Pilot and student pilot community. Share your pilot lessons or aviation stories.



Global Positioning System (GPS) (Part Three)

in Navigation Systems

To Determine Aircraft Position Over an NDB/ Compass Locator:


  1. Verify aircraft GPS system integrity monitoring is functioning properly and indicates satisfactory integrity.
  2. Select the NDB/compass locator facility from the airborne database. When using an NDB/compass locator, the facility must be charted and be in the airborne database. If the facility is not in the airborne database, pilots are not authorized to use a facility WP for this operation.
  3. A pilot is over the NDB/compass locator when the GPS system indicates arrival at the active WP.

To Determine Aircraft Position Over a Fix Made up of an NDB/Compass Locator Bearing Crossing a VOR/LOC Course:

  1. Verify aircraft GPS system integrity monitoring is functioning properly and indicates satisfactory integrity.
  2. A fix made up by a crossing NDB/compass locator bearing is identified by a five-letter fix name. Pilots may select either the named fix or the NDB/compass locator facility providing the crossing bearing to establish the fix as the active GPS WP. When using an NDB/compass locator, that facility must be charted and be in the airborne database. If the facility is not in the airborne database, pilots are not authorized to use a facility WP for this operation.
  3. When selecting the named fi x as the active GPS WP, pilot is over the fix when the GPS system indicates the pilot is at the WP.
  4. When selecting the NDB/compass locator facility as the active GPS WP, pilots are over the fix when the GPS bearing to the active WP is the same as the charted NDB/compass locator bearing for the fix flying the prescribed track from the non-GPS navigation source.

To Hold Over an NDB/Compass Locator:

  1. Verify aircraft GPS system integrity monitoring is functioning properly and indicates satisfactory integrity.
  2. Select the NDB/compass locator facility from the airborne database as the active WP. When using a facility as the active WP, the only acceptable facility is the NDB/compass locator facility which is charted. If this facility is not in the airborne database, its use is not authorized.
  3. Select nonsequencing (e.g., “HOLD” or “OBS”) mode and the appropriate course in accordance with the POH/AFM, or supplement.
  4. Hold using the GPS system in accordance with the POH/AFM, or supplement.

IFR Flight Using GPS

Preflight preparations should ensure that the GPS is properly installed and certified with a current database for the type of operation. The GPS operation must be conducted in accordance with the FAA-approved POH/AFM or flight manual supplement. Flightcrew members must be thoroughly familiar with the particular GPS equipment installed in the aircraft, the receiver operation manual, and the POH/AFM or flight manual supplement. Unlike ILS and VOR, the basic operation, receiver presentation to the pilot and some capabilities of the equipment can vary greatly. Due to these differences, operation of different brands, or even models of the same brand of GPS receiver under IFR should not be attempted without thorough study of the operation of that particular receiver and installation. Using the equipment in flight under VFR conditions prior to attempting IFR operation will allow further familiarization.

Required preflight preparations should include checking NOTAMs relating to the IFR flight when using GPS as a supplemental method of navigation. GPS satellite outages are issued as GPS NOTAMs both domestically and internationally. Pilots may obtain GPS RAIM availability information for an airport by specifically requesting GPS aeronautical information from an automated flight service station (AFSS) during preflight briefings. GPS RAIM aeronautical information can be obtained for a 3-hour period: the estimated time of arrival (ETA), and 1 hour before to 1 hour after the ETA hour, or a 24-hour time frame for a specific airport. FAA briefers will provide RAIM information for a period of 1 hour before to 1 hour after the ETA, unless a specific timeframe is requested by the pilot. If flying a published GPS departure, the pilot should also request a RAIM prediction for the departure airport. Some GPS receivers have the capability to predict RAIM availability. The pilot should also ensure that the required underlying ground-based navigation facilities and related aircraft equipment appropriate to the route of flight, terminal operations, instrument approaches for the destination, and alternate airports/heliports will be operational for the ETA. If the required ground-based facilities and equipment will not be available, the flight should be rerouted, rescheduled, canceled, or conducted under VFR.


Except for programming and retrieving information from the GPS receiver, planning the flight is accomplished in a similar manner to conventional NAVAIDs. Departure WP, DP, route, STAR, desired approach, IAF, and destination airport are entered into the GPS receiver according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During preflight, additional information may be entered for functions such as ETA, fuel planning, winds aloft, etc.

When the GPS receiver is turned on, it begins an internal process of test and initialization. When the receiver is initialized, the user develops the route by selecting a WP or series of WPs, verifies the data, and selects the active flight plan. This procedure varies widely among receivers made by different manufacturers. GPS is a complex system, offering little standardization between receiver models. It is the pilot’s responsibility to be familiar with the operation of the equipment in the aircraft.

The GPS receiver provides navigational values such as track, bearing, groundspeed, and distance. These are computed from the aircraft’s present latitude and longitude to the location of the next WP. Course guidance is provided between WPs. The pilot has the advantage of knowing the aircraft’s actual track over the ground. As long as track and bearing to the WP are matched up (by selecting the correct aircraft heading), the aircraft is going directly to the WP.

 

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: