GPS Ground Course

Navigate safely and accurately using GPS!

This course meets the training requirements allowing pilots to use GPS (Global Position System) for Night VFR and IFR navigation.

There are no mandatory qualifications required to use GPS by day under the VFR (Visual Flight Rules) however VFR pilots are encouraged to undertake this course to safely and accurately use GPS as an aid to visual navigation.

Course Overview

At the completion of the course you will have the required knowledge and have demonstrated operation of various GPS receiver units to qualify for the issue of a GPS approval for enroute navigation when flying NVFR/IFR.

System Components and Principles of Operation

Demonstrate an understanding of the GPS system and its principles of operation:

GPS system components, space, control and user

Aircraft equipment requirements

GPS satellite signal and pseudo random code

Principle of position fixing

Geocentric altitude

Method of minimizing receiver clock error

Minimum satellites required for navigation functions

Masking function

Performance limitations of various equipment types

GNSS use of the WGS84 coordinate system

Navigation System Performance Requirements

Define the following terms in relation to a navigational system and recall to what extent the GPS system meets the associated requirements:



o Means of providing GNSS integrity

o RAIM, procedural, systems integration



Authorisation and Documentation

Recall the requirements applicable to pilots and equipment for operations using GNSS.

Pilot training requirements

Logbook certification

Ratings and Endorsements

Aircraft equipment requirements


Errors and Limitations

Recall the cause and magnitude of typical errors:




Atmospheric / Ionospheric



Typical Total error

Effect of PDOP/GDOP on position accuracy

Susceptibility to interference

Comparison of vertical and horizontal errors

Tracking accuracy and collision avoidance

Human Factors and GNSS

Be aware of the human factors limitations associated with the use of GNSS equipment. Apply GNSS operating procedures which provide safeguards against navigational errors and loss of situational awareness because of the following:

Mode errors

Data entry errors

Data validation and checking including independent cross checking procedures

Automation induced complacency

Non-standardisation of the human-machine interface

Human information processing and situational awareness

Equipment-specific Navigation Procedures

Recall and apply knowledge of appropriate operating procedures to typical navigational tasks using
a specific type of GNSS aircraft equipment, including:

Select appropriate operational modes

Recall categories of information contained in the navigational database

Predict RAIM availability

Enter and check user defined waypoints

Enter/retrieve and check flight plan data

Interpret typical GNSS navigational displays Lat/Long, distance and bearing to waypoint, CDI, HSI, ND

Intercept and maintain GNSS defined tracks

Determine TMG, GS, ETA, time and distance to WPT, WV in flight

Indications of waypoint passage

Use of direct to function

Use of nearest airport function

GNSS Equipment Checks

For the specific type of aircraft equipment, carry out the following GNSS operational and serviceability checks at appropriate times:

TSO Status

Satellites acquired

RAIM status

DOP status

Database currency

Receiver serviceability

CDI sensitivity

Position indication

GNSS Warnings and Messages

For the specific type of aircraft GNSS equipment recognize and take appropriate action for warnings and messages, including the following:

Loss of RAIM

2D navigation

In Dead Reckoning mode

Database out of date

Database missing

GPS fail

Barometric input fail

Power /battery fail

Parallel offset on

Satellite fail

Night VFR Operational Requirements

Know the operational requirements that apply to planning a flight on the basis of GPS RNAV capability and, in a given operational situation, correctly state the requirements for:

Provision of alternate aerodromes

Determination of lowest safe altitude

Mandatory carriage of navigation systems

Additional training requirements for issue of the approval in IFR/NVFR operations will be covered during the issue of your rating. If you wish to add the approval to an existing rating demonstration in flight or on a GPS simulator will be required.