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Handheld GPS for IFR

Discussion in 'Technical Talk' started by walljer, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. walljer

    walljer Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have any experience using the Garmin Aera as a back up when flying IFR? I'm trying to figure out if it is something that could save your life in an emergency? I know it is not legal for navigation, but if you had a full avionics failure, could you use it to fly and approach and get down?

    Second question. It seems as though the garmin handhelds only have the FAF's and non of the IAF's. How do you go about shooting the approach. Do you have to get vectors on to final? Or is there some way to get the IAF's and IF's loaded in. Even if you have to do it manually. Again, this is in reference to an emergency, where you have lost your primary form of navigation.
  2. MidlifeFlyer

    MidlifeFlyer Well-Known Member

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    I have a 495, same underlying unit without the slim case and the touch screen. I've practiced both partial panel and no-panel using only the instrument screen from the handheld and was able to maintain control of the airplane. (First time I tried it partial panel, my safety pilot didn't realize what I was doing and thought I was a great partial partial pilot)

    I've also been in a real IFR emergency - partial loss of power and unable to hold altitude. Without the handheld, I had no GPS and, once I went below radar contact, would have been flying dead reckoning in the clouds in the mountains to get to my diversionary airport without the handleld .

    So I'd say, yes, it could save you life in the case of an emergency.

    The limits on what is there automatically is probably because Garmin doesn't want you to have the temptation to fly GPS approaches all the time using it. But you have a full Jepp waypoint database and can enter them manually as part of a flight plan. Same for SIDs and STARs. Obviously that's pretty workload intensive, so the best bet is to practice by doing it as a backup for non-emergencies so it becomes and automatic process for you.
  3. walljer

    walljer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks that is very helpful! I just got hired for my first 135 freight job based in the NW. I am thinking that it would be a good idea for a back up in case of an emergency. And it never hurts to have a little extra situational awareness when /A in the clouds! I know that I want a handheld, it is just choosing the right one. I have played with the aera a little and think that is what I'm going to pick up. Now I just have to figure out which model. $2000 is a lot for a flight instructors salary!
  4. killbilly

    killbilly Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens

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    I've got an AnywhereMap ATC with XM Weather for sale if you're interested. A lot less than $2K.
  5. ratherbflying74

    ratherbflying74 New Member

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    I have had the Aera 560 for 3 months and LOVE it! Saved our ass on the way back from BNA a couple weeks ago with pop-ups all over the place. We asked for deviation based on what we saw wayyy in advance and they were happy to do so. We loaded in the waypoints for a GPS approach as back up and it was right on target. Yes...it's expensive, but the pilot in the right seat said himself, he wouldn't have wanted to be w/out it that day! There's my 2 cents :)
  6. MidlifeFlyer

    MidlifeFlyer Well-Known Member

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  7. walljer

    walljer Well-Known Member

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    Wow that can't be a real tracked flight! That is insane! What was going on over denver?!?!
  8. MidlifeFlyer

    MidlifeFlyer Well-Known Member

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    LOL!! I've always been so focused on the piece in the mountains, I never noticed that I actually downloaded multiple flights fro my GPS and didn't separate them out. All the stuff over Denver is from multiple other flights. I'll have to fix that when I get a chance.
  9. SpiraMirabilis

    SpiraMirabilis Possible Subversive

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    I've been using my iPad with ForeFlight app for situational awareness / moving map GPS. By default Apple doesn't let you turn off the radio without also turning off the GPS "Airplane mode" but if you jailbreak it you can add the app "SBSettings" which allows you to turn off the 3G radio while keeping the GPS on. The GPS is an Assisted GPS, but it will revert to normal GPS if you have turned the radio off. However if the radio is on and doesn't have a signal you won't be able to get a GPS lock. Also keeping the radio on drains the battery considerably -- while it only uses about 10% / hour if you only have the GPS turned on.

    You can't do Direct To, since it wasn't really designed to be used this way, but you can enter in your flight plan and it will draw it and you can see if you're right or left of course, your current track and the desired track (if you were on course.)

    You need to have a 3G iPad for this, as the WiFi only one does not include a GPS as far as I know.

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