1-1-19. Global Positioning System (GPS)
a. System Overview
- 1. System Description. The Global Positioning System is a satellite-based radio navigation system, which broadcasts a signal that is used by receivers to determine precise position anywhere in the world. The receiver tracks multiple satellites and determines a pseudorange measurement that is then used to determine the user location. A minimum of four satellites is necessary to establish an accurate three-dimensional position. The Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for operating the GPS satellite constellation and monitors the GPS satellites to ensure proper operation. Every satellite's orbital parameters (ephemeris data) are sent to each satellite for broadcast as part of the data message embedded in the GPS signal. The GPS coordinate system is the Cartesian earth-centered earth-fixed coordinates as specified in the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS-84).
- 2. System Availability and Reliability
- (a) The status of GPS satellites is broadcast as part of the data message transmitted by the GPS satellites. GPS status information is also available by means of the U.S. Coast Guard navigation information service: (703) 313-5907, Internet: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/. Additionally, satellite status is available through the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) system.
- (b) The operational status of GNSS operations depends upon the type of equipment being used. For GPS-only equipment TSO-C129(a), the operational status of nonprecision approach capability for flight planning purposes is provided through a prediction program that is embedded in the receiver or provided separately.
- 3. Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM). When GNSS equipment is not using integrity information from WAAS or LAAS, the GPS navigation receiver using RAIM provides GPS signal integrity monitoring. RAIM is necessary since delays of up to two hours can occur before an erroneous satellite transmission can be detected and corrected by the satellite control segment. The RAIM function is also referred to as fault detection. Another capability, fault exclusion, refers to the ability of the receiver to exclude a failed satellite from the position solution and is provided by some GPS receivers and by WAAS receivers.
- 4. The GPS receiver verifies the integrity (usability) of the signals received from the GPS constellation through receiver autonomous integrity monitoring (RAIM) to determine if a satellite is providing corrupted information. At least one satellite, in addition to those required for navigation, must be in view for the receiver to perform the RAIM function; thus, RAIM needs a minimum of 5 satellites in view, or 4 satellites and a barometric altimeter (baro-aiding) to detect an integrity anomaly. [Baro-aiding satisfies the RAIM requirement in lieu of a fifth satellite.] For receivers capable of doing so, RAIM needs 6 satellites in view (or 5 satellites with baro-aiding) to isolate the corrupt satellite signal and remove it from the navigation solution. Baro-aiding is a method of augmenting the GPS integrity solution by using a nonsatellite input source. GPS derived altitude should not be relied upon to determine aircraft altitude since the vertical error can be quite large and no integrity is provided. To ensure that baro-aiding is available, the current altimeter setting must be entered into the receiver as described in the operating manual.
- 5. RAIM messages vary somewhat between receivers; however, generally there are two types. One type indicates that there are not enough satellites available to provide RAIM integrity monitoring and another type indicates that the RAIM integrity monitor has detected a potential error that exceeds the limit for the current phase of flight. Without RAIM capability, the pilot has no assurance of the accuracy of the GPS position.
- 6. Selective Availability. Selective Availability (SA) is a method by which the accuracy of GPS is intentionally degraded. This feature is designed to deny hostile use of precise GPS positioning data. SA was discontinued on May 1, 2000, but many GPS receivers are designed to assume that SA is still active. New receivers may take advantage of the discontinuance of SA based on the performance values in ICAO Annex 10, and do not need to be designed to operate outside of that performance.
- 7. The GPS constellation of 24 satellites is designed so that a minimum of five is always observable by a user anywhere on earth. The receiver uses data from a minimum of four satellites above the mask angle (the lowest angle above the horizon at which it can use a satellite).
- 8. The DOD declared initial operational capability (IOC) of the U.S. GPS on December 8, 1993. The FAA has granted approval for U.S. civil operators to use properly certified GPS equipment as a primary means of navigation in oceanic airspace and certain remote areas. Properly certified GPS equipment may be used as a supplemental means of IFR navigation for domestic en route, terminal operations, and certain instrument approach procedures (IAPs). This approval permits the use of GPS in a manner that is consistent with current navigation requirements as well as approved air carrier operations specifications.
b. VFR Use of GPS
- 1. GPS navigation has become a great asset to VFR pilots, providing increased navigation capability and enhanced situational awareness, while reducing operating costs due to greater ease in flying direct routes. While GPS has many benefits to the VFR pilot, care must be exercised to ensure that system capabilities are not exceeded.
- 2. Types of receivers used for GPS navigation under VFR are varied, from a full IFR installation being used to support a VFR flight, to a VFR only installation (in either a VFR or IFR capable aircraft) to a hand-held receiver. The limitations of each type of receiver installation or use must be understood by the pilot to avoid misusing navigation information. (See TBL 1-1-6.) In all cases, VFR pilots should never rely solely on one system of navigation. GPS navigation must be integrated with other forms of electronic navigation (when possible), as well as pilotage and dead reckoning. Only through the integration of these techniques can the VFR pilot ensure accuracy in navigation.
- 3. Some critical concerns in VFR use of GPS include RAIM capability, database currency and antenna location.
- (a) RAIM Capability. Many VFR GPS receivers and all hand-held units have no RAIM alerting capability. Loss of the required number of satellites in view, or the detection of a position error, cannot be displayed to the pilot by such receivers. In receivers with no RAIM capability, no alert would be provided to the pilot that the navigation solution had deteriorated, and an undetected navigation error could occur. A systematic cross-check with other navigation techniques would identify this failure, and prevent a serious deviation. See subparagraphs a4 and a5 for more information on RAIM.
- (b) Database Currency
- (1) In many receivers, an up-datable database is used for navigation fixes, airports, and instrument procedures. These databases must be maintained to the current update for IFR operation, but no such requirement exists for VFR use.
- (2) However, in many cases, the database drives a moving map display which indicates Special Use Airspace and the various classes of airspace, in addition to other operational information. Without a current database the moving map display may be outdated and offer erroneous information to VFR pilots wishing to fly around critical airspace areas, such as a Restricted Area or a Class B airspace segment. Numerous pilots have ventured into airspace they were trying to avoid by using an outdated database. If you don't have a current database in the receiver, disregard the moving map display for critical navigation decisions.
- (3) In addition, waypoints are added, removed, relocated, or re-named as required to meet operational needs. When using GPS to navigate relative to a named fix, a current database must be used to properly locate a named waypoint. Without the update, it is the pilot's responsibility to verify the waypoint location referencing to an official current source, such as the Airport/Facility Directory, Sectional Chart, or En Route Chart.
- (c) Antenna Location
- (1) In many VFR installations of GPS receivers, antenna location is more a matter of convenience than performance. In IFR installations, care is exercised to ensure that an adequate clear view is provided for the antenna to see satellites. If an alternate location is used, some portion of the aircraft may block the view of the antenna, causing a greater opportunity to lose navigation signal.
- (2) This is especially true in the case of hand-helds. The use of hand-held receivers for VFR operations is a growing trend, especially among rental pilots. Typically, suction cups are used to place the GPS antennas on the inside of cockpit windows. While this method has great utility, the antenna location is limited to the cockpit or cabin only and is rarely optimized to provide a clear view of available satellites. Consequently, signal losses may occur in certain situations of aircraft-satellite geometry, causing a loss of navigation signal. These losses, coupled with a lack of RAIM capability, could present erroneous position and navigation information with no warning to the pilot.
- (3) While the use of a hand-held GPS for VFR operations is not limited by regulation, modification of the aircraft, such as installing a panel- or yoke-mounted holder, is governed by 14 CFR Part 43. Consult with your mechanic to ensure compliance with the regulation, and a safe installation.
- 4. As a result of these and other concerns, here are some tips for using GPS for VFR operations:
- (a) Always check to see if your unit has RAIM capability. If no RAIM capability exists, be suspicious of your GPS position when any disagreement exists with the position derived from other radio navigation systems, pilotage, or dead reckoning.
- (b) Check the currency of the database, if any. If expired, update the database using the current revision. If an update of an expired database is not possible, disregard any moving map display of airspace for critical navigation decisions. Be aware that named waypoints may no longer exist or may have been relocated since the database expired. At a minimum, the waypoints planned to be used should be checked against a current official source, such as the Airport/Facility Directory, or a Sectional Aeronautical Chart.
- (c) While hand-helds can provide excellent navigation capability to VFR pilots, be prepared for intermittent loss of navigation signal, possibly with no RAIM warning to the pilot. If mounting the receiver in the aircraft, be sure to comply with 14 CFR Part 43.
- (d) Plan flights carefully before taking off. If you wish to navigate to user-defined waypoints, enter them before flight, not on-the-fly. Verify your planned flight against a current source, such as a current sectional chart. There have been cases in which one pilot used waypoints created by another pilot that were not where the pilot flying was expecting. This generally resulted in a navigation error. Minimize head-down time in the aircraft and keep a sharp lookout for traffic, terrain, and obstacles. Just a few minutes of preparation and planning on the ground will make a great difference in the air.
- (e) Another way to minimize head-down time is to become very familiar with your receiver's operation. Most receivers are not intuitive. The pilot must take the time to learn the various keystrokes, knob functions, and displays that are used in the operation of the receiver. Some manufacturers provide computer-based tutorials or simulations of their receivers. Take the time to learn about your particular unit before you try to use it in flight.
