Buying Plane without Panel Mounted GPS

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by Matt Goodrich, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. Matt Goodrich

    Matt Goodrich Filing Flight Plan

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    Finishing my private now, and thinking of starting my Instrument shortly after. I’m looking at buying into a 182 that is IFR certified, but it has no panel mounted GPS. My understanding is that I can do majority of my training in this but I cannot do certain things IFR without a panel mounted GPS.

    The partnership is very affordable and fits my mission otherwise.
     
  2. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    Does it have Distance Measuring Equipment? Can you post a picture of the panel?
     
  3. Matt Goodrich

    Matt Goodrich Filing Flight Plan

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    I spaced taking a picture of the panel but it does have DME/ADF.
     
  4. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    If it is IFR certified, you can technically do your training in it. People have been doing this for years before GPS was a twinkle in the government's eye. I can't speak from experience since I did all my training in an aircraft with a WAAS GPS. Would your IR training be harder in an aeroplane with no GPS? Probably. But maybe you are an old-school, grizzled, leather helmet and goggle wearing aviator. I'm not.

    Let's think about post-IR when you are launching into IMC with your friends and family. Does this airplane have one of those new-fangled autopilot devices all the kids are using these days? If not, you may want to think about what those long XCs in IMC will be like. Same for shooting approaches without the ability to load the approach into the navigator. Can it be done? Of course! Would it be much much easier with a GPS and Autopilot? I would say.... yes. Give you a few more options in terms of approaches you can shoot? Absolutely. Make IFR flying more enjoyable? Probably. Less sweat inducing? Again, probably.

    Is the partnership open to putting a panel-mounted GPS in the aircraft? Or maybe this flying machine is IFR certified, but only used on nice, sunny VFR days...
     
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  5. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    I trained for my IFR rate prior to significant adoption of IFR GPS. So yes, you can train and earn your rating without WAAS GPS. But, there will be significant limitations on IFR usage without GPS. The reality is that the IFR system is becoming increasingly GPS-centric, where many non-metro airports may have only GPS approaches (my home airport is one of those). In addition, with the decommissioning of VORs, usable VOR airways will also become less numerous in the next few years. On an IFR trip to Pittsburgh last year, two of four VORs along my route were out of service or permanently decommissioned. It would not have been possible to legally fly my route without GPS or radar vectors.

    Personally, I think you should train for IFR the way you will fly after the rating. If you are going to use IFR GPS (and yes, you will likely want or need to sooner or later) then it would be beneficial to train with it, so you know how to integrate GPS "knobology" into your single-pilot IFR workflow. The technical challenge of managing nav boxes, in-flight weather, and autopilot modes should not be underestimated.
     
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  6. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    I decided in 2017 to bite the bullet and buy a GTN 650. Until then, I was fine flying in the system using VOR, NDB, and DME, but ground-based navaid decommissionings were accelerating, Nav Canada was deactivating most of the Victor and Romeo airways in my part of Canada (the Quebec City-Windsor corridor), and both Canadian and American ATC were increasingly vectoring me enroute instead of giving me own-navigation routings, so I saw the writing on the wall.

    Fortunately, there are inexpensive options for IFR RNAV support now, much more so than there were for me in 2017. If you need just a GPS (keep your old radios and transponder), Garmin's GPS 175 is only $4,995 MSRP + installation, and probably less from some dealers, which is far less than an ancient used GNS 430W went for on eBay just a couple of years ago. If you want to replace the transponder as well, you can get the GNX 375 combined WAAS GPS and ADS-B in/out transponder for about $7,500, which isn't that much more than I paid just for my GTX 345 transponder in 2017. Just make sure your potential partners are not closed to the idea of upgrading in the future, if you want to use the plane for more than only IFR training.
     
  7. idahoflier

    idahoflier Cleared for Takeoff

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    No one can give you an answer, only opinions. Getting an IR is one thing, but USING it is another. If it was me and I planned on flying IFR then I would only consider aircraft with a GPS and preferably an autopilot. If you're going to stick with VFR, then you can save a ton of money...
     
  8. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    I keep seeing this and similar statements. Are DME required when no GPS is available?
     
  9. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    Awesome, thanks for the update. Did you have a question you wanted to ask?
     
  10. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not for our light pistons, but a lot of instrument approaches will be closed to you if you don't have DME or RNAV.
     
  11. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Depends on the approach. Without either a DME or GPS to measure distance any approach that requires DME won't be an option. These days I doubt anybody is installing a new DME as the GPS distance measurements can be substituted.
     
  12. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    This...think about where you might use an instrument rating, and how accessible those locations are without GPS approach capability.

