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3 GPS SENSITIVITY MODES

How sensitive is the CDI Needle on your GPS?

When does it switch sensitivity modes?

Why is this important?


Here's what you need to know.


There are 3 different GPS Sensitivity Modes. They are: En-Route Sensitivity, Terminal Sensitivity, and Approach Sensitivity. These modes may sequence automatically (if you have your flight plan set up correctly) depending on the portion of flight you are operating in.


EN-ROUTE SENSITIVITY

When is my GPS in En-Route Sensitivity Mode?

The GPS will default to En-Route Sensitivity when there is not a complete flight plan (departure point, en-route points, instrument approach, and destination point) loaded into the aircraft's GPS. If a complete flight plan HAS been loaded in the GPS, then it will be in En-Route Mode when the pilot is further than 30nm from both the Departure and Destination Airports.


How sensitive is the CDI Needle in this mode?

Newer GPS units provide 2nm of needle sensitivity (each side of course centerline). This means, the needle will be full deflection (left or right) when 2nm off course or more. Older GPS units are calibrated for a 5nm needle sensitivity.


TERMINAL SENSITIVITY

When is my GPS in Terminal Sensitivity Mode?

In order for a GPS to automatically sequence to Terminal Sensitivity, a complete flight plan must be loaded. If a complete flight plan IS loaded into the GPS, then it will be in Terminal Mode when the aircraft is within 30nm of either the Departure or Destination Airports.


How sensitive is the CDI Needle in this mode?

1nm of needle sensitivity (either side of course centerline).


APPROACH SENSITIVITY

When is my GPS in Approach Sensitivity Mode?

Again, the GPS will automatically switch to Approach Mode when an aircraft is within 2nm of the Initial Approach Fix (IAF) of an Instrument Approach, if a full and complete flight plan has been loaded properly.


How sensitive is the CDI Needle in this mode?

0.3nm of needle sensitivity (either side of course centerline).






Author - Nate Hodell

CFI/CFII/MEI/ATP - Creator of wifiCFI - Owner of Axiom Aviation Flight School.


This information is included in the Navigation Aids: GPS Lessons on wifiCFI. Sign up today to watch videos, listen to podcasts, take lesson quizzes, join live webinars, print lesson quicktakes, and more by clicking this link >


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