- 5. In summary, be careful not to rely on GPS to solve all your VFR navigational problems. Unless an IFR receiver is installed in accordance with IFR requirements, no standard of accuracy or integrity has been assured. While the practicality of GPS is compelling, the fact remains that only the pilot can navigate the aircraft, and GPS is just one of the pilot's tools to do the job.
c. VFR Waypoints
- 1. VFR waypoints provide VFR pilots with a supplementary tool to assist with position awareness while navigating visually in aircraft equipped with area navigation receivers. VFR waypoints should be used as a tool to supplement current navigation procedures. The uses of VFR waypoints include providing navigational aids for pilots unfamiliar with an area, waypoint definition of existing reporting points, enhanced navigation in and around Class B and Class C airspace, and enhanced navigation around Special Use Airspace. VFR pilots should rely on appropriate and current aeronautical charts published specifically for visual navigation. If operating in a terminal area, pilots should take advantage of the Terminal Area Chart available for that area, if published. The use of VFR waypoints does not relieve the pilot of any responsibility to comply with the operational requirements of 14 CFR Part 91.
- 2. VFR waypoint names (for computer-entry and flight plans) consist of five letters beginning with the letters "VP" and are retrievable from navigation databases. The VFR waypoint names are not intended to be pronounceable, and they are not for use in ATC communications. On VFR charts, stand-alone VFR waypoints will be portrayed using the same four-point star symbol used for IFR waypoints. VFR waypoints collocated with visual check points on the chart will be identified by small magenta flag symbols. VFR waypoints collocated with visual check points will be pronounceable based on the name of the visual check point and may be used for ATC communications. Each VFR waypoint name will appear in parentheses adjacent to the geographic location on the chart. Latitude/longitude data for all established VFR waypoints may be found in the appropriate regional Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD).
- 3. VFR waypoints shall not be used to plan flights under IFR. VFR waypoints will not be recognized by the IFR system and will be rejected for IFR routing purposes.
- 4. When filing VFR flight plans, pilots may use the five letter identifier as a waypoint in the route of flight section if there is an intended course change at that point or if used to describe the planned route of flight. This VFR filing would be similar to how a VOR would be used in a route of flight. Pilots must use the VFR waypoints only when operating under VFR conditions.
- 5. Any VFR waypoints intended for use during a flight should be loaded into the receiver while on the ground and prior to departure. Once airborne, pilots should avoid programming routes or VFR waypoint chains into their receivers.
- 6. Pilots should be especially vigilant for other traffic while operating near VFR waypoints. The same effort to see and avoid other aircraft near VFR waypoints will be necessary, as was the case with VORs and NDBs in the past. In fact, the increased accuracy of navigation through the use of GPS will demand even greater vigilance, as off-course deviations among different pilots and receivers will be less. When operating near a VFR waypoint, use whatever ATC services are available, even if outside a class of airspace where communications are required. Regardless of the class of airspace, monitor the available ATC frequency closely for information on other aircraft operating in the vicinity. It is also a good idea to turn on your landing light(s) when operating near a VFR waypoint to make your aircraft more conspicuous to other pilots, especially when visibility is reduced. See paragraph 7-5-2, VFR in Congested Areas, for more information.
d. General Requirements
- 1. Authorization to conduct any GPS operation under IFR requires that:
- (a) GPS navigation equipment used must be approved in accordance with the requirements specified in Technical Standard Order (TSO) TSO-C129, or equivalent, and the installation must be done in accordance with Advisory Circular AC 20-138, Airworthiness Approval of Global Positioning System (GPS) Navigation Equipment for Use as a VFR and IFR Supplemental Navigation System, or Advisory Circular AC 20-130A, Airworthiness Approval of Navigation or Flight Management Systems Integrating Multiple Navigation Sensors, or equivalent. Equipment approved in accordance with TSO-C115a does not meet the requirements of TSO-C129. Visual flight rules (VFR) and hand-held GPS systems are not authorized for IFR navigation, instrument approaches, or as a principal instrument flight reference. During IFR operations they may be considered only an aid to situational awareness.
- (b) Aircraft using GPS navigation equipment under IFR must be equipped with an approved and operational alternate means of navigation appropriate to the flight. Active monitoring of alternative navigation equipment is not required if the GPS receiver uses RAIM for integrity monitoring. Active monitoring of an alternate means of navigation is required when the RAIM capability of the GPS equipment is lost.
- (c) Procedures must be established for use in the event that the loss of RAIM capability is predicted to occur. In situations where this is encountered, the flight must rely on other approved equipment, delay departure, or cancel the flight.
- (d) The GPS operation must be conducted in accordance with the FAA-approved aircraft flight manual (AFM) or flight manual supplement. Flight crew members must be thoroughly familiar with the particular GPS equipment installed in the aircraft, the receiver operation manual, and the AFM or flight manual supplement. Unlike ILS and VOR, the basic operation, receiver presentation to the pilot, and some capabilities of the equipment can vary greatly. Due to these differences, operation of different brands, or even models of the same brand, of GPS receiver under IFR should not be attempted without thorough study of the operation of that particular receiver and installation. Most receivers have a built-in simulator mode which will allow the pilot to become familiar with operation prior to attempting operation in the aircraft. Using the equipment in flight under VFR conditions prior to attempting IFR operation will allow further familiarization.
- (e) Aircraft navigating by IFR approved GPS are considered to be area navigation (RNAV) aircraft and have special equipment suffixes. File the appropriate equipment suffix in accordance with TBL 5-1-2, on the ATC flight plan. If GPS avionics become inoperative, the pilot should advise ATC and amend the equipment suffix.
