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Aviation nav com radio suggestion

Asked by: 6463 views General Aviation, Student Pilot

I am a student pilot, but instead of spending 50 for a radio that you can only listen to, I want to buy a radio I can listen to at airports and use in the future after getting my private pilot license.  I have heard vertex and icom are the standard...any suggestions on models?  maybe in the 300 range? 



4 Answers

  1. Earl Kessler on Mar 26, 2011

    Hi T Bone,
    The hot ticket is the new Sporty’s SP-400 handheld radio with built-in Glideslope.  I flew with this on and ILS and it was as accurate as the panel mounted ILS.  It also is a com radio as well. 

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  2. Matthew Hammer on Mar 26, 2011

    The Sporty’s SP-400 may be a little on the pricy side for you (about $400), although I’ve heard good things about it. Not sure I’d ever fly an actual ILS on it, though — unless the only other option was to become a smoking hole in the ground.
    I personally use a Vertex-Standard VXA-300. It has localizer functionality (it works, though I consider it more of a novelty). It’ll run you about 200 USDs. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with it. Battery runtime is great, the build quality is excellent, reception and audio clarity is good.

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  3. James MacGregor CFI on Mar 27, 2011

    Been unsing the Vertex 710. One big selling point is it has recharable batts, small size, and is made of METAL and made in Japan. I have a hard time paying more then a hundred bucks for a plastic toy made in china.
     Also vertex is a big name outside of aviation as well.

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  4. Jim Foley on Mar 29, 2011

    I have the Icom IC-A24, and absolutely love it, and would highly recommend it: http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/avionics/handheld/a24/default.aspx
    You can read all the specs, but it had a cool localizer feature, but as Matthew Hammer stated, it is more just for fun.  You can use it pretty well to actually navigate, but if the aircraft doesn’t have even a basic VOR, I would seriously not want to fly it.
    I got mine from Sporty’s online: http://sportys.com/PilotShop/product/9574  Listed for $350.  If you don’t want the NAV portion, the IC-A6 is $50 less. 
    The IC-A24 is extremely reliable, and has already saved me in an emergency.  Full loss of aircraft electronics, used the NAV portion to find the field with the on-field VOR, and simultaneously used COM for talking to approach and tower.  We were about 40 miles out, 7,000 AGL and had great reception).


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