CHAPTER 3. Navigation

Chapter Summary

Navigation has been freed from the constraints of channeling all flight traffic along one path. The area navigation capabilities found in advanced avionics receiving signals from other than conventional line-of-sight ground-based aviation navaids and the compact size and reliability of microchips now allow efficient, accurate air travel. Integrated databases facilitated by large reliable memory modules help you to select routes, approaches, and avoid special use airspace.

With this freedom of movement, you must expend more time learning the system and how to do the preflight entries or programming. In addition to current charts, you must now verify the currency of the advanced avionics databases. The aircraft owner must also allocate the funding to maintain the currency of the databases.

You now have access to a tremendous amount of data. The methods of data selection and display must be learned and then decisions made about which display formats to use at which times. VOR/DMEs are simple receivers to tune and use. To use current flight management systems and area navigation units, you may need to study books that are larger than the actual units themselves. You must know the quality of maintenance for advanced avionics units and the qualifications of the systems to determine appropriate uses of the equipment.

Since advanced avionics have different displays, navigation sources, functions, and features, the pilot must always be aware of the mode selected, the data source(s), and the function selected. Pilot lack of attention to navigation can have dire consequences, including notification of the next of kin.

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