- (f) Prior to any GPS IFR operation, the pilot must review appropriate NOTAMs and aeronautical information. (See GPS NOTAMs/Aeronautical Information.)
- (g) Air carrier and commercial operators must meet the appropriate provisions of their approved operations specifications.
e. Use of GPS for IFR Oceanic, Domestic En Route, and Terminal Area Operations
- 1. GPS IFR operations in oceanic areas can be conducted as soon as the proper avionics systems are installed, provided all general requirements are met. A GPS installation with TSO-C129 authorization in class A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, or C2 may be used to replace one of the other approved means of long-range navigation, such as dual INS. (See TBL 1-1-5 and TBL 1-1-6.) A single GPS installation with these classes of equipment which provide RAIM for integrity monitoring may also be used on short oceanic routes which have only required one means of long-range navigation.
- 2. GPS domestic en route and terminal IFR operations can be conducted as soon as proper avionics systems are installed, provided all general requirements are met. The avionics necessary to receive all of the ground-based facilities appropriate for the route to the destination airport and any required alternate airport must be installed and operational. Ground-based facilities necessary for these routes must also be operational.
- (a) GPS en route IFR RNAV operations may be conducted in Alaska outside the operational service volume of ground-based navigation aids when a TSO-C145a or TSO-C146a GPS/WAAS system is installed and operating. Ground-based navigation equipment is not required to be installed and operating for en route IFR RNAV operations when using GPS WAAS navigation systems. All operators should ensure that an alternate means of navigation is available in the unlikely event the GPS WAAS navigation system becomes inoperative.
|TBL 1-1-5 GPS IFR Equipment Classes/Categories|
|Equipment Class||RAIM||Int. Nav. Sys. to Prov. RAIM Equiv.||Oceanic||En Route||Terminal|| Nonprecision|
|Class A - GPS sensor and navigation capability.|
|Class B - GPS sensor data to an integrated navigation system (i.e., FMS, multi-sensor navigation system, etc.).|
|Class C - GPS sensor data to an integrated navigation system (as in Class B) which provides enhanced guidance to an autopilot, or flight director, to reduce flight tech. errors. Limited to 14 CFR Part 121 or equivalent criteria.|
|TBL 1-1-6 GPS Approval Required/Authorized Use|
|Equipment Type1|| Installation
|VFR Panel Mount4||X|
|IFR En Route and Terminal||X||X||X||X||X|
| IFR Oceanic/
| IFR En Route,
1To determine equipment approvals and limitations, refer to the AFM, AFM supplements, or pilot guides.
2Requires verification of data for correctness if database is expired.
3Requires current database or verification that the procedure has not been amended since the expiration of the database.
4VFR and hand-held GPS systems are not authorized for IFR navigation, instrument approaches, or as a primary instrument flight reference. During IFR operations they may be considered only an aid to situational awareness.
5Hand-held receivers require no approval. However, any aircraft modification to support the hand-held receiver; i.e., installation of an external antenna or a permanent mounting bracket, does require approval.
- 3. The GPS Approach Overlay Program is an authorization for pilots to use GPS avionics under IFR for flying designated nonprecision instrument approach procedures, except LOC, LDA, and simplified directional facility (SDF) procedures. These procedures are now identified by the name of the procedure and "or GPS" (e.g., VOR/DME or GPS RWY 15). Other previous types of overlays have either been converted to this format or replaced with stand-alone procedures. Only approaches contained in the current onboard navigation database are authorized. The navigation database may contain information about nonoverlay approach procedures that is intended to be used to enhance position orientation, generally by providing a map, while flying these approaches using conventional NAVAIDs. This approach information should not be confused with a GPS overlay approach (see the receiver operating manual, AFM, or AFM Supplement for details on how to identify these approaches in the navigation database).
NOTE- Overlay approaches are predicated upon the design criteria of the ground-based NAVAID used as the basis of the approach. As such, they do not adhere to the design criteria described in paragraph 5-4-5k, Area Navigation (RNAV) Instrument Approach Charts, for stand-alone GPS approaches.
- 4. GPS IFR approach operations can be conducted as soon as proper avionics systems are installed and the following requirements are met:
- (a) The authorization to use GPS to fly instrument approaches is limited to U.S. airspace.
- (b) The use of GPS in any other airspace must be expressly authorized by the FAA Administrator.
- (c) GPS instrument approach operations outside the U.S. must be authorized by the appropriate sovereign authority.
f. Equipment and Database Requirements
- 1. Authorization to fly approaches under IFR using GPS avionics systems requires that:
- (a) A pilot use GPS avionics with TSO- C129, or equivalent, authorization in class A1, B1, B3, C1, or C3; and
- (b) All approach procedures to be flown must be retrievable from the current airborne navigation database supplied by the TSO-C129 equipment manufacturer or other FAA approved source. The system must be able to retrieve the procedure by name from the aircraft navigation database, not just as a manually entered series of waypoints.
