Radio Questions

Talk about airplanes! At last count, there are 39 (and growing) FAA certificated S-LSA (special light sport aircraft). These are factory-built ready to fly airplanes. If you can't afford a factory-built LSA, consider buying an E-LSA kit (experimental LSA - up to 99% complete).

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c162pilot
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:40 pm
Location: New York - HPN

Radio Questions

Postby c162pilot » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:45 pm

A couple of questions as it pertains to VHF radios and S-LSA's:

1. The Plane I am looking at has the Garmin 3X Touch and the radio being offered is the GTR200. If the manufacturer permits it, for the extra $3.1K is there value in upgrading to the Garmin GNC225 that includes, VOR, Localizer and Glideslope. it seems to me that for practicing VOR navigation and approaches or in a low visibility emergency to have the Glideslope for guidance would be very valuable. I realize that we live in a world of GPS and that VOR navigation is quickly becoming a thing of the past for many VFR pilots but was wondering how the members of this board feel.

2. KHPN (Westchester County) the airport that I operate our of today is a Class D underlying the New York Class B that requires contacting approach before contacting the tower prior to landing. All aircraft I have flown in the past have had 2 radios and as a matter of course we load up all our frequencies in the two radios prior to engine startup or approach to landing and just flip flop between active / standby and com 1/ com 2. Would workload be lowered and safety enhanced by having two radios or is it easy enough to get use to only having just one radio and twiddling the frequency knob more frequently? I assume that two radios would require and an audio panel that would add additional cost also.

Thank you in advance for your feedback.

SportPilot
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Re: Radio Questions

Postby SportPilot » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:32 pm

Delete...
Last edited by SportPilot on Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BrianL99
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:23 pm

Re: Radio Questions

Postby BrianL99 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:34 pm

c162pilot wrote:A couple of questions as it pertains to VHF radios and S-LSA's:

1. The Plane I am looking at has the Garmin 3X Touch and the radio being offered is the GTR200. If the manufacturer permits it, for the extra $3.1K is there value in upgrading to the Garmin GNC225 that includes, VOR, Localizer and Glideslope. it seems to me that for practicing VOR navigation and approaches or in a low visibility emergency to have the Glideslope for guidance would be very valuable. I realize that we live in a world of GPS and that VOR navigation is quickly becoming a thing of the past for many VFR pilots but was wondering how the members of this board feel.

2. KHPN (Westchester County) the airport that I operate our of today is a Class D underlying the New York Class B that requires contacting approach before contacting the tower prior to landing. All aircraft I have flown in the past have had 2 radios and as a matter of course we load up all our frequencies in the two radios prior to engine startup or approach to landing and just flip flop between active / standby and com 1/ com 2. Would workload be lowered and safety enhanced by having two radios or is it easy enough to get use to only having just one radio and twiddling the frequency knob more frequently? I assume that two radios would require and an audio panel that would add additional cost also.

Thank you in advance for your feedback.


For what it's worth, I hate flying with only 1 radio and I'll soon add another one. I think it's a particular problem, flying around Bravo space or any busy airspace (I'm in Boston).

& I'm a huge fan of having Nav/Com and when I add an radio, it will likely be a Nav/Com.

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drseti
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Re: Radio Questions

Postby drseti » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:55 pm

I went with a single SL30 navcom in each of the two SportStars I bought for my flight school. As a CFII, I need VOR/LOC/GS capability for instrument training. The SL30 contains essentially two separate nav receivers - you can drive a CDI or HSI with the primary frequency, while using the backup nav frequency in monitor mode to drive the internal digital RMI. Thus, you can easily identify airway intersections with a single nav unit.
Yes, a second com would be useful, but you can only fit so much into an LSA panel. :(
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
AvSport of Lock Haven
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Nomore767
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Re: Radio Questions

Postby Nomore767 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:25 pm

I have the GTR200 in my RV and really like it.

You're right the radio has the flip/flop (active/standby) feature but it also has the ability to monitor the standby side so once you've heard the AWOS/ATIS for example you can monitor it ( over the active freq) if you need an update. Cruising with flight following it's nice to have the last frequency if you can't raid the next one or to ask the controller what the next one will be and then put it into the standby.

It is possible to set the freqs directly from Skyview but in my RV that feature isn't available and frankly I don't miss it. Some airplanes utilize the option to name the freq on the radio itself e.g., CLT appch but my Skyview does display the frequency at the top along with which facility it is.

The VOR, LOC option is something I never used in other LSAs. These days frankly the GPS units are so accurate that I don't need it nor does my personal mission in sport flying demand it. Others, like a flight school might choose one for flight raining. For me it was an extra expense that I opted not to have.

