Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hold On

My mission, determined in the previous installment, is to learn how to program a hold into the GNS430 in no more than double the time it takes to calculate the hold and set it up manually. Or at least to figure out how to make the HSI behave like an HSI and allow me to fly the hold manually. I've tried wandering around the menus and scrolling down to the secret parts I can't see right away, but nowhere have I found a choice like "Select Hold" or "Hold at waypoint." I can visualize what the screen might look like, with an option to select my holding point, inbound track, turn direction (default right), desired time (default one minute) and an optional second point if it's a DME hold on an airway. But no such screen is in evidence.

Back to the pdf manual (damn being a pilot is so glamourous) to look for holds. There's nothing in the manual specifically about defining your own hold, but I found this advice online. There is also an iPod application on the GNS430; author Max Trescott generously offered me a promotional copy of the app, but sadly iTunes won't let Canadians do that. Thanks to everyone for your various suggestions. I need to go back to my friend the OBS key. They should have labelled that key HLD. It would make a lot more sense.

So I reposition the simulator to try out an enroute hold. And here's a problem I've never had in the real aircraft. I moved the simulator window slightly, and my HSI vanished. Just poof, gone. Blank spot in the simulated panel. The simulator, in other words, is not without bugs. I exit and restart.

This time, the hold was easy. Using the OBS key you can hold anywhere you have a waypoint.

  • fly direct the waypoint
  • before you reach it, hit the OBS button to disable waypoint sequencing
  • bug the outbound heading of the assigned hold
  • cross the fix, turn appropriately, and set the trackbar to the inbound course
  • fly the hold just like you would if it were a VOR hold and you didn't have a GPS

It's cool because you can fly a hold at any fix at all, without messing about trying to identify the fix using multiple nav aids, but if it's not a published hold (based on a comment, I'm guessing the American for that is "charted hold") the GPS doesn't do the timing for you.

That technique may sound kind of lame, as it's just pushing a button then flying a hold manually, but by comparison flying published holds on the GPS is not all that whiz bang either. The flight plan names the fix then has the word "hold" on the next line. About five seconds (yeah, real heads up there, Garmin) before crossing the fix it tells you the entry type (only "TEARDROP ENTRY" not any instructions on the outbound heading), or even reminding you if it's left or right turns. The timer is kind of a neat gimmick because it starts the clock at the correct moment, passing abeam the fix outbound and turning towards it inbound, but it's not like you push a button and then sit back and watch the airplane fly the hold. There are cockpit systems that do that, even calculating compensation for wind.

Also, the little kids doing the announcements for the Paralympic Winter Games opening ceremonies did a great job. I didn't realize how small they were until they introduced the Governor-General and they all walked along holding hands.


Blake said...

You're recent string of GPS related posts reminds me of a post I read over at Aviation Mentor on Automation Surprise.

Very interesting read.


He's a CFI and teaches in G1000 equipped aircraft. A lot of Garmin tips/tricks can be had by checking out his blog. They may apply to your 430 questions.

SimPilot264 said...

Hi Aviatrix,

In a comment on your last post you mentioned a requirement for FS9 whilst your 'puter maxes out at FS2004. For info FS9 is FS2004 so that particular doo-dab should work. You may have to play about with some of the configuration settings to get it to work reasonably well, but that's a whole new can of wriggly things...!

Kind regards,


PS - word verification for this comment is:


I wonder if Goggle Blogger did that on purpose...

Sarah said...

, but if it's not a published hold (based on a comment, I'm guessing the American for that is "charted hold") the GPS doesn't do the timing for you.

Nope, we say "published hold" too.

I was chided on my checkride for paying too much attention to the 430 depiction of the hold. I was doing a "VOR or GPS A" approach with the GPS, but the depicted hold is only a suggestion. You're still supposed to time the legs and correct for wind, not just follow the magenta line, like you should do with purely GPS holds ( 4-mile legs )