- (c) Prior to using a procedure or waypoint retrieved from the airborne navigation database, the pilot should verify the validity of the database. This verification should include the following preflight and in-flight steps:
- (1) Preflight:
- [a] Determine the date of database issuance, and verify that the date/time of proposed use is before the expiration date/time.
- [b] Verify that the database provider has not published a notice limiting the use of the specific waypoint or procedure.
- (2) Inflight:
- [a] Determine that the waypoints and transition names coincide with names found on the procedure chart. Do not use waypoints, which do not exactly match the spelling shown on published procedure charts.
- [b] Determine that the waypoints are generally logical in location, in the correct order, and that their orientation to each other is as found on the procedure chart, both laterally and vertically.
NOTE- There is no specific requirement to check each waypoint latitude and longitude, type of waypoint and/or altitude constraint, only the general relationship of waypoints in the procedure, or the logic of an individual waypoint's location.
- [c] If the cursory check of procedure logic or individual waypoint location, specified in [b] above, indicates a potential error, do not use the retrieved procedure or waypoint until a verification of latitude and longitude, waypoint type, and altitude constraints indicate full conformity with the published data.
g. GPS Approach Procedures
As the production of stand-alone GPS approaches has progressed, many of the original overlay approaches have been replaced with stand-alone procedures specifically designed for use by GPS systems. The title of the remaining GPS overlay procedures has been revised on the approach chart to "or GPS" (e.g., VOR or GPS RWY 24). Therefore, all the approaches that can be used by GPS now contain "GPS" in the title (e.g., "VOR or GPS RWY 24," "GPS RWY 24," or "RNAV (GPS) RWY 24"). During these GPS approaches, underlying ground-based NAVAIDs are not required to be operational and associated aircraft avionics need not be installed, operational, turned on or monitored (monitoring of the underlying approach is suggested when equipment is available and functional). Existing overlay approaches may be requested using the GPS title, such as "GPS RWY 24" for the VOR or GPS RWY 24.
NOTE- Any required alternate airport must have an approved instrument approach procedure other than GPS that is anticipated to be operational and available at the estimated time of arrival, and which the aircraft is equipped to fly.
h. GPS NOTAMs/Aeronautical Information
- 1. GPS satellite outages are issued as GPS NOTAMs both domestically and internationally. However, the effect of an outage on the intended operation cannot be determined unless the pilot has a RAIM availability prediction program which allows excluding a satellite which is predicted to be out of service based on the NOTAM information.
- 2. The term UNRELIABLE is used in conjunction with GPS NOTAMs. The term UNRELIABLE is an advisory to pilots indicating the expected level of service may not be available. GPS operation may be NOTAMed UNRELIABLE due to testing or anomalies. Air Traffic Control will advise pilots requesting a GPS or RNAV (GPS) approach of GPS UNRELIABLE for:
- (a) NOTAMs not contained in the ATIS broadcast.
- (b) Pilot reports of GPS anomalies received within the preceding 15 minutes.
- 3. Civilian pilots may obtain GPS RAIM availability information for nonprecision approach procedures by specifically requesting GPS aeronautical information from an Automated Flight Service Station during preflight briefings. GPS RAIM aeronautical information can be obtained for a period of 3 hours (for example, if you are scheduled to arrive at 1215 hours, then the GPS RAIM information is available from 1100 to 1400 hours) or a 24 hour time frame at a particular airport. FAA briefers will provide RAIM information for a period of 1 hour before to 1 hour after the ETA hour, unless a specific time frame is requested by the pilot. If flying a published GPS departure, a RAIM prediction should also be requested for the departure airport.
- 4. The military provides airfield specific GPS RAIM NOTAMs for nonprecision approach procedures at military airfields. The RAIM outages are issued as M-series NOTAMs and may be obtained for up to 24 hours from the time of request.
- 5. Receiver manufacturers and/or database suppliers may supply "NOTAM" type information concerning database errors. Pilots should check these sources, when available, to ensure that they have the most current information concerning their electronic database.
i. Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM)
- 1. RAIM outages may occur due to an insufficient number of satellites or due to unsuitable satellite geometry which causes the error in the position solution to become too large. Loss of satellite reception and RAIM warnings may occur due to aircraft dynamics (changes in pitch or bank angle). Antenna location on the aircraft, satellite position relative to the horizon, and aircraft attitude may affect reception of one or more satellites. Since the relative positions of the satellites are constantly changing, prior experience with the airport does not guarantee reception at all times, and RAIM availability should always be checked.
- 2. If RAIM is not available, another type of navigation and approach system must be used, another destination selected, or the trip delayed until RAIM is predicted to be available on arrival. On longer flights, pilots should consider rechecking the RAIM prediction for the destination during the flight. This may provide early indications that an unscheduled satellite outage has occurred since takeoff.
