backup if you’ve got GPS and a moving map.