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pwm2txlhopper
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When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:55 pm

When did commercial airliners start widespread use of GPS navigation?

I remember about 20-25 years ago, reading flying magazines and seeing the early handheld units used for GA aviation. Of course, at the time, there were still a lot of classic airliners flying predating GPS.

Were those planes, such as 727s, DC-10’s,DC-9s, etc. ever equipped with built in or portable GPS units toward the end of their careers? Or did they finish their days flying the old fashion way with VOR’s and beacon navigation?

I assume airliners built in the late 90s or later had GPS factory installed? What about “newer” models at time, in the years immediately before the development of GPS, say the 757 or A320? Was GPS integrated into these slightly more modern planes in the years after they were constructed? Or did early models never use built in GPS?

And finally, when did airlines essentially stop using VOR navigation because GPS had become the norm in FMS systems?
Last edited by pwm2txlhopper on Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Trimeresurus
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:55 pm

pwm2txlhopper wrote:
When did commercial airliners start widespread use of GPS navigation?

I remember about 20-25 years ago, reading flying magazines and seeing the early handheld units used for GA aviation. Of course, at the time, there were still a lot of classic airliners flying predating GPS.

Were those planes, such as 727s, DC-10’s,DC-9s, etc. ever equipped with built in or portable GPS units toward the end of their careers? Or did they finish their days flying the old fashion way with VOR’s and beacon navigation?

I assume airliners built in the late 90s or later had GPS factory installed? What about “newer” models at time, in the years immediately before the development of GPS, say the 757 or A320? Was GPS integrated into these slightly more modern planes in the years after they were constructed? Or did early models never use built in GPS?

And finally, when did airlines essentially stop using VOR navigation because GPS had become the norm in FMS systems?


I think airliners had inertial navigation systems starting in late 60s, and while not as accurate as GPS(and it did drift a lot) or even VOR, it made flying in deserted places with not enough VOR beacons(like over oceans) possible. Where the 747-400 has a CDU, the classic had an INS unit in the same place. You could enter up to 10 coordinates I guess, and the flight director/course indicator would point to there laterally.

Early iterations of 767/757 probably used the same system, but the manual entry was replaced with an FMS with databases of waypoints, as well as LNAV/VNAV modes. This allowed for much more precise routes to be flown.
 
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zeke
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:14 pm

The mainstream use of GPS in the civil sector came in the 1990s.

There were many aircraft over the years flying somewhat illegally with a garmin 100 Velcroed on the glareshhield.

All Airbus aircraft could be retrofitted with GPS, even the early A300, A320s not equipped with GPS when they left the factory.

VORs etc are still used every day as they are used to define airways and instrumental in approach design segments,
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
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pwm2txlhopper
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:16 pm

Trimeresurus wrote:
pwm2txlhopper wrote:
When did commercial airliners start widespread use of GPS navigation?

I remember about 20-25 years ago, reading flying magazines and seeing the early handheld units used for GA aviation. Of course, at the time, there were still a lot of classic airliners flying predating GPS.

Were those planes, such as 727s, DC-10’s,DC-9s, etc. ever equipped with built in or portable GPS units toward the end of their careers? Or did they finish their days flying the old fashion way with VOR’s and beacon navigation?

I assume airliners built in the late 90s or later had GPS factory installed? What about “newer” models at time, in the years immediately before the development of GPS, say the 757 or A320? Was GPS integrated into these slightly more modern planes in the years after they were constructed? Or did early models never use built in GPS?

And finally, when did airlines essentially stop using VOR navigation because GPS had become the norm in FMS systems?


I think airliners had inertial navigation systems starting in late 60s, and while not as accurate as GPS(and it did drift a lot) or even VOR, it made flying in deserted places with not enough VOR beacons(like over oceans) possible. Where the 747-400 has a CDU, the classic had an INS unit in the same place. You could enter up to 10 coordinates I guess, and the flight director/course indicator would point to there laterally.

Early iterations of 767/757 probably used the same system, but the manual entry was replaced with an FMS with databases of waypoints, as well as LNAV/VNAV modes. This allowed for much more precise routes to be flown.



Yes, I know about INS. But I was particularly inquiring about the use of GPS, as opposed to all older systems of navigation.
 
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pwm2txlhopper
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:19 pm

zeke wrote:
The mainstream use of GPS in the civil sector came in the 1990s.

There were many aircraft over the years flying somewhat illegally with a garmin 100 Velcroed...