- 3. If a RAIM failure/status annunciation occurs prior to the final approach waypoint (FAWP), the approach should not be completed since GPS may no longer provide the required accuracy. The receiver performs a RAIM prediction by 2 NM prior to the FAWP to ensure that RAIM is available at the FAWP as a condition for entering the approach mode. The pilot should ensure that the receiver has sequenced from "Armed" to "Approach" prior to the FAWP (normally occurs 2 NM prior). Failure to sequence may be an indication of the detection of a satellite anomaly, failure to arm the receiver (if required), or other problems which preclude completing the approach.
- 4. If the receiver does not sequence into the approach mode or a RAIM failure/status annunciation occurs prior to the FAWP, the pilot should not descend to Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA), but should proceed to the missed approach waypoint (MAWP) via the FAWP, perform a missed approach, and contact ATC as soon as practical. Refer to the receiver operating manual for specific indications and instructions associated with loss of RAIM prior to the FAF.
- 5. If a RAIM failure occurs after the FAWP, the receiver is allowed to continue operating without an annunciation for up to 5 minutes to allow completion of the approach (see receiver operating manual). If the RAIM flag/status annunciation appears after the FAWP, the missed approach should be executed immediately.
- 1. GPS approaches make use of both fly-over and fly-by waypoints. Fly-by waypoints are used when an aircraft should begin a turn to the next course prior to reaching the waypoint separating the two route segments. This is known as turn anticipation and is compensated for in the airspace and terrain clearances. Approach waypoints, except for the MAWP and the missed approach holding waypoint (MAHWP), are normally fly-by waypoints. Fly-over waypoints are used when the aircraft must fly over the point prior to starting a turn. New approach charts depict fly-over waypoints as a circled waypoint symbol. Overlay approach charts and some early stand alone GPS approach charts may not reflect this convention.
- 2. Since GPS receivers are basically "To-To" navigators, they must always be navigating to a defined point. On overlay approaches, if no pronounceable five-character name is published for an approach waypoint or fix, it was given a database identifier consisting of letters and numbers. These points will appear in the list of waypoints in the approach procedure database, but may not appear on the approach chart. A point used for the purpose of defining the navigation track for an airborne computer system (i.e., GPS or FMS) is called a Computer Navigation Fix (CNF). CNFs include unnamed DME fixes, beginning and ending points of DME arcs and sensor final approach fixes (FAFs) on some GPS overlay approaches. To aid in the approach chart/database correlation process, the FAA has begun a program to assign five-letter names to CNFs and to chart CNFs on various National Oceanic Service aeronautical products. These CNFs are not to be used for any air traffic control (ATC) application, such as holding for which the fix has not already been assessed. CNFs will be charted to distinguish them from conventional reporting points, fixes, intersections, and waypoints. The CNF name will be enclosed in parenthesis, e.g., (MABEE), and the name will be placed next to the CNF it defines. If the CNF is not at an existing point defined by means such as crossing radials or radial/DME, the point will be indicated by an "X." The CNF name will not be used in filing a flight plan or in aircraft/ATC communications. Use current phraseology, e.g., facility name, radial, distance, to describe these fixes.
- 3. Unnamed waypoints in the database will be uniquely identified for each airport but may be repeated for another airport (e.g., RW36 will be used at each airport with a runway 36 but will be at the same location for all approaches at a given airport).
- 4. The runway threshold waypoint, which is normally the MAWP, may have a five letter identifier (e.g., SNEEZ) or be coded as RW## (e.g., RW36, RW36L). Those thresholds which are coded as five letter identifiers are being changed to the RW## designation. This may cause the approach chart and database to differ until all changes are complete. The runway threshold waypoint is also used as the center of the Minimum Safe Altitude (MSA) on most GPS approaches. MAWPs not located at the threshold will have a five letter identifier.
k. Position Orientation
As with most RNAV systems, pilots should pay particular attention to position orientation while using GPS. Distance and track information are provided to the next active waypoint, not to a fixed navigation aid. Receivers may sequence when the pilot is not flying along an active route, such as when being vectored or deviating for weather, due to the proximity to another waypoint in the route. This can be prevented by placing the receiver in the nonsequencing mode. When the receiver is in the nonsequencing mode, bearing and distance are provided to the selected waypoint and the receiver will not sequence to the next waypoint in the route until placed back in the auto sequence mode or the pilot selects a different waypoint. On overlay approaches, the pilot may have to compute the along-track distance to stepdown fixes and other points due to the receiver showing along-track distance to the next waypoint rather than DME to the VOR or ILS ground station.
l. Conventional Versus GPS Navigation Data
There may be slight differences between the course information portrayed on navigational charts and a GPS navigation display when flying authorized GPS instrument procedures or along an airway. All magnetic tracks defined by any conventional navigation aids are determined by the application of the station magnetic variation. In contrast, GPS RNAV systems may use an algorithm, which applies the local magnetic variation and may produce small differences in the displayed course. However, both methods of navigation should produce the same desired ground track when using approved, IFR navigation system. Should significant differences between the approach chart and the GPS avionics' application of the navigation database arise, the published approach chart, supplemented by NOTAMs, holds precedence.
