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2 Answers

GPS arrival procedures

Asked by: 5216 views
Instrument Rating

Does anyone know why you have to have a flight director to do a legal GPS arrival procedure [in Canada]?  It makes little sense me since I could fly every point on the arrival legally with my GPS.

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2 Answers

  1. Kevin Benton on Dec 07, 2010

    i think its just a visual reference to “increase the safety of the approach.”  I’m not sure though.

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  2. John D. Collins on Feb 02, 2011

    I am not sure specifically what you mean, but will venture a guess that you are referring to the requirements to fly a “RNAV STAR”. A RNAV STAR is not the same as a STAR, the latter uses ground based navigation systems.  There are various RNAV systems that are capable of flying a RNAV STAR, amongst them are some GPS systems. The RNAV STAR has a tighter navigation requirement than the STAR, and is considered a RNP (Required Navigation Performance) procedure. The RNP is +/-1 NM.  In the US, requires in AC 90-100A that the GPS be included in the referenced spreadsheet as authorized to fly RNAV STAR routes.  For example, the GNS 430 or GNS430W are approved, whereas the GNS300XL, KLN90B, and KLN94 are not approved.
    Regardless, the pilot is expected to be able to fly the procedure while assuring they keep the CDI under full scale deflection.  A autopilot is anticipated to be used to maintain the tighter tolerances.  A flight director may be included as part of an autopilot system, or it may be separate.  Regardless, the flight director provides the pilot with positive corrective action they should take to maintain the required course. So, I presume the requirement for a flight director has to do with the judgement by Transport Canada that it provides the minimum guidance needed to assure the pilot can maintain the RNAV STAR procedure RNP 1 navigation requirements.

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