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IFR use of handheld GPS



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 3rd 06, 05:23 AM posted to rec.aviation.ifr
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Default IFR use of handheld GPS

I've seen other discussions get off topic and go on about handheld GPS
use under IFR. And people get all worked up about it. I know there is
a lot of history on this newsgroup, but I haven't followed most of it
(so don't lynch me, please).

It seems that a lot of pilots believe a handheld GPS shouldn't be used
while IFR. And a lot more believe that it can't be the "primary"
navigation method. Sometimes that makes sense, but other times it
doesn't (to me). So here are a few questions I have that work up to
GPS:

1) Can you use celestial navigation while IFR? And does your sextant
have to be "approved" in some way?

2) Can you use dead reckoning for IFR navigation? If so, can you use
your wrist watch as your "primary" timer? Or does it have to be an
"installed" clock? And to do dead reckoning calculations, can you use
a drugstore-bought calculator? An abacus? Or how about a handy "dead
reckoning computer" that calculates ground speed and track?

I can understand that a handheld GPS is not supposed to be used as a
substitute for VOR or DME or ADF (say for navigating along airways or
for shooting instrument approaches). But can you not use one for
flying off-airway routes without playing tricks (like pretending to
double-check position with VOR/DME or asking ATC for a vector and then
ignoring the heading they issue)?

Ads
  #2  
Old May 3rd 06, 05:46 AM posted to rec.aviation.ifr
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Default IFR use of handheld GPS

On 2 May 2006 21:23:33 -0700, wrote:

asking ATC for a vector and then
ignoring the heading they issue)?


If it looks like a troll, walks like a troll, quacks like a troll, it must
be a troll.

Allen
  #3  
Old May 3rd 06, 05:59 AM posted to rec.aviation.ifr
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Default IFR use of handheld GPS

asking ATC for a vector and then
ignoring the heading they issue)?


If it looks like a troll, walks like a troll, quacks like a troll, it must
be a troll.


Thanks. Maybe speling and grammar like a troll, but walking and
quacking?

I'm serious, though. I have heard several pilots tell ATC that they
have a handheld GPS and then ask for a vector. What's the point? If
you're going to ask for a vector why add the bit about the GPS? I can
only assume that they intend on flying the course from the handheld,
but ask for a vector because they've heard that its "legal" if you do
it that way.

On the other hand, I've had a controller ask me if I had a handheld
because he wanted me to fly direct to a VOR well outside reception
range. I didn't have one with me on that flight, so instead he gave me
a vector (it was a slow night).

Peter

  #5  
Old May 3rd 06, 05:33 PM posted to rec.aviation.ifr
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Default IFR use of handheld GPS

Here's my layman's understanding of this. I hope someone will jump
in and correct me if I've got something wrong,

If you're IFR en-route, ATC has three ways of directing you::

a) via an airway;
b) direct;
c) vectors;

ATC needs to have you on radar to issue (b) or (c).

You should only accept a direct clearance if you're confident you can
navigate direct.
It doesn't matter what method you plan to use to navigate direct -- it
can be dead reckoning, celestial navigation, visual (if you're VMC),
VOR, hand-held GPS, panel-mount GPS, etc.

If you're not confident you can navigate direct, then you should
refuse the direct clearance. ATC already has you on radar, so it's
typically no big deal for them to issue a radar vector instead.

What happens if you've accepted a direct clearance, and your hand-held
GPS's battereis die?
It's just the same as any other reason for being unable to navigate
direct (clouds cover the stars, you can no longer see your
destination, your ham sandwich falls to the floor...). You inform
ATC, eg:
"Cessna 12345 is no longer able to navigate direct xyz. Request
radar vectors."
(Remember, they've already got you on radar to issue the direct
clearance.)

So, it's OK to accept a direct clearance, even if you're /U, as long
as you're confident you can do the navigation.

It's also good practice to always cross-check your navigation using
some independent means.

Once again, if any of this is wrong, stupid, or illegal, please
correct me. I'm here to learn!

Cheers,

Tim.


On 2 May 2006 21:23:33 -0700, wrote:

I've seen other discussions get off topic and go on about handheld GPS
use under IFR. And people get all worked up about it. I know there is
a lot of history on this newsgroup, but I haven't followed most of it
(so don't lynch me, please).

It seems that a lot of pilots believe a handheld GPS shouldn't be used
while IFR. And a lot more believe that it can't be the "primary"
navigation method. Sometimes that makes sense, but other times it
doesn't (to me). So here are a few questions I have that work up to
GPS:

1) Can you use celestial navigation while IFR? And does your sextant
have to be "approved" in some way?

2) Can you use dead reckoning for IFR navigation? If so, can you use
your wrist watch as your "primary" timer? Or does it have to be an
"installed" clock? And to do dead reckoning calculations, can you use
a drugstore-bought calculator? An abacus? Or how about a handy "dead
reckoning computer" that calculates ground speed and track?

