Saturday, May 5, 2007

G1000 Nav setting / beacon identification

This post addresses a topic that is more IFR oriented, but can also affect VFR pilots using radionavigation.

As all IFR navigation is based on radar vectors or radionavigation, it is of paramount importance to properly tune the nav receivers, and the corresponding indicators.

The routine I used on planes with classical intrumentation was:

Nav 1 - Frequency - Course selector - Ident - DME coupling - RMI coupling
(same for nav 2)
ADF frequency - Ident - RMI coupling

The G1000 includes two nav receivers and an optional ADF receiver. In terms of indicators, there is an HSI which also includes two RMI pointers, as seen on the picture below:

This indicator is really flexible and powerful, may be too flexible in fact.

The HSI needle can be coupled to NAV1 / NAV2 or GPS. Each pointer can also be coupled to a NAV, GPS or ADF. When you've to fly a complex procedure needing more than one or two navs, you can define a setting that matches it, but then tuning the G1000 and then interpreting it is not obvious.

The school where I trained had a standard setting which was:

Primary NAV or GPS on the HSI, NAV2 on le single line pointer, ADF on the dual line pointer. One desing remark here to M. Garmin: on classical instruments, the single line pointers are green, and the dual line pointers are yellow. On the G1000, they are both cyan.

Having a standard setting help you to easily interpret your pointers, and to resist the deadly tempation to spend too much time during an approach to build up a specific setting. It could seem restrictive, but in fact it helps remaining proficient.

Another important topic is the identification of beacons, by identification of morse code. The G1000 includes a morse decoder, so when you tune a nav frequency, it will "listen" to the code, and display it. This value is not comming from the database, so it can legally replace the identification by a human. But unfortunately, this feature is not available for ADF and DME.

More on DA40 specifics in the next post.