Due to the GPS avionics' computation of great circle courses, and the variations in magnetic variation, the bearing to the next waypoint and the course from the last waypoint (if available) may not be exactly 180° apart when long distances are involved. Variations in distances will occur since GPS distance-to-waypoint values are along-track distances (ATD) computed to the next waypoint and the DME values published on underlying procedures are slant-range distances measured to the station. This difference increases with aircraft altitude and proximity to the NAVAID.
m. Departures and Instrument Departure Procedures (DPs)
The GPS receiver must be set to terminal (±1 NM) CDI sensitivity and the navigation routes contained in the database in order to fly published IFR charted departures and DPs. Terminal RAIM should be automatically provided by the receiver. (Terminal RAIM for departure may not be available unless the waypoints are part of the active flight plan rather than proceeding direct to the first destination.) Certain segments of a DP may require some manual intervention by the pilot, especially when radar vectored to a course or required to intercept a specific course to a waypoint. The database may not contain all of the transitions or departures from all runways and some GPS receivers do not contain DPs in the database. It is necessary that helicopter procedures be flown at 70 knots or less since helicopter departure procedures and missed approaches use a 20:1 obstacle clearance surface (OCS), which is double the fixed-wing OCS, and turning areas are based on this speed as well.
n. Flying GPS Approaches
- 1. Determining which area of the TAA the aircraft will enter when flying a "T" with a TAA must be accomplished using the bearing and distance to the IF(IAF). This is most critical when entering the TAA in the vicinity of the extended runway centerline and determining whether you will be entering the right or left base area. Once inside the TAA, all sectors and stepdowns are based on the bearing and distance to the IAF for that area, which the aircraft should be proceeding direct to at that time, unless on vectors. (See FIG 5-4-3 and FIG 5-4-4.)
- 2. Pilots should fly the full approach from an Initial Approach Waypoint (IAWP) or feeder fix unless specifically cleared otherwise. Randomly joining an approach at an intermediate fix does not assure terrain clearance.
- 3. When an approach has been loaded in the flight plan, GPS receivers will give an "arm" annunciation 30 NM straight line distance from the airport/heliport reference point. Pilots should arm the approach mode at this time, if it has not already been armed (some receivers arm automatically). Without arming, the receiver will not change from en route CDI and RAIM sensitivity of ±5 NM either side of centerline to ±1 NM terminal sensitivity. Where the IAWP is inside this 30 mile point, a CDI sensitivity change will occur once the approach mode is armed and the aircraft is inside 30 NM. Where the IAWP is beyond 30 NM from the airport/heliport reference point, CDI sensitivity will not change until the aircraft is within 30 miles of the airport/heliport reference point even if the approach is armed earlier. Feeder route obstacle clearance is predicated on the receiver being in terminal (±1 NM) CDI sensitivity and RAIM within 30 NM of the airport/heliport reference point, therefore, the receiver should always be armed (if required) not later than the 30 NM annunciation.
- 4. The pilot must be aware of what bank angle/turn rate the particular receiver uses to compute turn anticipation, and whether wind and airspeed are included in the receiver's calculations. This information should be in the receiver operating manual. Over or under banking the turn onto the final approach course may significantly delay getting on course and may result in high descent rates to achieve the next segment altitude.
- 5. When within 2 NM of the FAWP with the approach mode armed, the approach mode will switch to active, which results in RAIM changing to approach sensitivity and a change in CDI sensitivity. Beginning 2 NM prior to the FAWP, the full scale CDI sensitivity will smoothly change from ±1 NM to ±0.3 NM at the FAWP. As sensitivity changes from ±1 NM to ±0.3 NM approaching the FAWP, with the CDI not centered, the corresponding increase in CDI displacement may give the impression that the aircraft is moving further away from the intended course even though it is on an acceptable intercept heading. Referencing the digital track displacement information (cross track error), if it is available in the approach mode, may help the pilot remain position oriented in this situation. Being established on the final approach course prior to the beginning of the sensitivity change at 2 NM will help prevent problems in interpreting the CDI display during ramp down. Therefore, requesting or accepting vectors which will cause the aircraft to intercept the final approach course within 2 NM of the FAWP is not recommended.
- 6. When receiving vectors to final, most receiver operating manuals suggest placing the receiver in the nonsequencing mode on the FAWP and manually setting the course. This provides an extended final approach course in cases where the aircraft is vectored onto the final approach course outside of any existing segment which is aligned with the runway. Assigned altitudes must be maintained until established on a published segment of the approach. Required altitudes at waypoints outside the FAWP or stepdown fixes must be considered. Calculating the distance to the FAWP may be required in order to descend at the proper location.
- 7. Overriding an automatically selected sensitivity during an approach will cancel the approach mode annunciation. If the approach mode is not armed by 2 NM prior to the FAWP, the approach mode will not become active at 2 NM prior to the FAWP, and the equipment will flag. In these conditions, the RAIM and CDI sensitivity will not ramp down, and the pilot should not descend to MDA, but fly to the MAWP and execute a missed approach. The approach active annunciator and/or the receiver should be checked to ensure the approach mode is active prior to the FAWP.