VORs etc are still used every day as they are used to define airways and instrumental in approach design segments,



I know VOR’s are still used, but in commercial aviation, aren’t they essentially just used as navigational fixes in a FMS equipped with GPS? Nobody in a 737 is manually tuning into a VHF frequency for a VOR these days. Correct?
Last edited by pwm2txlhopper on Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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zeke
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:33 pm

I don’t know about the 737, all Airbus aircraft would auto tune VORs regardless of GPS being available.
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pwm2txlhopper
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:47 pm

zeke wrote:
I don’t know about the 737, all Airbus aircraft would auto tune VORs regardless of GPS being available.


But it was actually tuning into a VHF radio frequency. I don’t think they do today, right?
 
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zeke
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:53 pm

pwm2txlhopper wrote:

But it was actually tuning into a VHF radio frequency. I don’t think they do today, right?


The aircraft auto tune the VORs radio frequencies through the FMS, they automatically identify the morse code transmitted from the VOR and display the VOR identifier on the navigational display.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:00 pm

No, most FMS systems auto tune VOR and/or DME as a redundancy feature. Collins and Honeywell primarily use GPS, then either INS or DME/DME, VOR/DME, last is VOR/VOR. If no ground-based navaids, then it uses INS in the event of loss of GPS. All of this is in the background pretty unseen by the crew until there’s a failure. If the system is used in remote areas or overwater, and GPS only, the flight plan must do RAIM prediction to see that there’s adequate GPS coverage for the route. If the plane is INS-equipped and can meet the RNP on INS only, no predictions needed.
 
bradyj23
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:29 pm

pwm2txlhopper wrote:
zeke wrote:
The mainstream use of GPS in the civil sector came in the 1990s.

There were many aircraft over the years flying somewhat illegally with a garmin 100 Velcroed...

VORs etc are still used every day as they are used to define airways and instrumental in approach design segments,



I know VOR’s are still used, but in commercial aviation, aren’t they essentially just used as navigational fixes in a FMS equipped with GPS? Nobody in a 737 is manually tuning into a VHF frequency for a VOR these days. Correct?


Yes. You are pretty much correct. We tune in ILS frequencies but that’s about it. Everything else happens in the background as another poster explained.
 
WIederling
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:14 pm

pwm2txlhopper wrote:
Yes, I know about INS. But I was particularly inquiring about the use of GPS, as opposed to all older systems of navigation.


There were radio navigation systems around before GPS. terrestrial : LORAN, DECCA, OMEGA, ...

but:
google wrote:
February 16, 1994
On February 16, 1994, a significant milestone in American aviation occurred when the Federal Aviation Administration certified the first GPS unit for use in IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) operations.

ref:
https://www.google.com/search?q=first+c ... rliner+gps
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:46 pm

pwm2txlhopper wrote:
Trimeresurus wrote:
pwm2txlhopper wrote:
When did commercial airliners start widespread use of GPS navigation?

I remember about 20-25 years ago, reading flying magazines and seeing the early handheld units used for GA aviation. Of course, at the time, there were still a lot of classic airliners flying predating GPS.

Were those planes, such as 727s, DC-10’s,DC-9s, etc. ever equipped with built in or portable GPS units toward the end of their careers? Or did they finish their days flying the old fashion way with VOR’s and beacon navigation?

I assume airliners built in the late 90s or later had GPS factory installed? What about “newer” models at time, in the years immediately before the development of GPS, say the 757 or A320? Was GPS integrated into these slightly more modern planes in the years after they were constructed? Or did early models never use built in GPS?

And finally, when did airlines essentially stop using VOR navigation because GPS had become the norm in FMS systems?


I think airliners had inertial navigation systems starting in late 60s, and while not as accurate as GPS(and it did drift a lot) or even VOR, it made flying in deserted places with not enough VOR beacons(like over oceans) possible. Where the 747-400 has a CDU, the classic had an INS unit in the same place. You could enter up to 10 coordinates I guess, and the flight director/course indicator would point to there laterally.

Early iterations of 767/757 probably used the same system, but the manual entry was replaced with an FMS with databases of waypoints, as well as LNAV/VNAV modes. This allowed for much more precise routes to be flown.



Yes, I know about INS. But I was particularly inquiring about the use of GPS, as opposed to all older systems of navigation.


It isn't quite that clear cut. For example, Airbus uses a blend of GPS and IRS to create "GPIRS" positions. IRS is also corrected with navaid triangulation.

