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Author Topic: GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks  (Read 5331 times)

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Cabbage

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GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks
« on: June 20, 2014, 07:10:28 AM »
Iím one that always likes to see if I can get more out of my equipment so I thought Iíd start this thread.

For you GTN650/750 users out there, do you have any tips or tricks that help you get the most out of it?

Iíll start with two or my own:

1.  Letís say Iím flying from KHIO near Portland to KTIW in Tacoma, WA and have to fly IFR due to weather (what a shocker in the Pacific Northwest).  Iíll assume that this day TIW is landing to the North so Iíll want to fly the RNAV 35 approach.  I could file over OLM (Olympia) and direct to KTIW.  However, if I do that and then load the RNAV 35, the GTN will show a route of flight from OLM to TIW and back to FESAS (the IAF) for the approach.  If I do that, Iíll have no idea how far I am from FESAS while enroute and have no idea when I should start down.  If instead I filed OLM FESAS KTIW and then load the approach, the GTN will show a route from OLM to FESAS to KTIW and back to FESAS for the approach.  Doing it that way will let ATC know Iím probably going to want the RNAV 35 approach and also let me know exactly how far I am from the IAF while enroute for descent planning.

2.  Letís say ATC gives me a crossing restriction way down the road.  Letís say it is 30 West of GEG at 5000í on my current inbound course of 104.  I donít want to forget it and miss it.  I can create a ďTemporaryĒ waypoint at the GEG 284/30 and name it ďAT 5000Ē.  It will show up on the moving map and if I touch it, the name will appear reminding me of the altitude.  While Iíd hesitate to do so, if it appears the waypoint lies exactly on the magenta line, I could even insert it into my route of flight.  I could use a similar technique for marking a top of descent point on my route and name it ďTODĒ.

Anybody else got any useful tips or tricks?

Bob

geekxx

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Re: GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2014, 01:34:39 PM »
One thing I learned was not to use Vectors to Final. VtF removes all intermediate fixes from the flight plan, meaning that if ATC gives you direct to a fix while vectoring you (frequently happens to me), you have to scramble to get it loaded. Loading the full approach means you have the fixes at your fingertips should the need arise.

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tosten

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Re: GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2014, 02:11:27 PM »
One thing I learned was not to use Vectors to Final. VtF removes all intermediate fixes from the flight plan, meaning that if ATC gives you direct to a fix while vectoring you (frequently happens to me), you have to scramble to get it loaded. Loading the full approach means you have the fixes at your fingertips should the need arise.

-Jeff

To piggy back on that, instead of vectors to final I will go to the flight plan, scroll to the FAF, and activate the leg between the FAF and the waypoint before the FAF.  This gives you the same track as VTF, but you keep all the waypoints from the approach loaded.  This works with 430/530 family, and the G1000.  I might have tried it once with a 650 (don't fly the plane in my club with a 650 very often).  But I'll get a chance to fly one a whole bunch early next month.
Paul

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PilotOwen

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Re: GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2014, 08:13:44 PM »
I'm better with judging relative as opposed absolute distance from my destination/target descent point, so I use the vertical calculator in the Utilities menu to plan, say, reaching pattern altitude 5 miles from the airport.  After reaching the computed TOD, I keep it open on the 650 to verify I'm meeting the planned ft/min descent rate with the invariably changing winds factored into the equation.
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snoboy

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Re: GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2015, 02:25:52 AM »
 I was taught to never, ever, use Vectors to Final on any type of GPS approach, ever!  and there is a good reason as Tosten pointed out. With your approach loaded and activated you can push Direct To, the FAF or like most cases (as tosten had said) the IF appears as your fist option. Press Direct To and boom you're on your way to the IF where you know you can start the approach from. ATC will be vectoring you any way, you can continue to press DT pretty much as many times as you want while being vectored  to continually give yourself an "updated" magenta line visual to the IF. Sooner or later ATC will clear you DT the IF so you may need one more press of the button and you're on your way. This method actually gives the same type of lead in as VTF.
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BruceAir

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Re: GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2015, 11:21:51 AM »

1.  Letís say Iím flying from KHIO near Portland to KTIW in Tacoma, WA and have to fly IFR due to weather (what a shocker in the Pacific Northwest).  Iíll assume that this day TIW is landing to the North so Iíll want to fly the RNAV 35 approach.  I could file over OLM (Olympia) and direct to KTIW.  However, if I do that and then load the RNAV 35, the GTN will show a route of flight from OLM to TIW and back to FESAS (the IAF) for the approach.  If I do that, Iíll have no idea how far I am from FESAS while enroute and have no idea when I should start down.  If instead I filed OLM FESAS KTIW and then load the approach, the GTN will show a route from OLM to FESAS to KTIW and back to FESAS for the approach.  Doing it that way will let ATC know Iím probably going to want the RNAV 35 approach and also let me know exactly how far I am from the IAF while enroute for descent planning.

Bob


It's generally not a good idea to file a specific approach fix in an IFR flight plan. Just file to your destination airport, either direct or via an airway (from KHIO, you'll probably be cleared to join V165 OLM...). When you are handed off to approach, they'll ask what approach you request or assume you're going to do what's being advertised on the ATIS. If you filed an RNAV/PBN equipment suffix, they'll know you're capable of flying an RNAV (GPS) procedure.

