Instrument Pilot IFR Tips – Using GPS on a VOR or ILS approach, Foreflight + GA News


Last week we talked about briefing the approach and said one of the first things you should do is check to see whether GPS is in the title of the approach. For example, you might look to see whether the title is just VOR 21 approach or if it’s VOR 21 OR GPS. If it’s the latter, it’s obvious you can use GPS in lieu of a VOR signal for the entire approach. But what’s less clear is when you can use GPS for a portion of the approach if it says just VOR 21 and doesn’t have GPS in the title of the approach.

Although GPS receivers have been around for over 20 years, pilots are still unclear as to when they can use GPS on non-GPS approaches such as ILS and VOR approaches. As Max explains, the rules are different for VOR and ILS approaches. The regulatory basis can be found in FAA Advisory Circular AC 90-108, dated March 3, 2011, and in the AIM, the Aeronautical Information Manual, in section 1-2-3, sub-paragraphs c4 and c-5, updated May 26, 2016.

These tell us that for a VOR or NDB approach, you can now use GPS for the entire approach, even if GPS is not listed in the title of the approach. So in our example, if the title of the approach is VOR 21, and GPS is not in the title, you can still now use GPS for the entire approach, but with one caveat. The VOR or NDB signal MUST be in service, and you MUST monitor that signal for the final approach course.

But for an ILS or Localizer approach, as soon as you turn onto a localizer or ILS, you need to display course guidance from the Nav radio. On the Garmin 430/530, that means as soon as you turn onto the localizer, you must push the CDI button so VLOC is displayed. You can, if you wish, monitor RNAV (GPS) data as you fly along a localizer, but GPS cannot be used for primary guidance at any time while on a localizer.

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News Stories

Unstable Approach Definition and Private Pilot Tips for How to Fly a Stable Approach + GA News


You’ve undoubtedly heard of a stabilized approach and know it’s helpful to have one prior to landing. But many pilots don’t know all of the elements of a stabilized approach, or the potential expense of an unstable approach. Last year, two pilots I know dug deep into their wallets to pay for damage resulting from landings that followed unstable approaches. Both considered going around, but didn’t. The pilots of an IFR charter fight into Akron, Ohio in November 2015 weren’t so lucky; everyone died after their unstable approach.

So what is a stabilized approach, and why does it matter? Cirrus Aircraft’s Flight Operations Manual gives a good description. It says: “A stabilized approach is characterized by a constant angle and constant rate of descent approach profile ending near the touch-down point. Stabilized approach criteria apply to all approaches including practice power-off approaches.“ It goes on to say that for VFR landings, an “approach is considered stabilized when all of the following criteria are achieved by 500′ AGL:

  • Proper airspeed,
  • Correct flight path,
  • Correct aircraft configuration for phase of flight,
  • Appropriate power setting for aircraft configuration,
  • Normal angle and rate of descent,
  • Only minor corrections are required to correct deviations.

A go-around must be executed if the above conditions are not met, and the aircraft is not stabilized by 500′ AGL.” This episode contains lots of tips to help you consistently fly stable approaches every time you fly the traffic pattern, including tips for long, straight-in approaches, which often lead to unstable approaches.

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News Stories

13 Fun Ideas for National Aviation Day + GA News


National Aviation Day has been around for more than 75 years, But it probably doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. Here are 13 fun ideas for celebrating on national aviation Day, which is August 19.

Franklin D. Roosevelt created National Aviation Day in 1939 by presidential proclamation. Originally it was to celebrate the growth and advancements made in aviation. But one can’t help wonder whether it was also a way to start getting more people interested in aviation got a time when Europe was just beginning to enter World War II. Today we face a different challenge, which is how to attract more people to aviation at a time when pilots are in high demand, but new student pilot starts are declining.

Here are 13 ways that you can celebrate today, or help get other people more connected to aviation.

1. Get someone else involved in aviation.

2. If you are a rusty pilot, get back into flying!

3. Fly in a new airplane type.

4. Watch an aviation themed movie.

5. Fly a flight simulator!

6. If you are a licensed pilot, fly somewhere new!

7. Visit an Aviation Museum

8. Fly a radio controlled airplane

9. Volunteer to help an aviation-related organization

10. Download and read an aviation book from your local library or from NASA

11. Go Plane Spotting

12. Thank someone who works in the aviation industry

13. Take an aviation course

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News Stories

Cirrus Embark – Free Training for Buyers of Used Cirrus Aircraft – Ivy McIver Interview


Cirrus Aircraft announced a ground breaking new program called Cirrus Embark that provides free, yes absolutely free flight training to buyers of pre-owned Cirrus Aircraft. So if you were to buy a ten-year old Cirrus from someone, you can get up to 3 days of free flight training, paid for by Cirrus! It’s called the Cirrus Embark program, and we interview Ivy McIver, SR Product Line Manager at Cirrus Aircraft to talk about the Embark program.

If you are thinking about buying a new, or late model Cirrus, please contact me now, so that I can give you some tips to help you with your decision process. You can contact me here.

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