VFRGPS Procedures Article #3

VFRGPS Procedures, LLC   —   Article three continued from Article two. 

Welcome back fellow pilots, this final article will provide an overview of 3-D Preflight Planning on Google Earth, a revolutionary, first of a kind, 21st Century feature now available from VFRGPS Procedures, LLC for the General Aviation Community.

We need your help to try out our procedures in-flight or on a simulator such as X-Plane or Microsoft Flight Simulator X in the comfort of your home. Pilot feedback is invaluable to help guide the development of a Production Ready product that is user friendly for all of us.

In fact, even if you are not inclined to be a beta tester, we still would very much like to hear from you with your thoughts after reading these three articles. Please drop an email to President@VFRGPSProcedures.com with your comments and/or suggestions.

To recap Our VFRGPS Procedures and 3-D Preflight Planning 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 newly published VFR GPS Arrival Procedures and their elements that are used to provide GPS lateral guidance from the enroute phase of flight to touchdown.

Because of the voluminous features 3-D Preflight Planning provides, we will only be able to provide a brief overview of some of the features of 3-D Preflight Planning here. To get a full understanding we invite you to visit http://www.vfrgpsprocedures.com/3-d-preflight-planning.html and view the video tutorials on 3-D Preflight Planning. After viewing these tutorials you can actually download two sample 3-D Preflight planning files from our website by following the instructions at the bottom of the 3-D Preflight-Planning page to see them in action on your PC or Laptop even if you are not a beta tester. Please use our guest login as shown on the bottom of the website page.


3-D Preflight Planning using Google Earth takes us into the 21 Century by allowing us to visually see the ground course overlaid on aerial photographs of an arrival that depicts what the pilot will see from the cockpit while flying our procedures.  We are convinced that once pilots use our 3-D images they will be motivated and look forward to viewing them and the additional information they provide, for all flights. No other planning tools available today take advantage of Google Earth technology! Military pilots have long had aerial photo reconnaissance available for their strategic planning. 3-D Preflight Planning brings this technology to the airport arrival for the General Aviation Community.  Sectional charts simply cannot and do not convey this level of imagery and information!

CAUTION — Once you see the capabilities of 3-D Preflight Planning you will not want to plan another flight without using this valuable tool.  Article 3 Fig 1

The waypoints depicted on Google Earth are identical to the waypoints used for GPS Lateral Guidance in the arrival procedures. By depicting the arrival path on Google Earth you will get a bird’s eye view of what the pilot will see while flying an approach.  We can zoom in to ground level for precise ground definition, and identification of land marks. We can zoom out to flight levels and beyond, to get the big picture of the geographical area. We can Pan, Tilt, Zoom and Rotate the view of the procedure from various altitudes giving us a three dimensional view. It is excellent for identifying potential emergency landing sites, as well as identifying features of interest and navaids on the ground.


3-D preflight planning is excellent for identifying potential emergency landing sites near the arrival procedure. There’s even a built in ruler to measure the suitability of an emergency landing field.

We can measure the proximity of several emergency sites, including their proximity to the approach path. We can also measure the dimensions of the selected sites, for suitability, as well as their ground elevation.

Using the zoom feature we can look for ground obstacles or obstructions such as fences, ditches, power lines, structures, etc. that may preclude a site and encourage looking for an alternative safer location.

These features can also serve the same function by surveying emergency landing sites for departures.


There is one situation that all pilots pay particular attention to and that is emergencies on departure! Using our 3-D planning methods allow you to preview possible emergency landing sites in the event of a departure emergency.


There are also links from 3-D Preflight Planning to SkyVector for airspace considerations with our procedures overlaid on their charts, Lockheed Martin’s www.1800wxbrief.com for legal weather briefs and flight plan filing capabilities, FAA National Flight Data Center Airport database, FAA Airport Facilities Directory, FAA/ Air National Guard’s  See and Avoid website. Additional links will be added based on your feedback in the future.


This truly is an advancement in preflight planning.


We hope that all in the General Aviation Community will take advantage of these newly developed VFR GPS Arrival Procedures as well as the 3-D Preflight Planning tools.

Leave a Reply