August 1999 Issue

May I Be Heard?

With external antennas for your back-up comm (and nav) you will be.

With the small GA cockpit turning into a sort of video Disney World, serious IFR pilots worry more about what to do if all that stuff goes dark. Not that we expect any reliability problems, mind you, but none of the new certified mapcoms have more than a few months of operational field experience. Who knows whatís lurking in those circuits.

The standard back-up scheme these days seems to be a portable GPS of some kind, plus a handheld VHF comm. Thatís good as far as it goes, but the comm wonít be nearly as reliable as you think and you can substantially improve the performance of both GPS and VHF comm with external antennas.

If youíre using portable GPS routinely, not just as back-...

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