Continued from Article #1
We need your participation to help make VFR Aviation Safer and more Enjoyable!
Our VFRGPS Procedures and 3-D Preflight Beta test is up and running and it’s not too late to join in simply go to www.vfrgps.com and follow the instructions to become a beta tester. All of the information is available in an easy to digest set of narrated Video tutorials that will guide you step by step through the process of signing up. Even if you don’t own an Android Device currently we invite you to provide feedback on 3-D Preflight Planning if you have a PC with Google Earth Installed.
There is no obligation or charges. It is informal, free, beneficial, educational, and confidential and will be fun and informative. This is an unlimited invitation so pass this along to your fellow pilots, the more the merrier.
We left off with a basic understanding of the development and evolution of in-cockpit displays (EFB’s) limited to enroute navigation, along with some of the terms that are with us today.
To better understand the ongoing evolution of EFB’s we must first discuss early VFR aviation.
The History of aviation has shown that increased aircraft traffic during World War I led to the construction of regular landing fields. Aircraft had to approach these from certain directions. This led to the development of aids for directing the approach and landing slope and it hasn’t evolved significantly for the VFR Pilot since those early days. On September 15th 1971, a document was released by the DOT that contained a study conducted by members of the staff of the Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Safety and Consumer Affairs, FAA officials, and general aviation consultants, suggesting inclusion of Standard Traffic Patterns for Non-Towered airports. There have been no significant changes since this study was issued for VFR Airport Arrivals.
The last update for Traffic Patterns was dated 8/26/93 in AC-90-66A ATP-230 to include ultralight, parachutes, etc.
Now with 21st Century technology using EFB’s, we can make VFR Arrivals, much safer and enjoyable and reduce workload through the use of GPS lateral guidance on EFB’s from the enroute phase through the approach all the way to shut down. We can accomplish this with only 6 named waypoints for the VFR arrival and landing, while providing gliding distance to the runway in the event of an emergency. These waypoints are labeled with specific critical information about the arrival including the waypoint name, (no wind, variation compensated) compass heading, Traffic Pattern Altitude in mean sea level, and runway elevation. All of our over 13,500 VFR GPS Arrival Procedures are identical with six named waypoints depicting the procedures. By learning one you can fly all 13,500 since they are all designed the same.
Now let’s discuss more details of our standardized approach. While flying our arrival procedures we recommend maneuvering from the enroute phase of flight to our GPS fix outside of the traffic area known as the Visual Initial Approach Fix (Viaf), which is the starting point for the approach.
The combination of the Visual Initial Approach Fix (Viaf) coupled with a Midfield Entry waypoint (Mfe), establishes a georeferenced course line with a compass heading compensated for magnetic variation to guide the pilot on the standard midfield 45 degree entry with precision to arrive at the Mid-field entry waypoint (Mfe) at Traffic Pattern Altitude (TPA), all with moving map, georeferenced lateral guidance, automatic waypoint sequencing within a 0.8 NM corridor, with GPS precision throughout the entire arrival. Automatic waypoint sequencing can be manually overridden to select any waypoint to restart sequencing; this may be desired to accommodate multiple touch and go’s or missed waypoints.
Prior to turning downwind, timing considerations calculated by the GPS based on ground speed, visually alerts the pilot through their peripheral vision (eliminating the need for heads down time) when to start the turn, at standard rate, which reduces the risk of overbanking and helps prevent overshooting the turn which is a critical point where pilots can get into uncoordinated flight when airspeed and altitudes are low resulting in a stall spin accident which we hear about much too often.
Then from the Mid-field entry Waypoint (MFE) we provide continued moving map, georeferenced lateral guidance to the Base waypoint, Final waypoint, and Runway Threshold waypoint for superior situational awareness and timed turns throughout the pattern.
The Mid-field entry waypoint (Mfe) establishes the first waypoint to keep general aviation aircraft within gliding distance of the runway should an emergency occur once in the pattern. Upon passing the Mid-field entry waypoint (Mfe) on the downwind leg at pattern altitude, when abeam the numbers, the pilot establishes a stabilized descent to arrive at the Final waypoint turn at 500 feet AGL and at Vref speed +5/-0kts, which will result in a very stabilized approach with standard rate turns throughout the approach to landing.
These procedures have been designed to keep heads down time to a minimum, so that the pilot can focus on “see and avoid” outside the aircraft. The procedures take into account that patterns may need to be altered occasionally based on other traffic in the pattern, such as extended downwind legs. By having the strategic waypoints in the pattern we can navigate to the final waypoint on speed and altitude regaining our stabilized approach to landing. In the future we may all be flying these procedures to take the confusion and conflicts out of the approach. By having and using Standard Published VFR Approach Procedures will eliminate the discrepancies that exist in the pattern today. It takes the guess work out of the approach. These VFR GPS Procedures create a georeferenced displayed visual pattern that makes all arrivals easier, especially with unfamiliar airports.
This Beta Test has been made possible through the development cooperation and integration of our procedures into Avare Moving Map GPS for Android. Avare is a leading Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) application on Android, and has more than 50,000 users to date. One of the best things is it’s FREE for you to use if you are and Android device owner.
We are in the process of working with other leading EFB Providers of iOS devices to ensure our procedures will be compatible with Apple products.
We will discuss 3-D Preflight Planning in the next article.
To be continued in article 3…