So essentially, radio beacons, INS and GPS are used in concert.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
N1120A
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:29 am

Widespread civilian GPS use came into play in the mid-90s. The majority of the civilian fleet is now using at least VFR GPS, including light GA. The vast majority of IFR flights are now using GPS - including light GA.

zeke wrote:
The mainstream use of GPS in the civil sector came in the 1990s.

There were many aircraft over the years flying somewhat illegally with a garmin 100 Velcroed on the glareshhield.

All Airbus aircraft could be retrofitted with GPS, even the early A300, A320s not equipped with GPS when they left the factory.

VORs etc are still used every day as they are used to define airways and instrumental in approach design segments,


There's nothing illegal about using a VFR GPS for VFR flight or as a backup for IFR flight.

I've seen DC3s retrofitted with GPS. It isn't just an Airbus thing, as much as you likely want it to be.

VORs do define certain, but not all, airways and are used for various approaches, though now the majority of airplanes are not using VORs for primary guidance on those airways or even approaches.
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:57 am

N1120A wrote:
There's nothing illegal about using a VFR GPS for VFR flight or as a backup for IFR flight.


It is illegal to use a VFR or portable GPS for IFR flight, or as a backup for IFR flight. All they can be used for is an aid to situational awareness. I have seen 727s and 747 classics flying direct to waypoints using nothing more than a Garmin 100 on the glare shield.

It is more than just the GPS receiver, it is also ensuring the database onboard is valid, RAIM, and how it is installed into the aircraft to meet IFR emergency electrical loads.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:05 am

zeke wrote:
N1120A wrote:
There's nothing illegal about using a VFR GPS for VFR flight or as a backup for IFR flight.


It is illegal to use a VFR or portable GPS for IFR flight, or as a backup for IFR flight. All they can be used for is an aid to situational awareness. I have seen 727s and 747 classics flying direct to waypoints using nothing more than a Garmin 100 on the glare shield.

It is more than just the GPS receiver, it is also ensuring the database onboard is valid, RAIM, and how it is installed into the aircraft to meet IFR emergency electrical loads.


Request 090 heading, direct ABC VOR when able... All using the VFR handheld, totally legal...
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zeke
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:39 am

DiamondFlyer wrote:
Request 090 heading, direct ABC VOR when able... All using the VFR handheld, totally legal...


Only in a radar environment in the US, you are not navigating using the GPS. There is nothing legal about navigating with a VFR or handheld GPS with an IFR aircraft.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
bigb
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:50 am

N1120A wrote:
Widespread civilian GPS use came into play in the mid-90s. The majority of the civilian fleet is now using at least VFR GPS, including light GA. The vast majority of IFR flights are now using GPS - including light GA.

zeke wrote:
The mainstream use of GPS in the civil sector came in the 1990s.

There were many aircraft over the years flying somewhat illegally with a garmin 100 Velcroed on the glareshhield.

All Airbus aircraft could be retrofitted with GPS, even the early A300, A320s not equipped with GPS when they left the factory.

VORs etc are still used every day as they are used to define airways and instrumental in approach design segments,


There's nothing illegal about using a VFR GPS for VFR flight or as a backup for IFR flight.

I've seen DC3s retrofitted with GPS. It isn't just an Airbus thing, as much as you likely want it to be.

VORs do define certain, but not all, airways and are used for various approaches, though now the majority of airplanes are not using VORs for primary guidance on those airways or even approaches.


Negative, you can’t just have a portable gps unit as a backup means to navigation for a IFR flight. That’s like saying you can use ForeFlight as a back up means of Navigation if your 430 GPS receiver fails in your Cessna. Your GPS unit must have be a certified installed piece of equipment on the aircraft to be considered legal. For example, if you have two 430 GPS receiver installed and 1 failed, you can use the remaining receiver. As soon as both fail, you are limited to navigating via /A means ie Ground based navigation or radar vectors.

That’s the point Zeke is making, and he is correct. VFR, your can navigate any means as you want.
 
bigb
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:54 am

DiamondFlyer wrote:
zeke wrote:
N1120A wrote:
There's nothing illegal about using a VFR GPS for VFR flight or as a backup for IFR flight.


It is illegal to use a VFR or portable GPS for IFR flight, or as a backup for IFR flight. All they can be used for is an aid to situational awareness. I have seen 727s and 747 classics flying direct to waypoints using nothing more than a Garmin 100 on the glare shield.

It is more than just the GPS receiver, it is also ensuring the database onboard is valid, RAIM, and how it is installed into the aircraft to meet IFR emergency electrical loads.


Request 090 heading, direct ABC VOR when able... All using the VFR handheld, totally legal...


