"This Doesn't Make Any Sense"
Uh oh. If you've relied on an IFR-certified GPS receiver for
flying instrument procedures, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots
Association reports you may be in for a rude surprise. The FAA
recently changed the rules, and that means several thousand GPS
users are, for the moment, out of compliance.
AOPA says the issue came about in March, when the FAA updated
avionics compliance tables in Advisory Circular 90-100A and made
changes to the Aeronautical Information Manual. It means that up to
26,000 GPS users no longer comply with a 1998 FAA policy that
allows GPS to be used in lieu of ADF or DME.
"This doesn't make any sense. In most cases, this is not a
safety of flight issue," said Randy Kenagy, AOPA senior director of
strategic planning. "Pilots affected will lose access to approaches
and published routes unnecessarily."
According to the FAA documents, only three GPS models -- the
Garmin 400-, 500-, and G1000-series -- are legal. Other models made
by Garmin -- including its new GNS 480 WAAS receiver -- as well as
receivers manufactured by Chelton, Honeywell, Northstar, and
Trimble are listed as "noncompliant," as seen on the chart
It gets worse... as many pilots removed ADF and DME navigation
equipment from their aircraft because of the 1996 policy allowing
those receivers to be used for instrument approaches. Under the new
rules, those pilots will no longer have access to conventional and
precision approaches where the equipment is a required element.
Complicating matters further, the older GPS boxes are prohibited
from flying RNAV routes and terminal RNAV procedures.
In a letter to the FAA, Kenagy told the agency all IFR-certified
systems should still be approved for use in lieu of ADF and DME and
for flying T routes and certain departure procedures where pilots
manually enter the waypoints.
Except for major metropolitan airports, Kenagy added, the use of
older boxes should not be restricted.