You'll save work in the cockpit in your example if you do the following:

In your GTN 750 load the route KHIO SCAPO6.SCAPO V165 OLM KTIW.

As you approach KTIW, load the approach you want to fly, using an initial/intermediate fix appropriate for the direction from which you're flying. Given your example, FESAS is a good choice.

Loading the approach adds all of the fixes in that procedure from that fix into the route in your GTN, below the destination airport.

When you contact approach (in this example), say "Seattle Approach, Cessna 1234A, level 5000, information hotel. Request RNAV (GPS) 35 starting at FESAS."

When ATC clears you to FESAS, move the cursor in the route page to that fix (in the approach section of the route page), and press direct. Activate that fix. Bingo. Your GTN will now sequence through the fixes on the procedure (in other words, you've activated the approach).

If ATC clears you a different fix, say, GANCA, you can just scroll to that fix in the approach section, press direct, etc. to begin the approach.

The method you described inserts FESAS into your route a couple of times, increasing the potential for errors.

In my experience teaching various glass cockpit systems, I've discovered that many pilots don't understand how to use the features in the flight plan/route page. Knowing how to activate a leg, proceed direct to fixes, etc. is essential, whether you're flying a departure procedure, arrival, or approach--and when you're operating en route. Understanding that a procedure (approach, arrival, departure) is essentially just a set of fixes that you can use much like any sequence of fixes in a route, is also key.

For a couple of detailed examples, see the following items at my blog. Some use the GNS 530W, but the basic operating procedures are the same. For purposes of this discussion, see especially Flying Instrument Approaches without Activating the Approach.

Avoiding the Vectors-to-Final Scramble

Flying a STAR with the GNS530W

Flying Instrument Approaches without Activating the Approach





« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 11:24:10 AM by BruceAir »
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luvflyin

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Re: GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2015, 12:11:31 PM »

1.  Letís say Iím flying from KHIO near Portland to KTIW in Tacoma, WA and have to fly IFR due to weather (what a shocker in the Pacific Northwest).  Iíll assume that this day TIW is landing to the North so Iíll want to fly the RNAV 35 approach.  I could file over OLM (Olympia) and direct to KTIW.  However, if I do that and then load the RNAV 35, the GTN will show a route of flight from OLM to TIW and back to FESAS (the IAF) for the approach.  If I do that, Iíll have no idea how far I am from FESAS while enroute and have no idea when I should start down.  If instead I filed OLM FESAS KTIW and then load the approach, the GTN will show a route from OLM to FESAS to KTIW and back to FESAS for the approach.  Doing it that way will let ATC know Iím probably going to want the RNAV 35 approach and also let me know exactly how far I am from the IAF while enroute for descent planning.


Bob

If TIW is landing North, thats probably the "Approach in Use."  OLM is the beginning of a Terminal Route on the Approach Plate.  It's a given that you are not going to fly Directly from OLM to the airport.  Filing OLM KTIW FESAS KTIW would pretty much guarantee that you are not going to get "Cleared as Filed."  Unless things have changed in recent years the system doesn't like seeing the same waypoint twice in the same route.  If that waypoint is an Airport it may have a digital nervous breakdown, lol.  Filing OLM FESAS KTIW shouldn't cause any problems but OLM KTIW should have it covered.
Mike G

tomahawk49

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Re: GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2015, 07:18:00 PM »

It's generally not a good idea to file a specific approach fix in an IFR flight plan. Just file to your destination airport, either direct or via an airway (from KHIO, you'll probably be cleared to join V165 OLM...).


Bruce -- I was taught to include the expected approach IAF into an IFR flight plan in the event of lost comms ... idea being that if you actually went lost comms, ATC would know what to expect, and wouldn't be surprised as you headed for that IAF.  If a SID is being used at the departure airport, I sometimes include the lost comms fix for that SID as my first waypoint for the same reason.  Any merit to this?

Excellent info on your website by the way, and I was at your seminar on GPS usage not too long ago ... good stuff thank you.

hotrod180

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Re: GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2015, 08:34:20 PM »
Sounds like  GPS navigation & approaches has made IFR flying more complicated, not easier, & that the hardest part is making your nav equipment do what you want it to do.

BruceAir

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Re: GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2015, 08:04:47 AM »

Bruce -- I was taught to include the expected approach IAF into an IFR flight plan in the event of lost comms ... idea being that if you actually went lost comms, ATC would know what to expect, and wouldn't be surprised as you headed for that IAF.  If a SID is being used at the departure airport, I sometimes include the lost comms fix for that SID as my first waypoint for the same reason.  Any merit to this?

Excellent info on your website by the way, and I was at your seminar on GPS usage not too long ago ... good stuff thank you.


That advice about including an IF for an approach in a flight plan no longer applies--you won't find it the AIM, FAA handbooks, and other official sources. It's an unnecessary complication, especially since you can't always be sure which approach will be in use when you arrive.