That isn’t backup navigation under a IFR flight plan with a portable gps which Zeke point was a rebuttal to earlier post suggesting that it was legal.
 
gloom
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:21 am

DiamondFlyer wrote:
Request 090 heading, direct ABC VOR when able... All using the VFR handheld, totally legal...


I know the story behind, but I couldn't resist to ask.

Which one requires GPS? Fly heading, or direct to? ;)

Back to topic, I agree with Starlion - the core is inertial platform. It will constantly realign itself, to maintain as close position estimation, as possible. It will include its own gyros, and external sources to do that. GPS is the single most important one, but not the only one. VOR gives a nice way to realign, TACAN used to give the same. 747, 767 flew INS over Atlantic for many years before getting any GPS unit, and plenty other aircrafts as well, I guess.

If - for any reason - all GPS units dropped dead, all commercial planes would be able to complete their flight plans. Some would exceed allowed precision (RNP1 without GPS seems unlikely), but other than that, they would fly their plans like any other day.

VFR planes? Not so much, their equipment is surely GPS dependant.

Cheers,
Adam
 
bigb
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:51 pm

gloom wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:
Request 090 heading, direct ABC VOR when able... All using the VFR handheld, totally legal...



VFR planes? Not so much, their equipment is surely GPS dependant.

Cheers,
Adam


This is false, VFR only aircraft are not GPS dependent. They are outside references dependent only hence their requirements to remain VFR. Plenty of non-IFR certified planes flying without radios and/or GPS units.
 
gloom
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:45 am

bigb wrote:
This is false, VFR only aircraft are not GPS dependent. They are outside references dependent only hence their requirements to remain VFR. Plenty of non-IFR certified planes flying without radios and/or GPS units.


What I meant was if they have lateral nav equipment. If they do, the thing is GPS dependant.

Sure, I know some of VFR aircrafts do not have G series avionics, or GNS units. But even if they do, it's not INS platform heavy metal utilizes.

Cheers,
Adam
 
Woodreau
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:10 pm

With how GPS is interconnected with the avionics these days, it is quite annoying that not having GPS causes annoying issues.

the plane still flies without GPS and reverts to other means to maintain the GPIRS position.

Not having GPS causes both transponders to fail...

So you MEL the transponders and now you’re limited to non-RVSM airspace and now you’re flying everywhere at FL270-FL280 with no transponder.
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IAHFLYR
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:47 pm

Trimeresurus wrote:
Early iterations of 767/757 probably used the same system, but the manual entry was replaced with an FMS with databases of waypoints, as well as LNAV/VNAV modes. This allowed for much more precise routes to be flown.


I am fairly certain the early UA deliveries of their B752's in 1989 showed up with DME/DME/IRU nav solution. I know the first deliveries in 1994 the CO B752's had at least one GPS if not dual GPS as I flew jump seat in a couple of them IAH-LAX and IAH-EGE. The CO B733's and B735's I believe were retrofitted with GPS as they started flying some tailored arrival/departure and RNAV approaches at IAH in the 1995 time frame.
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N1120A
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:21 am

bigb wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:
zeke wrote:

It is illegal to use a VFR or portable GPS for IFR flight, or as a backup for IFR flight. All they can be used for is an aid to situational awareness. I have seen 727s and 747 classics flying direct to waypoints using nothing more than a Garmin 100 on the glare shield.

It is more than just the GPS receiver, it is also ensuring the database onboard is valid, RAIM, and how it is installed into the aircraft to meet IFR emergency electrical loads.


Request 090 heading, direct ABC VOR when able... All using the VFR handheld, totally legal...


That isn’t backup navigation under a IFR flight plan with a portable gps which Zeke point was a rebuttal to earlier post suggesting that it was legal.


A backup is not the same thing as what is legal for primary navigation. You can back up an ILS with a GPS, IFR or VFR, but you must fly the ILS using the VLOC radio.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
bigb
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:32 pm

N1120A wrote:
bigb wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:

Request 090 heading, direct ABC VOR when able... All using the VFR handheld, totally legal...


That isn’t backup navigation under a IFR flight plan with a portable gps which Zeke point was a rebuttal to earlier post suggesting that it was legal.


A backup is not the same thing as what is legal for primary navigation. You can back up an ILS with a GPS, IFR or VFR, but you must fly the ILS using the VLOC radio.


If you lost your Nav radio, then what? You going to fly the approach it with your portable gps. Cant classify a portable gps units as a legal means of backup navigation for IFR. It’s great for situational awareness.
 
