July 1999 Issue

The GPS Balance Sheet

Certified GPS is a huge boon to safety, but the navigatorís quirks can make muddling through approaches an ordeal

Avionics manufacturers have a GPS navigator for every purpose and budget. At this springís Aircraft Electronics Association show in Atlanta, yet more models were announced, overhanging the market with unprecedented choices for owners.

GPS sales are clearly hot, but only a small percentage of the GA fleet is equipped with certified GPS. Our best estimate is not greater than 10 percent have IFR navigators.

Many owners are fence sitters still skeptical about the value of spending six grand or more for an IFR navigator that seems to perform only a bit better than a 10-year-old loran. The reasons are many: the cost of admission, lack of utility, beefs about operating complexity and worries...

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