CHAPTER 3. Navigation

Awareness: Mode Awareness

Mode awareness refers to the pilot’s ability to keep track of how an advanced avionics cockpit system is configured. As shown in Figure 3-16, every advanced avionics system offers an annunciation of which mode is currently set—somewhere in the cockpit! There is no guarantee that you will notice these annunciations in a timely manner. The configuration of these systems must remain part of your mode situational awareness at all times. One strategy is to include “mode checks” as part of your checklist or callout procedures. For example, after programming a route into the FMS, verify that the navigation indicator shows course guidance from the desired source, and that the indication agrees with your estimate of the correct direction and distance of flight.

Essential Skills

  • Determine whether the FMS is approved for the planned flight operation.
  • Determine if your FMS can be used as a primary navigation system for alternate requirements.
  • Understand how entries are made and how the entries can be canceled.
  • Understand how that unit(s) is installed, and how it is programmed or jumpered for optional functions.
  • Determine which navigation sources are installed and functional.
  • Determine the status of the databases.
  • Program the FMS/RNAV with a flight plan, including en route waypoints, user waypoints, and published instrument procedures.
  • Review the programmed flight route to ensure it is free from error.
  • Find the necessary pages for flight information in the databases.
  • Determine which sources drive which displays or instruments, and where the selection controls are located.
  • Determine and understand how to use and program optional functions and equipment installed with FMS/ RNAV basic unit.

En Route Navigation

The FMS provides guidance toward each waypoint in the programmed flight route, and provides information to help you track your progress.

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