N1120A
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:51 pm

bigb wrote:
N1120A wrote:
bigb wrote:

That isn’t backup navigation under a IFR flight plan with a portable gps which Zeke point was a rebuttal to earlier post suggesting that it was legal.


A backup is not the same thing as what is legal for primary navigation. You can back up an ILS with a GPS, IFR or VFR, but you must fly the ILS using the VLOC radio.


If you lost your Nav radio, then what? You going to fly the approach it with your portable gps. Cant classify a portable gps units as a legal means of backup navigation for IFR. It’s great for situational awareness.


A backup isn't necessary legal. The whole point is to backup if you had a catastrophic failure. There is a redundant system and a pure backup. There is nothing illegal about having backup safety equipment. There is a whole category of such equipment with the acronym NORSEE, for just that purpose.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
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zeke
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:25 am

N1120A wrote:
A backup isn't necessary legal. The whole point is to backup if you had a catastrophic failure. There is a redundant system and a pure backup. There is nothing illegal about having backup safety equipment. There is a whole category of such equipment with the acronym NORSEE, for just that purpose.


That simply is not true, to fly an IFR approach, the navaid you use be it a traditional radio or a GPS receiver has to be an IFR certified device INSTALLED into the aircraft, if the primary instrument failed, for example the ILS transmitter or receiver, you then fly a different approach or divert to another airport. The only way you can use a portable/VFR GPS to fly an instrument approach to is declare an emergency, likewise you cannot legally use a VFR/handheld GPS for distance information when flying an ILS approach.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
bigb
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:02 am

N1120A wrote:
bigb wrote:
N1120A wrote:

A backup is not the same thing as what is legal for primary navigation. You can back up an ILS with a GPS, IFR or VFR, but you must fly the ILS using the VLOC radio.


If you lost your Nav radio, then what? You going to fly the approach it with your portable gps. Cant classify a portable gps units as a legal means of backup navigation for IFR. It’s great for situational awareness.


A backup isn't necessary legal. The whole point is to backup if you had a catastrophic failure. There is a redundant system and a pure backup. There is nothing illegal about having backup safety equipment. There is a whole category of such equipment with the acronym NORSEE, for just that purpose.


Again incorrect. Are you instrument rated? If so, you should review AIM 1-1-17 on GPS of its entirety with a big emphasis on IFE use of GPS. Also take a look at table 1-1-6 and the applicable notes. Pay close attention to Note 4. I’ll post the important sub-part to educate ya and keep you out of trouble

AIM 1-1-17(2) IFR Use of GPS

(a) General Requirements. Authorization to conduct any GPS operation under IFR requires:

(1) GPSnavigationequipmentusedforIFR operations must be approved in accordance with the requirements specified in Technical Standard Order (TSO) TSO−C129(), TSO−C196(), TSO−C145(), or TSO−C146(), and the installation must be done in accordance with Advisory Circular AC 20−138, Airworthiness Approval of Positioning and Naviga- tion Systems. 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.

(2) Aircraft using un-augmented GPS (TSO-C129() or TSO-C196()) for navigation under IFR must be equipped with an alternate approved and 31/13A50I/I02M70 operational means of navigation suitable for navigating the proposed route of flight. (Examples of alternate navigation equipment include VOR or DME/DME/IRU capability). Active monitoring of alternative navigation equipment is not required when RAIM is available for integrity monitoring. Active monitoring of an alternate means of navigation is required when the GPS RAIM capability is lost.

(3) Procedures must be established for use in the event that the loss of RAIM capability is predicted to occur. In situations where RAIM is predicted to be unavailable, the flight must rely on other approved navigation equipment, re-route to where RAIM is available, delay departure, or cancel the flight.

(4) 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. Operation, receiver presenta- tion and capabilities of GPS equipment vary. Due to these differences, operation of GPS receivers of different brands, or even models of the same brand, under IFR should not be attempted without thorough operational knowledge. Most receivers have a built−in simulator mode, which allows the pilot to become familiar with operation prior to attempting operation in the aircraft.

(5) Aircraft navigating by IFR−approved GPS are considered to be performance−based navigation (PBN) aircraft and have special equip- ment suffixes. File the appropriate equipment suffix in accordance with TBL 5−1−3 on the ATC flight plan. If GPS avionics become inoperative, the pilot should advise ATC and amend the equipment suffix.