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dstclair
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Re: Radio Questions

Postby dstclair » Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:13 pm

KHPN (Westchester County) the airport that I operate our of today is a Class D underlying the New York Class B that requires contacting approach before contacting the tower prior to landing. All aircraft I have flown in the past have had 2 radios and as a matter of course we load up all our frequencies in the two radios prior to engine startup or approach to landing and just flip flop between active / standby and com 1/ com 2. Would workload be lowered and safety enhanced by having two radios or is it easy enough to get use to only having just one radio and twiddling the frequency knob more frequently? I assume that two radios would require and an audio panel that would add additional cost also.

You won't need two radios to preload frequencies. The G3X allows you to display all the frequencies, including approach control, and simply touch the one you want to put it into the standby field. I do the equivalent with my Garmin 795 when at similar airports -- just keep that screen up until you're done swapping frequencies.

I felt naked flying without a VOR when I started flying LSA's around 8 years ago. Now, I just don't see the tangible value for VFR flying.
dave

chavycha
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Location: Eugene, OR, USA

Re: Radio Questions

Postby chavycha » Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:51 pm

The 'monitor' feature essentially functions as a second radio. Frankly I think it's easier as you don't have to run everything through an audio panel.

We have a similar setup here approaching out class Ds. Check ATIS as soon as you can receive it, then contact approach within 20-25nm, who then hands you to tower at about 8nm.

I start by putting approach in active, ATIS in standby. Use monitor to check ATIS. Then input tower in standby. Call approach. Talk to approach. When they hand me to tower, swap frequencies. Then tune ground into standby. Land. Swap to ground.

Pretty simple.

I don't think I would bother with a VOR receiver in a LSA. The only VFR functionality you lose is the ability to receive info on VOR frequencies (HIWAS, a select few FSS RCOs). And how many times will that be the only option for in flight weather?
Scott K. :: A bunch of silly letters
Disclaimer :: Listen to me at your own risk. These are just my opinions...

CTLSi
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Re: Radio Questions

Postby CTLSi » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:50 am

c162pilot wrote:A couple of questions as it pertains to VHF radios and S-LSA's:

1. The Plane I am looking at has the Garmin 3X Touch and the radio being offered is the GTR200. If the manufacturer permits it, for the extra $3.1K is there value in upgrading to the Garmin GNC225 that includes, VOR, Localizer and Glideslope. it seems to me that for practicing VOR navigation and approaches or in a low visibility emergency to have the Glideslope for guidance would be very valuable. I realize that we live in a world of GPS and that VOR navigation is quickly becoming a thing of the past for many VFR pilots but was wondering how the members of this board feel.

2. KHPN (Westchester County) the airport that I operate our of today is a Class D underlying the New York Class B that requires contacting approach before contacting the tower prior to landing. All aircraft I have flown in the past have had 2 radios and as a matter of course we load up all our frequencies in the two radios prior to engine startup or approach to landing and just flip flop between active / standby and com 1/ com 2. Would workload be lowered and safety enhanced by having two radios or is it easy enough to get use to only having just one radio and twiddling the frequency knob more frequently? I assume that two radios would require and an audio panel that would add additional cost also.

Thank you in advance for your feedback.


The GTR200 is a nice radio as is the GTR225. To get Nav/Com you will need the GNC255.

cogito
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:53 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Radio Questions

Postby cogito » Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:22 am

C162,
If you've already made this decision, please disregard. I went through this when putting in a new panel this spring. One piece of info I learned from a Garmin G3Xpert, "the GTR 200 and GTR 225 each support a built-in intercom, but they are not the same intercom. The one in the GTR 225 is not bad - I haven't used it extensively, but it seems roughly equivalent to the SL30/40 to me. On the other hand, the GTR 200's built-in intercom uses the same digital audio processing and 3D audio technology found in the high-end GMA 350 audio panel, and as Scott and Mitch have confirmed above it is very good indeed."

After having flown behind the G3X Touch and the GTR 200 for a couple hundred hours, I can say I'm very happy with it. This week I flew Class D to Class C to Class B within 10 mins on my way to Catalina, no issues loading freqs. etc. You can follow GPS simulated VORs in the G3X if you wish, but I'm not planning on getting an IFR anytime soon so I never use.

My one issue with the GTR 200 is that the radio is so much better than my previous one I sometimes hear calls from other far away CTAFs I'm not flying to. I'm happy to have this trade-off rather than towers telling me my transmissions are less than clear.

-Craig


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