AIM 5−1−8 recommends including fixes for departures and arrivals (DPs and STARs), but ATC typically doesn't want you to include specific approach fixes your flight plan. If you lose communications, you can continue your fly your last clearance/filed route, per 14 CFR ß91.185 and AIM 6-4-1, which notes:
Quote
(2) If the clearance limit is not a fix from which an approach begins, leave the clearance limit at the expect further clearance time if one has been received, or if none has been received, upon arrival over the clearance limit, and proceed to a fix from which an approach begins and commence descent or descent and approach as close as possible to the estimated time of arrival as calculated from the filed or amended (with ATC) estimated time en route. [Emphasis added]


An approach means any approach. If you're truly deaf and dumb, ATC will clear all the airspace around the airport until you confirm that you're safely on the ground.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2015, 02:11:53 PM by BruceAir »
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tomahawk49

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Re: GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2015, 01:43:07 PM »
Ok thanks Bruce.  To the OP on this:

I could file over OLM (Olympia) and direct to KTIW.  However, if I do that and then load the RNAV 35, the GTN will show a route of flight from OLM to TIW and back to FESAS (the IAF) for the approach.  If I do that, Iíll have no idea how far I am from FESAS while enroute and have no idea when I should start down ...

So correct me if I'm wrong here, but once you load the approach for KTIW into the GPS, why not just remove the KTIW waypoint?  So in this case you'd change the GPS's flight plan from OLM -> KTIW -> FESAS etc. (incorrect) to OLM -> FESAS etc. (correct).  Or just press direct to FESAS when you get cleared by ATC.

BruceAir

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Re: GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2015, 02:37:12 PM »
There's no need to remove the destination airport from the flight plan. In fact, that would be a bad idea--for example, if you need to load a different approach.

Loading an approach just adds a series of fixes to your route/flight plan below the destination airport. When you're cleared to a fix or being vectored for that approach, you can tell the GPS to proceed direct to the cleared fix or activate an appropriate leg (see the examples cited in my earlier post in this thread). Either of those actions activates the approach.

While you're still navigating to the airport (in the example above, from OLM to KTIW), you have plenty of distance information to plan your descent. A check of the approach plate gives you an idea of how far a fix (in this case FESAS) is from the airport. GANCA is roughly 10 miles south of TIW. The leg from FESAS to GANCA is 5 miles.

Quote
Another handy feature is the range ring, which you can show on the map. It gives you a handy reference whenever you need to estimate your range to any feature on the map. See p. 9-19 in the Pilot's Guide.

The Vertical Calculator (VCALC) utility in the GTN series navigator--see 15.1 in the Pilot's Guide--(GNS models have a similar feature) makes it easy to set up a descent alert relative to any fix in the current flight plan/route.
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Cabbage

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Re: GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2015, 08:33:41 PM »
Bruce and Mike,

For Mike:  I would not file OLM KTIW FESAS KTIW, I would file OLM FESAS KTIW.  FESAS would be my last fix prior to the airport.  There is always a last fix prior to the airport.  I would just choose FESAS rather OLM.

For Bruce:  I understand how my GTN650 works.  I know how to activate a leg.  I know how to go direct.  I know how to pick the correct FESAS.  Even though ATC may not clear me as filed, if they do, it helps me with my descent planning.  If I file OLM KTIW and hope to get FESAS and the RNAV 35, I have no idea how far I am from FESAS.  I know what altitude I should cross FESAS at, but unless I know how far I am from FESAS I don't know when to start my descent.  If by a stroke of luck, ATC actually clears me as filed from OLM to FESAS, I can use the distances shown on the flight plan page to figure how far I am from FESAS and thus when to start my descent.

Bob

luvflyin

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Re: GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2015, 10:53:15 PM »
Gotcha.  I'm not real familiar with that equipment but I see what your getting at having FESAS in the route in the GTN to aid in fix to fix planning.  OLM is a transition for that approach so OLM FESAS should show as a segment if you load it with the OLM transition.  Would you have to activate the approach to do what you want to do?  Let me know.  I should be able to find out what clearance you are likely to get at HIO if you file OLM FESAS.  My guess is they would still give you OLM direct, I'll let you know.

Suppose they give you OLM direct.  I would be tempted to just leave FESAS in the GTN knowing that when I get up there that's what is going to happen anyway.  Of course I always have my last clearance recieved written down and that is my last clearance recieved regardless of what I have plugged in to the GTN.  How much trouble it is to change the loaded approach if they give you something different I don't know.  My guess it would take a couple more actions to change it rather than just wait until you know what you're going to get before loading an approach.  You know the GTN, how much more do you have to do to change the transition/approach compared to just loading it??

Mike
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BruceAir

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Re: GTN 650/750 Tips and Tricks
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2015, 06:16:06 AM »
You can load the approach with FESAS and have it in the flight plan below the destination, and therefore get distance information. The fix doesn't have to be in your main flight plan/route, and having it there may confuse things down the road.

It's also easy to get your distance from any nearby fix (VOR, intersection, fix, etc.) by using the nearest features.

My point is--be careful adding fixes that aren't part of your filed route to the main part of your route/flight plan list--especially if those fixes are also part of an approach.
-Bruce
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