I can understand that a handheld GPS is not supposed to be used as a
substitute for VOR or DME or ADF (say for navigating along airways or
for shooting instrument approaches). But can you not use one for
flying off-airway routes without playing tricks (like pretending to
double-check position with VOR/DME or asking ATC for a vector and then
ignoring the heading they issue)?


  #6  
Old May 3rd 06, 07:44 PM posted to rec.aviation.ifr
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Default IFR use of handheld GPS

On Saturday, I got an IFR clearance "KROC direct GEE direct KAGC", which
as soon as I got airborne was ammened to "direct KAGC". I was /A and I'd
filed along airways, but they must have known I had a handheld on board
and it was CAVU because I couldn't have flown that in IMC with the
equipment installed on the plane.


What does CAVU have to do with it?
--
Thanks,
John Clonts
Temple, Texas
N7NZ

  #7  
Old May 3rd 06, 07:46 PM posted to rec.aviation.ifr
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Default IFR use of handheld GPS

In a previous article, "John Clonts" said:
On Saturday, I got an IFR clearance "KROC direct GEE direct KAGC", which
as soon as I got airborne was ammened to "direct KAGC". I was /A and I'd
filed along airways, but they must have known I had a handheld on board
and it was CAVU because I couldn't have flown that in IMC with the
equipment installed on the plane.


What does CAVU have to do with it?


If the handheld had failed, I could have navigated by map reading.


--
Paul Tomblin http://xcski.com/blogs/pt/
My hate/hate relationship with XML is, predictably, on 'hate' at the moment.
-- Matt S Trout
  #8  
Old May 3rd 06, 09:52 PM posted to rec.aviation.ifr
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Default IFR use of handheld GPS

If the handheld had failed, I could have navigated by map reading.

Since direct can only be given under radar control (IFR GPS or
otherwise) if you lost your handheld you could have just asked for
vectors. I used to note "VFR GPS on board" on my IFR flight plan. I no
longer need to, ATC seems to assume everyone can take direct now. The
/G just lets them know to offer you a GPS approach.

-Robert

  #9  
Old May 3rd 06, 10:41 PM posted to rec.aviation.ifr
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Default IFR use of handheld GPS

Tim,

All of that sounds very reasonable to me. But so many people think
that they can't navigate direct without approved panel mount GPSs that
I thought there might be some truth in it.

So if a controller asks if I can navigate direct to some intersection
(while under IFR) I can say yes and use my handheld and that's okay? I
suppose it'll all work out, but I wasn't sure how to answer that
question a month or so ago when I was asked. So I said "we can wing
it" and his response was, "well I better give you a vector" and then I
went and "augmented" his vector with my handheld. I'm sure the
controller would have preferred that I just say yes and do it. It
would have been easier for him.

Peter

Tim Auckland wrote:
Here's my layman's understanding of this. I hope someone will jump
in and correct me if I've got something wrong,

If you're IFR en-route, ATC has three ways of directing you::

a) via an airway;
b) direct;
c) vectors;

ATC needs to have you on radar to issue (b) or (c).

You should only accept a direct clearance if you're confident you can
navigate direct.
It doesn't matter what method you plan to use to navigate direct -- it
can be dead reckoning, celestial navigation, visual (if you're VMC),
VOR, hand-held GPS, panel-mount GPS, etc.

If you're not confident you can navigate direct, then you should
refuse the direct clearance. ATC already has you on radar, so it's
typically no big deal for them to issue a radar vector instead.

What happens if you've accepted a direct clearance, and your hand-held
GPS's battereis die?
It's just the same as any other reason for being unable to navigate
direct (clouds cover the stars, you can no longer see your
destination, your ham sandwich falls to the floor...). You inform
ATC, eg:
"Cessna 12345 is no longer able to navigate direct xyz. Request
radar vectors."
(Remember, they've already got you on radar to issue the direct
clearance.)

So, it's OK to accept a direct clearance, even if you're /U, as long
as you're confident you can do the navigation.

It's also good practice to always cross-check your navigation using
some independent means.

Once again, if any of this is wrong, stupid, or illegal, please
correct me. I'm here to learn!

Cheers,

Tim.



  #10  
Old May 3rd 06, 11:04 PM posted to rec.aviation.ifr
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Posts: n/a
Default IFR use of handheld GPS

In a previous article, "Robert M. Gary" said:
If the handheld had failed, I could have navigated by map reading.


Since direct can only be given under radar control (IFR GPS or
otherwise) if you lost your handheld you could have just asked for
vectors. I used to note "VFR GPS on board" on my IFR flight plan. I no


Yeah, but in a lost comm situation, you'd either have to map read your way
to the destination or aim off to intercept your original airways course or
quickly plot a new airways course. I could do the all of the above in
CAVU, but in IMC I'd probably want to do the middle one.


--
Paul Tomblin http://xcski.com/blogs/pt/
"The first rule of Usenet Cabal is: you do not talk about Usenet Cabal."
 




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