- 8. Do not attempt to fly an approach unless the procedure in the on-board database is current and identified as “GPS" on the approach chart. The navigation database may contain information about nonoverlay approach procedures that is intended to be used to enhance position orientation, generally by providing a map, while flying these approaches using conventional NAVAIDs. This approach information should not be confused with a GPS overlay approach (see the receiver operating manual, AFM, or AFM Supplement for details on how to identify these procedures in the navigation database). Flying point to point on the approach does not assure compliance with the published approach procedure. The proper RAIM sensitivity will not be available and the CDI sensitivity will not automatically change to ±0.3 NM. Manually setting CDI sensitivity does not automatically change the RAIM sensitivity on some receivers. Some existing nonprecision approach procedures cannot be coded for use with GPS and will not be available as overlays.
- 9. Pilots should pay particular attention to the exact operation of their GPS receivers for performing holding patterns and in the case of overlay approaches, operations such as procedure turns. These procedures may require manual intervention by the pilot to stop the sequencing of waypoints by the receiver and to resume automatic GPS navigation sequencing once the maneuver is complete. The same waypoint may appear in the route of flight more than once consecutively (e.g., IAWP, FAWP, MAHWP on a procedure turn). Care must be exercised to ensure that the receiver is sequenced to the appropriate waypoint for the segment of the procedure being flown, especially if one or more fly-overs are skipped (e.g., FAWP rather than IAWP if the procedure turn is not flown). The pilot may have to sequence past one or more fly-overs of the same waypoint in order to start GPS automatic sequencing at the proper place in the sequence of waypoints.
- 10. Incorrect inputs into the GPS receiver are especially critical during approaches. In some cases, an incorrect entry can cause the receiver to leave the approach mode.
- 11. A fix on an overlay approach identified by a DME fix will not be in the waypoint sequence on the GPS receiver unless there is a published name assigned to it. When a name is assigned, the along track to the waypoint may be zero rather than the DME stated on the approach chart. The pilot should be alert for this on any overlay procedure where the original approach used DME.
- 12. If a visual descent point (VDP) is published, it will not be included in the sequence of waypoints. Pilots are expected to use normal piloting techniques for beginning the visual descent, such as ATD.
- 13. Unnamed stepdown fixes in the final approach segment will not be coded in the waypoint sequence of the aircraft's navigation database and must be identified using ATD. Stepdown fixes in the final approach segment of RNAV (GPS) approaches are being named, in addition to being identified by ATD. However, since most GPS avionics do not accommodate waypoints between the FAF and MAP, even when the waypoint is named, the waypoints for these stepdown fixes may not appear in the sequence of waypoints in the navigation database. Pilots must continue to identify these stepdown fixes using ATD.
o. Missed Approach
- 1. A GPS missed approach requires pilot action to sequence the receiver past the MAWP to the missed approach portion of the procedure. The pilot must be thoroughly familiar with the activation procedure for the particular GPS receiver installed in the aircraft and must initiate appropriate action after the MAWP. Activating the missed approach prior to the MAWP will cause CDI sensitivity to immediately change to terminal (±1NM) sensitivity and the receiver will continue to navigate to the MAWP. The receiver will not sequence past the MAWP. Turns should not begin prior to the MAWP. If the missed approach is not activated, the GPS receiver will display an extension of the inbound final approach course and the ATD will increase from the MAWP until it is manually sequenced after crossing the MAWP.
- 2. Missed approach routings in which the first track is via a course rather than direct to the next waypoint require additional action by the pilot to set the course. Being familiar with all of the inputs required is especially critical during this phase of flight.
p. GPS Familiarization
Pilots should practice GPS approaches under visual meteorological conditions (VMC) until thoroughly proficient with all aspects of their equipment (receiver and installation) prior to attempting flight by IFR in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Some of the areas which the pilot should practice are:
- 1. Utilizing the receiver autonomous integrity monitoring (RAIM) prediction function;
- 2. Inserting a DP into the flight plan, including setting terminal CDI sensitivity, if required, and the conditions under which terminal RAIM is available for departure (some receivers are not DP or STAR capable);
- 3. Programming the destination airport;
- 4. Programming and flying the overlay approaches (especially procedure turns and arcs);
- 5. Changing to another approach after selecting an approach;
- 6. Programming and flying "direct" missed approaches;
- 7. Programming and flying "routed" missed approaches;
- 8. Entering, flying, and exiting holding patterns, particularly on overlay approaches with a second waypoint in the holding pattern;
- 9. Programming and flying a "route" from a holding pattern;
- 10. Programming and flying an approach with radar vectors to the intermediate segment;
- 11. Indication of the actions required for RAIM failure both before and after the FAWP; and
- 12. Programming a radial and distance from a VOR (often used in departure instructions).
|Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) — Chapter 1|
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