(6) Prior to any GPS IFR operation, the pilot must review appropriate NOTAMs and aeronautical information. (See GPS NOTAMs/Aero- nautical Information).

https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publica ... -31-20.pdf
 
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Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:24 am

Never tell an airline pilot to look in the AIM, one here told me he might have skimmed it at one time when quoted it, chapter and verse.
 
VMCA787
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:31 pm

Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:39 am

zeke wrote:
N1120A wrote:
A backup isn't necessary legal. The whole point is to backup if you had a catastrophic failure. There is a redundant system and a pure backup. There is nothing illegal about having backup safety equipment. There is a whole category of such equipment with the acronym NORSEE, for just that purpose.


That simply is not true, to fly an IFR approach, the navaid you use be it a traditional radio or a GPS receiver has to be an IFR certified device INSTALLED into the aircraft, if the primary instrument failed, for example the ILS transmitter or receiver, you then fly a different approach or divert to another airport. The only way you can use a portable/VFR GPS to fly an instrument approach to is declare an emergency, likewise you cannot legally use a VFR/handheld GPS for distance information when flying an ILS approach.


Just to muddy the waters further, back in the late 90s I was a TRI on the 320 for a US carrier that was introducing the 320 into revenue service. I will try to remember the specifics as best as I can. The aircraft were purchased with no NDB installed. So, in our OPS SPEC, we were not authorized to conduct an NDB approach, but the approach was loaded into the FMS database. Given the "reliability" of an NDB approach, especially in CBs, there was a program to get the FAA to allow us to conduct an NDB approach using the FMS data. Approaches were flown in the 320 using the FMS and IIRC there was a 757 which flew the approach using the NDB only. The FAA had their Airways Inspectors involved and over 20 approaches were flown in both aircraft. Long story, short, the FAA allowed us to perform NDB approaches in the 320 without an NDB receiver installed in the aircraft. The 320s did have GPS (Dual) updating so the accuracy was better than the 757 which did not have GPS at that time.
Fly fast, live slow!
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 15912
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:56 am

VMCA787 wrote:
Just to muddy the waters further, back in the late 90s I was a TRI on the 320 for a US carrier that was introducing the 320 into revenue service. I will try to remember the specifics as best as I can. The aircraft were purchased with no NDB installed. So, in our OPS SPEC, we were not authorized to conduct an NDB approach, but the approach was loaded into the FMS database. Given the "reliability" of an NDB approach, especially in CBs, there was a program to get the FAA to allow us to conduct an NDB approach using the FMS data. Approaches were flown in the 320 using the FMS and IIRC there was a 757 which flew the approach using the NDB only. The FAA had their Airways Inspectors involved and over 20 approaches were flown in both aircraft. Long story, short, the FAA allowed us to perform NDB approaches in the 320 without an NDB receiver installed in the aircraft. The 320s did have GPS (Dual) updating so the accuracy was better than the 757 which did not have GPS at that time.


The A320 limits say "the reference NAVAID may be unserviceable, or the airborne radio equipment may be inoperative, or not installed, provided operational approval is obtained" if you have GPS PRIMARY. As you have eluded to, the individual operator needs to obtain its own regulatory approval to conduct these approaches. This is a similar concept to LVO or EDTO, the aircraft is capable, however the operator needs to obtain the specific operational approval.

Not having ADF receivers installed is very common, and this was not seen as an operational limitation as the aircraft can capable of flying a NDB approach without the ADF installed if they had GPS PRIMARY.

FCOM AUTOFLIGHT. LIM-22-10

"USE OF NAV MODE FOR APPROACH

VOR, VOR/DME, NDB or NDB/DME approach procedures may be performed, in NAV, or NAV and FINAL APP mode, provided AP or FD is used, and:

‐ GPS PRIMARY is available. In this case, the reference NAVAID may be unserviceable, or the airborne radio equipment may be inoperative, or not installed, provided operational approval is obtained.
‐ Without GPS PRIMARY:
• The reference NAVAID and the corresponding airborne equipment is serviceable, tuned, and monitored during the approach, or
• The radio NAVAID coverage supports the RNP value, specified for the approach procedure, and an operational approval is obtained"
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
WIederling
Posts: 10020
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:15 pm

Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 2:53 pm

Woodreau wrote:
With how GPS is interconnected with the avionics these days, it is quite annoying that not having GPS causes annoying issues.

the plane still flies without GPS and reverts to other means to maintain the GPIRS position.

Not having GPS causes both transponders to fail...

So you MEL the transponders and now you’re limited to non-RVSM airspace and now you’re flying everywhere at FL270-FL280 with no transponder.


