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Avionics Tips & Tricks You Don’t Know…Probably (from 16 hr Garmin training course)

Definitive Garmin Autopilot Guide From THE Automation Experts.

In this episode I’m intercutting the first ever time I filed IFR in the RV-14, with the 16 hour in person Garmin avionics training course I attended a month later. We’re focusing on the GTN 750 navigator, G3X Touch PFD, and GFC 500 Digital Autopilot. It’s ~26 minutes of action packed tips tricks and best practices for automation management. See below for the “Table of Contents” if you want to skip to, or review particulate sections.

Garmin Training:

Visit: fly.garmin.com/fly-garmin/training/

They have added the following two online courses since I visited last March:

GFC 500 = https://www.garmin.com/en-US/p/pn/AVN…  

G3X Touch = https://www.garmin.com/en-US/p/pn/AVN…  

Additionally, the team is putting together an in-person course dedicated specifically to G3X Touch in experimental aircraft. What I attended was a mix between certified and experimental aircraft.

Table of Contents:

00:00 Introduction (Setting the scene and meeting the main instructor Steve W.)

07:10 Entering a complex flight plan (With departure, airway, and arrival procedures)

11:25 Data Link Weather (If too far for ATIS, or there’s none available)

12:42 Enhanced Descent VNAV (How to step down from cruise and transition to an approach)

17:18 Load/Activate Approach (Best Practices; why you don’t need to press “Activate”)

19:30 APR mode on the Auto Pilot (What exactly does it do?)

20:05 More Context re: ACTIVATE Approach (Why would you NOT want to “Activate”?)

21:54 “Fast Find” (Handy workflow Tip I didn’t know)

22:17 “Parallel Track” (Quick tip / What it is)

22:32 Parallel Track Scenario (Active weather Scenario)

23:57 Meet the Students (A wide variety of experience levels here!)


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I’m a Private Pilot, doing my best to stay current and learn. I fly for fun and might just be the least cocky pilot on the internet! My self analysis videos can seem self deprecating at times, but I am trying to learn from the small mistakes to avoid making a big one; I’m happy to share and find it rewarding to help other pilots or aspiring aviators in any way that I can. How does the saying go? “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards”. And in aviation, not all tests are survivable.

My virtual “ride-along” flying videos are aimed and sharing my experiences and giving back to the aviation community which has been so helpful to me. I shoot multi-camera angles, get detailed real time instrument panel shots, and have radio intercom audio. I respect people’s time, so I put a fair bit of work into editing to keep the videos concise and engaging; I add animations and further graphics and voice overs where needed to add context and explanations.

My hope is to continue to grow and evolve the “Flight Chops” project with input and support from the aviation community!

Steve Thorne, aka "Flight Chops"

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I am a “weekend warrior” private pilot, I fly for fun with no intentions of going commercial. I have had my PPL for over 15 years, but still consider each flight a learning experience – I generally take detailed notes after each flight to remind myself what went well or what I could do to improve…. Having the GoPro cameras to record flights like this is invaluable. I find these self analysis videos very helpful in my constant quest to improve, and am happy to share.

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