A great oportunity to update your skills - by joining
our mentoring programme or renewing your IMC / IRR rating - and fly with
expert members of PPL/IR (europe). You can learn with us how to fly
GPS approachs at Gloucester, and Shoreham, with Blackpool and others
available shortly. All include the necessary instructor sign off.
Our key tips..
The Importance of Training
Before flying GPS-based approaches it is essential for all pilots
to receive training. This includes flying practice RNAV procedures
with an instructor. Trials by the CAA indicate three or four practice
approaches are needed in order to become proficient. To fly the approaches
in the UK you will need at least a current IMC rating – but
you can revalidate an IMC/R by flying the RNAV procedures.
The equipment (permanently fitted and visible) in the aircraft must
also be approved - requiring individual certification
in the Flight Manual or Pilot’s Operating handbook - showing
that it is approved for RNAV(GNSS) NPA operations. Further details
are provided in the document CAP 773 (download from the CAA website).
Know your equipment
It is essential that you are completely familiar
with the GPS unit you will be using.
The most commonly fitted equipment is the Garmin 430/500W
series - and fully approved in our aircraft.
A good start is to gain familiarity is by using one of the PC
based simulators - available from the Garmin
||GPS approaches can look deceptively straightforward.
However, there are many potential pitfalls!.
Extra thought and planning is needed - involving pre-flight checks
of NOTAMS and NANUs (Notice Advisories to Navstar Users) that
might affect the GPS signal. You must also confirm that the RAIM
(Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring) function will be available
throughout the planned RNAV approach.
Either use the RAIM prediction function built into
the GPS, or access the information from the EUROCONTROL Auger website-
at least 24hours before your intended flight. Before loading the approach
into your GPS flight plan, check that it has the latest version of
the navigation database installed and compare the waypoints, tracks
and distances with those shown on the approach chart.
Flying the approach and R/T procedures
When inbound using a GPS activated flight plan, or ‘direct to’,
you normally proceed to the most convenient Initial Approach Fix (IAF),
but before reaching it you need to request clearance for the procedure
from ATC. The GPS will show the distance to the IAF and then to the
next waypoint in the approach sequence. This is an important difference
from conventional DME based approaches. As each way point is passed
the distance will revert back again – and initially this can
be quite confusing.
To maintain situational awareness you need to know the name sequence
and distances of each waypoint by reference to the printed plates
(ie Aerad or Jeppeson). As you fly to within 2nm of the Final Approach
Fix (FAF), the GPS should change to Approach Mode – (if not
you must abandon it!) and the CDI sensitivity gradually changes from
1nm to 0.3nm at the FAF
Initially in the UK at least - RNAV(GNSS) missed approach procedures
will be based on conventional navaids, so you will need to remain
current using an ADF or VOR for the foreseeable future.