Using the Apollo GPS

as found in East Coast Aero Club aircraft

To fly instrument approaches legally, the current database card must be inserted into the slot at lower right. (You can get the current card from the desk person at ECAC.) For flying VFR, whatever old card is already in the slot is perfectly fine.

Turn on the GPS using the obvious OFF-ON button located on the top right. Wait for the GPS to cycle through its tests.

The outer knob moves the cursor.
The inner knob cycles through the choices.

To go somewhere, simply:

1. Push the "DIRECT" button. (Henceforth this shall be referred to as the D button.)

2. Use the small (inner) knob to cycle through these choices:

3. After you've chosen what you're aiming for - for example, an airport - Turn the big (outer) knob to move the cursor one space to the right. Use the inner knob to change the letters. Put in the three-letter airport code, or other identifier as appropriate.

4. Press "ENTER."

5. Push "MAP" to see a graphic depiction, including a line from where you are, to where you're going. In the MAP screen, you will also see the boxes "BRG" and "TRK." BRG (Bearing) is the course direction from where you are at the moment, to the location you've selected. TRK (TRK) is the direction you're actually going. When those two numbers say the same thing, you're headed directly there.

Example: You wish to go to Hanscom (Bedford) Airport. You push the D button. If "AIRPORT" is flashing, leave it; otherwise, turn the inner knob until it does. Turn the outer knob one click to the right, so the cursor flashes on the first letter. Turn the inner knob to "B." Turn the outer knob one more click so the second letter flashes. Turn to "E" with the inner knob. Use the outer knob to move the cursor one more right and inner knob to choose the letter "D." Push ENTER button. Push MAP. Go!

When the MAP screen is up, turning the inner knob changes the map scale. Smaller scales are easier for navigating along your chosen line. Larger scales show you a bigger picture of what's coming along your route.

If the MSG light flashes, push the little tiny button on the bottom left of the GPS. It will tell you something that it thinks you need to know. You can then press that same little tiny button to get the message to go away.



Load the approach

1. Push
2. Select the airport for the approach.
3. Push ENTER
4. Press SEL
5. "LOAD APPROACH?" flashes. Push ENTER
6. Use small knob to cycle through list of available approaches and IAFs.
7. Push ENTER

*IMPORTANT: For given approaches, each IAF will be listed as a wholly separate approach. Keep turning the inner knob until you find both the title of the approach you want, and the IAF listed that you will want. Example: the BED GPS 23 approach has two IAFs: EZKOW and LWM (Lawrence VOR). They use the same instrument approach plate, but will come up on the VOR select as two entirely separate approaches.

Enable the approach

1. If already within 20 n.m., the message will come up, "ENABLE APPROACH?" Press ENTER.
2. Otherwise, to enable the approach at the appropriate time, push SEL. "ENABLE APPROACH" flashes. Press ENTER.
3. The first listed point will be the IAF. (If you not going from an IAF, but instead are being vectored to final, you must tell the GPS: Push SEL. "VECTOR TO FINAL?" flashes. Push ENTER.)

At any time in this programming/setup, if you've screwed up, just push MAP. Then start again.

Some tips on shooting the approach

1. The easiest way to shoot an approach is using the MAP screen. Push the MAP button. Make BRG and TRK say the same thing, and it's easy. Also suggested is to use the inner dial to make the map scale very fine - say, 5 miles. Then you can clearly see the lines you should be following.
2. The CDI shows how far you are off the lines of the approach. It is very sensitive.
3. Don't wait to pass over a waypoint before starting to turn to the next one, or you'll overshoot. Anticipate turns: a 90° turn should start about half a mile early. Use the GPS distance to anticipate.
4. For the approach to be legal, the green APR light must flash before the IAF, then be steady green on final. If not, then inform ATC and stop the approach.
5. The GPS will automatically cycle between waypoints as you go past them, except:
6. After you pass the missed approach point, if you want to go to the hold point, you must press the OBS HOLD button, located below or near the CDI.