Comments on headsets and GPS


Antisocial Monster
Heya everyone,

I've been flying with a new Lightspeed Twenty 3G headset for about a month now, and I've been meaning to talk it up a bit. I also got the chance to fly behind a Garmin GNS 430 yesterday on a cross conutry so I figured I'd combine my experiences with this new fangeled techonology into one post.

First of all, a little background. I learned how to fly at an FBO where the most recent piece of avionics in ANY of the planes is Northstar M1 that probably has not had a database update in 5-7 years. Having a DME was a godsend, and only having half the plane work at one time was normal. This gave me a good background in how to use our system of VOR's and NDB's (and I got some good experience in actual partial panel operations). Now that I've actually seen this new GPS stuff, I've come to a stunning realization; it's way too easy!

About a week ago I got checked out in Ann Arbor, MI at Aviation Center. I decided to go get checked out in their Archer, figuring it'd just be a Warrior with a big engine. The plane flew about as I expected, the real issue for me was gearing up to use the avionics. It had a Garmin GNS 430, a Garmin 327 transponder, an old King nav/comm and a King DME. The King nav/comm and DME would have been enough to make me happy, but using the GNS 430 was a real treat. Before the checkout I went and downloaded the GNS 430 simulator off of and played with it for a few hours. Overall I thought it was a fairly easy unit to get working, and figured there had to be a catch. Thankfully, there was none. This unit is smarter than I am, and it really blew me away. To think it came out a few years ago and is now the norm in so many cockpits floors me, and makes me dislike my normal FBO even more.

So me and skibum decided we'd go and take a flight down to Cleveland last night for dinner (mainly because we could). We had her cousin with her, so we'd have 3 people in a fully fuel Archer (I'm still trying to let go of not having full tanks whenever I depart, but we were an easy 150 pounds under max takeoff weight) on an 86 deg. day. The takeoff was interesting, but the plane still managed to climb at a healthy 500-600 FPM most the way up. We were vectored south of Detroit Metro and then once we got to the lake we were given direct Burke and 7,000'. Once we got out of the bravo and things calmed down a bit I had a chance to really play with this GPS. I couldn't believe that the thing actually showed me exactly where I questions asked. It even gave me an accurate ETA! Heck, I could pull up approaches, find out runway length's, find frequency's, and do just about anything else I wanted. It certinally brought down my workload, and I love this whole area navigation thing. I'm sure some of you are reading this and thinking "...redneck, never even used a GPS until he had been flying for 5 years." If that's the case I'll take it, and I'm not going to shutup about this unit for a while. I can't believe there are even better GPS/comm units out there, with the CNX 80 being released by UPSAT. If this thing had a Mode S transponder with the TIS capability and some weather uplink it'd be the ultimate cross country least to me.

The other piece of gear that I've been using latley is a Lightspeed Twenty 3G headset. This is my first leap into the ANR stuff, and I'm REALLY impressed so far. My old headset was a David Clark 13.4, which was a wonderful headset until I put my glasses on. Once they were on I couldn't stand to have the headset on me for more than about an hour at a time. I've used the Twenty 3G's on trips for a few hours at a time now, and I'm REALLY impressed by the comfort level and noise cancelation that this headset offers. If you don't have an ANR headset, listen to everyone and go get one! They are almost as cheap as a non-ANR headset and are more than worth their weight in gold. I can't even tell I have a headset on after a few hours in the plane now, and I don't know how I survived without it.

Anyone else run into revilations like these when they tried new gear out, or am I just behind the times?


John Herreshoff


Aint techonology great?!

I just started flying the C172R and I went into it thinking it'd be a 172 with a few extras.

Wow I was wrong!!! Dual axis approach autopilot; KLN94B color GPS with large moving map display; leather interior; fuel injection (no carb heat or ice); 53gal useable which gives 5 HOURS endurance with reserve (no more having to refuel on the majority of my XCs).... I could go on.

What really does it for me are the things like the 'gyro' flag on the AI, and the annunciator pannel with 'vacuum low, and volts' warnings. It also has dual vacuum pumps which are nice but may be a bit gimicky because they both connect to the same tube that leads to the instruments (not totally independant).

Anyways back to the GPS. You can program in every fix / waypoint along the route before you fly (or during flight). It will give you all the usual time / distance / groundspeed, etc which is fantastic.

A good example is last Saturday. I was in IMC flying an approach to an airport for lunch... I had the VOR approach ready in the VORs and was getting vecotred for it. I also had the GPS going with the moving map on... I knew exactly where I was in relation to terrain and to the approach course, plus I had it set to display the stepdown fixes on the approach as an extra plus.

...And then there are the small things like being able to see the entire VOR radial display at once (as opposed to the 90*top / 90*bottom on the older models). There's the ability to instantly switch frequencies between standby and active on the NAV/COMMs. It dosen't have 'official' DME, but the distance info I get from the GPS is outstanding.

Anyways I could go on forever and have already written WAY too much...
you can tell I really like this stuff


Well-Known Member
Anyone else run into revilations like these when they tried new gear out, or am I just behind the times?

[/ QUOTE ]

Yeah, pretty much with everything. Like you, I got my private, and had 200 hrs. before I ever saw a panel-mounted GPS or used an autopilot. We've got some very well-equipped planes where I work now, and its great! The first time I flew an airplane with radar and a stormscope on a day when it was actually useful, I was really psyched!


Well-Known Member
That sounds pretty exciting. I have yet to experience anything cool like that. Although, I heard that a nearby avionics shop has a 430 that you can go fool around with in their little shop.

I'm jealous!