GPS gives position with a known constant error circle all the time.
away from GPS you now want to give fantasy numbers with growing error margins to a system that is designed for hard position quality?

Is this a good idea?
Murphy is an optimist
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7571
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 2:59 pm

You do know airplanes flew without GPS quite successfully? I’m trying to figure why it set up that GPS receivers failing cause complete transponder failure. They’re independent in my GPS-equipped experience.
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 4348
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:33 pm

bigb wrote:
Again incorrect. Are you instrument rated? If so, you should review AIM 1-1-17 on GPS of its entirety with a big emphasis on IFE use of GPS. Also take a look at table 1-1-6 and the applicable notes. Pay close attention to Note 4. I’ll post the important sub-part to educate ya and keep you out of trouble

AIM 1-1-17(2) IFR Use of GPS

(a) General Requirements. Authorization to conduct any GPS operation under IFR requires:

(1) GPSnavigationequipmentusedforIFR operations must be approved in accordance with the requirements specified in Technical Standard Order (TSO) TSO−C129(), TSO−C196(), TSO−C145(), or TSO−C146(), and the installation must be done in accordance with Advisory Circular AC 20−138, Airworthiness Approval of Positioning and Naviga- tion Systems. 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.

(2) Aircraft using un-augmented GPS (TSO-C129() or TSO-C196()) for navigation under IFR must be equipped with an alternate approved and 31/13A50I/I02M70 operational means of navigation suitable for navigating the proposed route of flight. (Examples of alternate navigation equipment include VOR or DME/DME/IRU capability). Active monitoring of alternative navigation equipment is not required when RAIM is available for integrity monitoring. Active monitoring of an alternate means of navigation is required when the GPS RAIM capability is lost.

(3) Procedures must be established for use in the event that the loss of RAIM capability is predicted to occur. In situations where RAIM is predicted to be unavailable, the flight must rely on other approved navigation equipment, re-route to where RAIM is available, delay departure, or cancel the flight.

(4) 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. Operation, receiver presenta- tion and capabilities of GPS equipment vary. Due to these differences, operation of GPS receivers of different brands, or even models of the same brand, under IFR should not be attempted without thorough operational knowledge. Most receivers have a built−in simulator mode, which allows the pilot to become familiar with operation prior to attempting operation in the aircraft.

(5) Aircraft navigating by IFR−approved GPS are considered to be performance−based navigation (PBN) aircraft and have special equip- ment suffixes. File the appropriate equipment suffix in accordance with TBL 5−1−3 on the ATC flight plan. If GPS avionics become inoperative, the pilot should advise ATC and amend the equipment suffix.

(6) Prior to any GPS IFR operation, the pilot must review appropriate NOTAMs and aeronautical information. (See GPS NOTAMs/Aero- nautical Information).

https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publica ... -31-20.pdf


Hmmm, curious when the AIM became a "regulatory document"? Sure it provides excellent guidance, but if you are standing in front of FSDO they won't be charging you with violation of the AIM, rather an FAR.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7571
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:47 pm

Well, I do know of an ANG F-16 dude who was using a bomb-NAV computer for enroute navigation direct somewhere on a cross-country. It’s inaccuracy led to a loss of separation and violation by using unapproved navigation source. If nothing else, 91.13 Careless and reckless.
 
bigb
Posts: 1280
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:30 pm

Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:46 pm

IAHFLYR wrote:
bigb wrote:
Again incorrect. Are you instrument rated? If so, you should review AIM 1-1-17 on GPS of its entirety with a big emphasis on IFE use of GPS. Also take a look at table 1-1-6 and the applicable notes. Pay close attention to Note 4. I’ll post the important sub-part to educate ya and keep you out of trouble

AIM 1-1-17(2) IFR Use of GPS

(a) General Requirements. Authorization to conduct any GPS operation under IFR requires:

(1) GPSnavigationequipmentusedforIFR operations must be approved in accordance with the requirements specified in Technical Standard Order (TSO) TSO−C129(), TSO−C196(), TSO−C145(), or TSO−C146(), and the installation must be done in accordance with Advisory Circular AC 20−138, Airworthiness Approval of Positioning and Naviga- tion Systems. 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.

(2) Aircraft using un-augmented GPS (TSO-C129() or TSO-C196()) for navigation under IFR must be equipped with an alternate approved and 31/13A50I/I02M70 operational means of navigation suitable for navigating the proposed route of flight. (Examples of alternate navigation equipment include VOR or DME/DME/IRU capability). Active monitoring of alternative navigation equipment is not required when RAIM is available for integrity monitoring. Active monitoring of an alternate means of navigation is required when the GPS RAIM capability is lost.

