The minima section of an RNAV or GPS approach chart looks like a bowl of alphabet soup. Full of ever-changing acronyms, it’s hard for the weekend flyer to keep up. To help, I studied the AIM and compiled this at-a-glance list of GPS approach minima and what they mean to you.
||GNSS Landing System
||GLS uses LAAS (Local Area Augmentation System) to provide ILS-like lateral and vertical guidance. GLS is still under development
||Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance
||Uses WAAS to provide ILS-like lateral and vertical guidance. Minimums will be slightly higher than GLS
||Lateral Navigation with Vertical Navigation
||Vertical guidance provided by a barometric altimeter based system or WAAS GPS
||Localizer-like performance provided by a WAAS capable GPS. No vertical guidance
||Step-down non precision approach with no vertical guidance. Any GPS certified for IFR approaches can fly to LNAV minimums
All of this information and more is in the latest Airman Information Manual. For the 2013 manual, check pages 5-4-21 and 5-4-22.
Our friends at PilotEdge have put together a more efficient payment option for pilots and flight sim enthusiasts who only occasionally fly the virtual skies. The hourly option starts at a base rate of $4.95/month plus a flat $2.00/hour. Of course, the old unlimited monthly and annual memberships are still available for heavy flyers.
But the question remains, is this a good deal? Let’s do some math. PilotEdge’s unlimited plan calls for $19.95/month. That’s equal to 7.5 hours under the hourly rate. So if you expect to spend more than 7.5 hours on the network every month, it’s better to go monthly. Personally, except for heavy instrument training, I have very rarely flown so many hours on a home simulator. To me, the PilotEdge hourly plan is priced just right.
If you haven’t heard of PilotEdge, you should read my review of the virtual ATC house, or just check them out at PilotEdge.net. In fact, they even have 14-day free trials if you want to test the waters.
Sporty’s Study Buddy is an exceptionally simple iPhone and iPad App, and I mean that in the best way. Study Buddy offers itself as a definitive one-stop solution to the FAA Test Prep problem. AviationChatter was given the opportunity to evaluate the latest version of Study Buddy (Private Pilot). Find out if you should buy or pass on this one.
Perhaps the greatest challenge to future professional pilots is overcoming the financial hurdle inherent in flight training. According to recent estimates, a private pilot’s license in 2010 will cost between eight to ten thousand dollars, with the commercial pilot certificate topping out at forty to sixty thousand! The dirty little secret to these bloated numbers is the fact that much of that money is spent renting an airplane and “building hours” — something you could be doing for free! Read more…