GPS Units


New Member
I'm a student pilot about to go solo. I was thinking about getting a GPS for emergency use during cross know, in case I really do get lost. I still want to learn the skills of chart-reading and navigation. But the ones that I see out there are wayyyy outta my price range. Anyone got any suggestions? Or should I just ditch the idea of getting one altogether?

I bought a Garmin Pilot III a while ago and it was useful...I think you can pick them up for around 400 bucks now new, perhaps a little less on e-bay..
I have the Garmin E-Trex. I bought it at Wal-Mart for around 200 bucks. It has moving map, programmable waypoints, etc... It's not "for" aviation, but it's served me just fine, and I think it would work great for emergency use. I shot an NDB app. off of it (with a programmed waypoint, and VFR of course), and it was right on the money. Runs on 2 AA batteries for 20 hours of run time, plus, when I'm not flying, I use it to go 4-wheeling, mtn biking, hiking, etc.... it's waterproof, and it floats. It's the size of my cell phone. I love it, and it wasn't "too" expensive.
Eric - I was concerned about getting lost when I did my solo x/c's for my PPL too, but, like you, didn't have the $$$ to buy a GPS.... still don't.

I did my x/c's using my own flight planning off the charts, learned DED reconning and navigated by VOR's and learned to utilize Flight Following.

Best of luck! If you find a "cheap" GPS, let me know.

Lowrance airmap 100...bought off Ebay for about 250 with ALL the accessories. It does everything I need it to.
I've been hunting for deals on ebay, with no luck. Someone always comes along with a higher bid. I'm thinking maybe its not that necessary at this point, but its still good to have that "peace of mind".

Nice avatar pic by the way.
Nice avatar pic by the way.

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<I think you mean my avtar>
If so... THANKS! The guy in the car is actually trying to help the landing gear on the right wing extend. If you look closely, the gear in stuck in the up position.
Yeah, I saw a story on that guy on TV once (forget which show right now). Apparently the same problem (stuck gear) happened to him twice.
For emergencies you don't need an "aviation" handheld. The most basic model (in the $100 range) will work just fine up to 900 mph and 60kft. The only catch is that you will need to program in the LAT/LONG/ALT of all the airports or navaids that you plan to use. I've used mine extensively in light singles, and have used it on commercial flights (putting it next to the window) to just see where we are and what we were doing (don't let the FA's catch you - they think its a cellphone). In a single, if you put it up on the dash it will be able to track just fine, and even in the airliners i've been able to usually get 4-5 sats out the window (you need 4 for a true PVT solution)

Again, if you are only planning on using it for emergency use, you'll save alot of cash this way. You don't need moving maps or anything, any unit will tell you which way to point to get home... its also nice to have groundspeed and ETA, and again any unit can do this.