Handheld GPS for VFR

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Ranger Al
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:43 pm

Handheld GPS for VFR

Postby Ranger Al » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:41 am

Hoping to finalize a deal for my first aircraft. It is a nice steam gauge, light IFR capable plane, but does not have a GPS.

While I'm instrument rated, I'm not current, and really don't intend to fly a lot of single pilot IFR in any case. Something about those big granite things that stick up out of the ground where I live!

So it's time -- well, past time -- to replace my unsupported Lowrance 600C. It was a nice unit, but since I can't update the database ever again, it has rather limited utility.

I don't have an iPad and really don't think an unit that large is right for me.

So am I really just trying to decide between the models in the Garmin Aera line... or there real other units out their like the basic Bendix/King AV8OR or Anywhere Map that are in the game for the foreseeable future that I should consider?

And finally... any good rumors about new handheld GPS units which may debut at AirVenture and might warrant me holding off on a purchase, or is this sector fading away due to the Apple factor?

Looking forward to everyone's thoughts.


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Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:37 pm
Location: Florence, (Coastal) Oregon

Re: Handheld GPS for VFR

Postby champguy » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:46 am

I have the Anywhere Map and love playing with all the features, including this or that on the display, etc. It also goes right into my car so I can get places without actually learning my way around.
The unit is not bullet proof rugged, and I would not fly without a backup.
I keep the Lowrance 600C for it's simple "go to" in case I need an airport after a few hours "wandering" on my way somewhere.
As long as it's day VFR in unconjested airspace I actually enjoy looking out the window more than getting lost in a complicated toy and punching buttons to get different views.
Got some Class B or C around, whole different can of worms.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.

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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:29 pm

Re: Handheld GPS for VFR

Postby AZAir » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:08 pm

I have the BK AV8OR handheld unit and interface the Zaon XRX unit via bluetooth to it for traffic alerts.

Love the combo.

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Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:54 pm
Location: Bunker, MO

Re: Handheld GPS for VFR

Postby Trish7 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:58 pm

Hi folks,

I'm pretty new to flying and owning an airplane. I actually bought an iFly700 a couple years ago at Oshkosh before I bought my Tomahawk. It is not IFR rated, but neither am I. The iFly 700 or their new iFly 720 could be worth a look. I really like mine. I don't have any experience with any of the others, just so you know.

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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:48 am

Re: Handheld GPS for VFR

Postby davidsflying » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:41 am

I have the base model Aera 500 and so far I really like it. The touch screen interface makes it much easier to use than scrolling around with buttons. I used to have a 296 and this is far easier to use in flight and on the ground.

The only thing I've had with it is I lost GPS signal on the last flight for a bit - of course it happens when I'm 2nm away from military restricted airspace but I had the VOR I was tracking to tuned in and the map out anyways. Not sure if that was a fault with the Aera itself or just something local. It came in and out for a bit just for the first 15 mins of the second leg of my flight then worked fine the rest of the time. I've never had an issue any other time with it.

At this point I wouldn't go with a handheld that wasn't touchscreen and to me the Aera seems the best. I also have an iPad but find I use that more for reference than actual navigation.

The Aera does have an IFR display mode too.

As for the different models the only reason I'd upgrade would be for weather but I'll pass on the $50 a month subscription for the day VFR flying I do anyways.

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