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Back-up Navaids

Featuring Bob Nardiello

Even if you have GPS equipment, you should use back-up navaids for positional awareness. Here's why I'm saying this. I fly technologically-advanced aircraft, a glass cockpit type of aircraft. I have had, in my experience, just about every piece of equipment imaginable fail in an aircraft, including the latest WAAS- certified GPS equipment. It is important that we all remember that we must maintain the capability of flying the airplane with only raw data. And, what I am talking about is the capability to fly the airplane with a VOR, to identify intersections via VOR, or perhaps DME if you have DME capability.

The fact that you have GPS in your airplane, and may also have a glass cockpit does not ensure that you will not have problems with the equipment. Yes, the equipment makes life a lot easier, positional awareness is much easier with this kind of equipment. But, the basic skills of flying the airplane with raw data can't be replaced. Your GPS could have a problem. For that matter, the whole GPS system could go down at some point in the future. Remember, don't let your basic flying skills degrade through your inability to fly via raw data from your nav equipment.

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