(3) Procedures must be established for use in the event that the loss of RAIM capability is predicted to occur. In situations where RAIM is predicted to be unavailable, the flight must rely on other approved navigation equipment, re-route to where RAIM is available, delay departure, or cancel the flight.

(4) 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. Operation, receiver presenta- tion and capabilities of GPS equipment vary. Due to these differences, operation of GPS receivers of different brands, or even models of the same brand, under IFR should not be attempted without thorough operational knowledge. Most receivers have a built−in simulator mode, which allows the pilot to become familiar with operation prior to attempting operation in the aircraft.

(5) Aircraft navigating by IFR−approved GPS are considered to be performance−based navigation (PBN) aircraft and have special equip- ment suffixes. File the appropriate equipment suffix in accordance with TBL 5−1−3 on the ATC flight plan. If GPS avionics become inoperative, the pilot should advise ATC and amend the equipment suffix.

(6) Prior to any GPS IFR operation, the pilot must review appropriate NOTAMs and aeronautical information. (See GPS NOTAMs/Aero- nautical Information).

https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publica ... -31-20.pdf


Hmmm, curious when the AIM became a "regulatory document"? Sure it provides excellent guidance, but if you are standing in front of FSDO they won't be charging you with violation of the AIM, rather an FAR.


It isn’t, but 91.13 is their nice catch all if you want to ignore the AIM in that regard.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7571
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:51 pm

There’s also the bit about airworthiness and certification requirements. Using non-cert’d NAV equipment would be a violation.
 
mxaxai
Posts: 2558
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:38 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
You do know airplanes flew without GPS quite successfully? I’m trying to figure why it set up that GPS receivers failing cause complete transponder failure. They’re independent in my GPS-equipped experience.

Because ADS-B uses GPS for position information, I guess. The transponder itself should not require GPS, so this might just be a lazy implementation.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7571
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:03 pm

I understand losing ADS-B, but the secondary radar interrogation will work
 
acmx
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:49 pm

Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:16 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
I understand losing ADS-B, but the secondary radar interrogation will work


I think mxaxai is right about it just being a lazy implementation as planes are modded. From what I’ve seen, when a gps system is not working the transponder that it feeds input to will have a fail light on the control panel and maybe a message. If you already have the fail light a flight crew would not have indication if the actual transponder system fails during flight so that transponder must be Mel’d. We are seeing updates on our fleet so you can differentiate between a tcas system fault and a gps fault from the flight deck, and can now mel just specific transponder functions.

Dumb story but Before I knew that gps could cause a transponder fail light, I spent several hours troubleshooting a tcas system 1 that was deferred that would pass all tests but the fail light was always on. It was an older plane had been modded several times over its life and been through multiple operators. The amm and tsm didn’t mention gps. After wasting a bunch of time looking for a problem in the wrong places, the guy coming on shift asked how many satellites the gps system 1 was picking up. Turns out it was zero and he replaced a faulty antenna and fixed the issue. But to your point, I do believe without gps all the original functions of tcas still would work. It passed all flight deck and front face bite test.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26659
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

Re: When did GPS become mainstream in commercial aviation?

Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:00 pm

zeke wrote:
N1120A wrote:
A backup isn't necessary legal. The whole point is to backup if you had a catastrophic failure. There is a redundant system and a pure backup. There is nothing illegal about having backup safety equipment. There is a whole category of such equipment with the acronym NORSEE, for just that purpose.


That simply is not true, to fly an IFR approach, the navaid you use be it a traditional radio or a GPS receiver has to be an IFR certified device INSTALLED into the aircraft, if the primary instrument failed, for example the ILS transmitter or receiver, you then fly a different approach or divert to another airport. The only way you can use a portable/VFR GPS to fly an instrument approach to is declare an emergency, likewise you cannot legally use a VFR/handheld GPS for distance information when flying an ILS approach.


What is not true is that it isn't legal to have a handheld in the airplane at all, which is what you suggested. No one said you can fly an approach on an uncertified device or an installation without a 337 in the first place. There's NOTHING illegal about having something to back up in case of a catastrophic failure or to aid in situational awareness. I mean, in a catastrophic emergency, where none of my certified equipment is working and I'm in the clouds, I'm looking for a PAR approach, but I sure would like having a BACKUP to assist in my situational awareness. Get over yourself.
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