GPS Navigation Training Features

GPS Navigation

GPS navigation gets easier with training features

GPS navigation has created a huge leap forward in situational awareness for pilots, and for the most part, the programing of a GPS is intuitive. But certain features take a little more thought to understand and may even require some training before using the system in actual flight. Unless you are paired with a pilot who has had many hours of experience using all of the features of a GPS, you may benefit from a training app that allows you to fully interact using your iPad’s touchscreen surface. The Garmin GTN training app is a perfect example of the benefits of such a product. Garmin released their training app for iPad to help pilots better understand the GTN system. It allows the pilot to fully interact with either the GTN 650 or 750, using the iPad’s touchscreen interface as a “simulator”, before they are actually in the airplane using the GPS in flight. This training app has been recently updated, adding a series of new features to match recent updates to the GTN avionics. I just want to mention a few of these updates, in case some of you are unaware that these features are available. It’s easy to fly, day in and day out, using only the basic mode of GPS operation, but a little knowledge and training can allow you to use the full capabilities of the system. Vertical Navigation
VNAV profiles are an example of a feature that is often ignored in favor of complacency (laziness?), but once you know how to use it, you’ll never stop. VNAV assists with descent planning and energy management throughout the enroute and terminal phases of flight. The training app allows the pilot to practice with different scenarios and know what to look for on the flight plan screen so that using this feature in the actual aircraft will be a breeze.
Along track offsets
This feature is a great way to never miss a crossing restriction – it allows you to tap a waypoint on the flight plan, select the along track button, enter the distance offset (either before or after the waypoint), and then this newly created location will be entered into the flight plan as a new waypoint. It’s extremely simple, but only if you know that the feature is available and how to use it.
QWERTY and ABC keyboard formats
This feature is a great way to never miss a crossing restriction – it allows you to tap a waypoint on the flight plan, select the along track button, enter the distance offset (either before or after the waypoint), and then this newly created location will be entered into the flight plan as a new waypoint. It’s extremely simple, but only if you know that the feature is available and how to use it.
New FIS-B (ADS-B) weather products
When paired with a compatible “ADS-B in” product, pilots can now access the latest FIS-B weather products on the moving map. This information will be available next to the flight plan information and also on dedicated weather pages within the GTN. These new weather products will include lightning, cloud tops, turbulence, current and forecast icing, AIRMETS and center weather advisories. Practicing on the GPS Navigation training app will ensure that you can find the information that you need, when you need it, in real life.

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