    In addition to what @David Megginson noted, look around your area and see how many VOR- and localizer-based approaches require DME.
     
  13. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    But no change to regulations or ACS that I missed.
     
  14. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    No. But flying with just a VOR receiver is far harder than it was 10 years ago, and will be harder still soon. Even the VORs that haven't been decommissioned are NOTAM'd U/S for longer and longer periods. VORs are mostly still there now just as a backup to get you to some airport in an emergency; as the network gets sparser, they won't necessarily let you navigate to where you want to go any more.
     
  15. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Not that I’m aware of...if you have GPS, you’ve got to use it on the checkride. If not, ILS, LOC, & NDB are the nonprecision approaches available, and of course ILSs are your only precision approach option.
     
  16. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pattern Altitude

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    I, like many others, got my instrument without GPS. You can fly IFR without it. That said, I would not own a plane I intend on flying IFR (outside of training) without one. I like the easier/expedited routes and the increased safety of all the LPV, LNAV/VNAV, LNAV+V, etc. Would your new co-owner be willing to go in with you to install one at some point?
     
  17. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    What do the other partners want to do about adding GPS? I just went through this with my plane and my co-owners. It was really nice splitting the cost of purchase and install of the GPS (GNX 375 and a pair of G5s) three ways. If your opportunity to buy in is otherwise affordable, it might make sense if your interests and theirs are aligned. Just talk to them and find out if you all want to go in the same direction.

    And yes, I did my IFR training in this same plane before we added the GPS, so yes it can be done. But I echo the above statements that it does limit you, more so in areas of the country without good VOR coverage.
     
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  18. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    I'm doing IR training now. I cannot conceive of a reason why I or someone else would want to fly IFR without a navigation computer. I've never flown a plane without a GTN 650 or 340. I know it is possible, and I know there are many older pilots who are excellent / very proficient in IFR flying using the old school nav aids - nothing against them. But as a pilot learning IFR, I would feel behind the curve if I didn't learn how to fly using a nav computer.
     
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  19. George Mohr

    George Mohr Line Up and Wait

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    For instrument flying you either want a plane with an IFR (really WAAS) GPS, or you will want to plan on installing one.
     
  20. Dbarbee

    Dbarbee Pre-takeoff checklist

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    IR training and real world IFR with dual VOR’s and a DME is definitely doable, not ideal, but doable.

    Real world IFR with only the VOR’s and no GPS or DME is a challenge though. When I bought my current airplane it still had the original 1976 nav package (dual Cessna VOR’s and ADF) and an inop Narco DME. Finding enroute fuel stops, destination airports, and alternates when required that I could do without GPS or DME was harder than I thought it would be. You’d be surprised how Many VOR and ILS approaches require GPS or DME on the approach or on the missed approach.

    Fortunately, adding a tablet with an app like ForeFlight brings at least the higher level of information and situational awareness to the game even if you can’t use it for primary navigation.

    With ForeFlight and careful planning I successfully flew many IFR XC’s for almost two years like that before upgrading to the 430W.
     
  21. Mjg2011

    Mjg2011 Pre-Flight

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    Try to get at least a kln 89b. I used to rent a plane with no gps and I realized all my destinations only had rnav approaches.
     
  22. Datadriver

    Datadriver Line Up and Wait

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    Abandon any hope of upgrading a partnership airplane after buying in. If it works as is, great.
     
  23. YKA

    YKA Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm just a poor boy, the schools plane I did my IR had no GPS. But to be fair this was in 2000, so most planes didn't. The good old days, a few little round things in the dash, crappy radios, and hopefully the seat stayed latched. Yell CLEAR, and hope that both engines started on that old clapped out Seneca. 21 years later those are fond ole memories...at the time I cursed the pile of junk. I envision schools nowadays using nice planes, where they always start, everything works, and the seats don't come unlatched right after rotation. Nothing like telling your instructor "You have control" as calmly as is possible considering that the seat just slid back, and the altitude is about 3' AGL, trying to play it cool, like nothing is wrong. I thought I was much cooler, than i actually was.
     
  24. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    If IFR, a modern waas gps is a must, LPV approaches are so common nowadays. And if planning on long cross country (not $100 hamburger runs) autopilot is a must as well as ADSB capable.
     
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  25. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    Somethings never change, a few do. Nice planes that always work? No. Heck - still using the same planes that you considered old back in the day. But they all now have a GPS nav, ADSB, and Cessnas all have the AD seat latch fix.
     
