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Do GA Pilots Navigate?

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When flying cross-country, do you even bother with VORTAC or other naviagational aids, or do you just use the GPS?

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I tend use a combination of pilotage (using major landmarks), dead reckoning, and radio navigation. I used a handheld GPS a lot when I first got my private pilot certificate, but after getting my instrument rating I found it can be simpler and quicker to use VORs, DME and (gasp) NDBs!GPS can be a big help when flying into unfamiliar areas, but the GPS interfaces are somewhat cumbersome. If you're flying single pilot, GPS can be a big distraction if your not proficient with the interface or if you haven't programmed your unit prior to takeoff.John

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I dont think GPS is common in every airplane yet. Only about one-third of my pilot friends own a GPS, so pilotage is still the way to go for a large segment of the GA population.Personally, if I am navigating around familiar territory, I use my VFR sectional to get around. However, if I am on a cross country flight, I will use the nav-aids along the route as much as possible.GA pilots should be cafeful not to become so dependant on GPS that they lose their basic cross-country navigation skills. Hope this helps.G.D.

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