All posts tagged IFR

Making Sense of GPS Approach Minimums

GPS Approach Minimums

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.

Minima In English Details
GLS GNSS Landing System GLS uses LAAS (Local Area Augmentation System) to provide ILS-like lateral and vertical guidance. GLS is still under development
LPV Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance Uses WAAS to provide ILS-like lateral and vertical guidance. Minimums will be slightly higher than GLS
LNAV/VNAV Lateral Navigation with Vertical Navigation Vertical guidance provided by a barometric altimeter based system or WAAS GPS
LP Localizer Performance Localizer-like performance provided by a WAAS capable GPS. No vertical guidance
LNAV Lateral Navigation 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.

Flying Tip: Stay Ahead of the Airplane, Preselect Your Frequencies

Use your preselect to stay ahead of the airplane

Staying ahead of the airplane is the name of the game, especially when it comes to IFR flying. One of the easiest ways to do that is to keep your radios set one step ahead of the game. Here’s how I like to set up my radios for departure and arrival.

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Bugout Times – When to Divert to the Alternate Airport

IFR Charts

Without taking fuel burn into consideration, you can wind up in a situation where you no longer have enough fuel to fly to the alternate – and perhaps even the destination.As an instrument rated pilot, you know all about flying holding patterns and computing entries. But you can’t fly around in a holding pattern all day, sooner or later you’ll have to decide when to bug out and go to the alternate. It’s better to make this decision sooner than later, here’s how.

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Should I Get My Instrument Rating?

A favorite question among private pilots. Should I get my instrument rating? In short, the answer is a resounding yes! Pilots who continue their training are 52% less likely to have an accident. Not only are the statistics in your favor: imagine this. Read more…

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