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  26. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    Also, sometimes (not always) older things are better. My 1940 house is much-more solidly built than the flimsy things they started putting up in the 1970s. The repair guy told us never to get rid of our 1990s washer and dryer, because new ones wear out fast. And a 1960s PA-28-180 will generally carry a bigger load than a modern 180 hp plane, because the newer ones have so much extra material in them, raising the empty weight.
     
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  27. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Wonderful...cost for upgrading my cherokee is now over $25K. Guess I need to start a gofundme page.
     
  28. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yup...Everytime I consider replacing my 1980's era Kenmore washer and dryer, I look at Consumer Reports on the new stuff and really like my Kenmore. Wish I had kept Dad's 1950's era house in Phoenix (brick) for many reasons, but it made no sense living a thousand miles away and renters don't want to rent during the summer. Of course when it's below zero in a snow storm in Colorado, my mantra is "why did I sell Dad's house? Oh yeah, May, June, July, August....."

    Same reason I like my 1969 cherokee 180. More load, higher ceiling.
     
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  29. Geosync

    Geosync Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You could get your IFR with what you have, that’s how I(and many others) did it. Then just have ForeFlight for reference. But as other have said, if you plan on doing at lot of IFR flying GPS is probably for the best. If you just want to file every now and then in marginal VMC or a couple scattered clouds, but otherwise go mostly VFR, then just leave it as is.
     
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  30. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    I waited as long as I could before finally giving in. By 2017, ATC wasn't even hearing me right when I asked for an NDB approach instead of RNAV, because no one had flown in in eons. They're mostly getting decommissioned now, anyway.

    Your cheapest entry into RNAV is to install a Garmin GPS 175 (MSRP 4,995 + installation).

    You don't need an autopilot, strictly speaking, but if you don't mind one that's certified for enroute IFR only (you'd still have to hand-fly approaches), the Bendix-King TruTrak/Aerocruze 100 is a fair bit cheaper than the Garmin GFC 500.
     
  31. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The plan is a second G5 for HSI, and the 355 because I need the 2nd radio. With all the parts and install, that's $15K. The autopilot is at least another $10K, and aint gonna happen.
     
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  32. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    Not needing a second nav radio ?
     
  33. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    Agreed we don't really need a second comm radio these days -- you can always carry a portable for emergency use. But the price difference between the GNC 355 (with comm) and the GPS 175 (without) is only $2,000, which wouldn't go far towards buying @murphey an autopilot.
     
  34. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    Many things were better back then.

    I'd like a little newer car. Just looking at the taxes schedule here its easily $5k in taxes over the first 5 years of ownership at $35k price tag (for new car). No thanks. Property evaluations here are going up 20% for a lot of folks, double yuck.

    When the electricity and gasoline doubles in the next 4 years....
    then what?

    Coworker built a brand new house about 20 years ago, last year they spent about $15k in repairs, roof, HVAC, and garage door.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  35. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    Gas prices at the pump in the U.S. are pretty close to their historical norm (the red line is the inflation-adjusted one), but who knows what the future holds?
    [​IMG]
     
  36. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Intake manifold on my ford died last week (crack)...the repair will cost more than the car is worth (vintage 2007). The bill on the rental car is more than my car is worth. But....still cheaper than dropping $35K or so (actually, I'm looking at a 2016 for $22K). Plus that lets me spend the $15K on the GPS.

    Priorities.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
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  37. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    I hear you. We have a bottom side panel that I knocked off our 2013 Mazda 3 and haven't replaced yet, there are unrepaired scrapes and blotches all over the paint, and the door seals are so bad that we have to almost shout to hear each-other on the highway.

    Then again, neither of us uses the car for commuting, we have excellent public transportation (10 minutes to downtown from the LRT station at the end of our street) and there are hundreds of great stores and restaurants within a 20 minute walk of our house, so there's no disagreement in our household about spending money on our (modest, 160 hp) plane instead of the car.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
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  38. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    Meh. We did it.
     
  39. George Mohr

    George Mohr Line Up and Wait

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    Yeah, us too. It's important that all the partners agree on the trajectory of planned upgrades before they buy in. Also, smaller partnerships are more likely to succeed on upgrades, because of fewer families financial variables injected into the process.

    -G
     
  40. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I bought my plane before there was an approach-rated GPS. My original stack was a pretty complete King Silver Crown (two KX-155 NAVCOM, KR86 ADF, KT76A Transponder). I added a KN64 DME and a KMA24 audio panel. When the CNX80/GNS480 WAAS GPS hit the market I redid the panel to include the 480, SL30, and MX20. I ditched the ADF, but kept the DME which really I've only turned on for curiosity reasons since.