handheld nav/com?

Matt13C

Well-Known Member
Are they worth the money? I have read they are not that effective and do not have great range. Since working on my IR I have thought alot about what would happen if I had to go NORDO, but do they really help? How effective are they at picking up a VOR? If I needed could I fly a VOR approach with one?
 

MikeOH58

Well-Known Member
If you are worried about going NORDO, save yourself the money and just use your cell phone.

Had an alternator fail the other night on an XC. Battery didn't last much longer. No problem. Called the tower at the edge of their airspace, and was told enter pattern 1000 feet, cleared to land.
 

Matt13C

Well-Known Member
I don't get service in the air, my phone is terrible, or maybe it is just T-mobile.

My instructor has one and said it came in handy a few times. But he was also around the airport in VFR, so there were still other options.

I am curious though, are they effective when you are say 30 miles from a station or from the controller you are talking to. I know they work fine when you are in the pattern. I am more concerned with if I am in actual over mountains and lost power, I would have no way to track to a station or fly an approach.
 

bdhill1979

Gone West
I think the only real use for a handheld is for an instructor to monitor a solo. I have the Icom A24 and in the plane you can't hear it, and they can't hear you. Even with the headset attachment the noise in the cockpit makes your transmission pretty much unreadable. I don't even carry it in my flight bag anymore.
 

Brian Z

Well-Known Member
Used mine twice. The first time was when I was checking in to land and DPA and all of a sudden all I could do was transmit and not hear. I busted out the handheld and received my clearance. The other is when I had a total electrical failure in a Seminol in the run-up area at BJC. I took it out and received my clearance to taxi back to the school. I feel they are worth it.
 

Matt13C

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the input.

I think I am going to get the Icom A-24 with the headset adapter.

If I never use it in the airplane, that will be great news. Outside of the airplane, I can always use it to get my clearance without starting up or to get ATIS or monitor students when I get into instructing.
 

upup89

Well-Known Member
I'd honestly save your money. I can think of MUCH worse things than losing comms in IMC.
 

DPApilot

GUYSH! GUYSH! GUYSH!
used my A24 twice this summer coming into DPA

tower heard me fine, i used the headset adapter and it sounded just as great as the airplanes comms.

i think it's a good investment, especially if you're flying older aircraft.
 

Barty

Well-Known Member
If you are worried about going NORDO, save yourself the money and just use your cell phone.

Had an alternator fail the other night on an XC. Battery didn't last much longer. No problem. Called the tower at the edge of their airspace, and was told enter pattern 1000 feet, cleared to land.
You were probably low enough that was feasible. Cell antennas are designed with a few degrees of down-tilt (that is, the radiation pattern is directed towards the ground) to improve their coverage on the ground, not in the air. IIRC, cell coverage becomes spotty at 2000' AGL and higher.

I wouldn't fool with a combined nav/com. I used the nav feature once on a Sporty's radio I had borrowed just to see how well it worked and the simple truth is that it doesn't work that well, at least if you don't have an external antenna. I'd put the money into a GPS instead and just buy a simple com radio. Icom or Yaesu (Vertex) are both good brands.
 

Matt13C

Well-Known Member
I'd honestly save your money. I can think of MUCH worse things than losing comms in IMC.
True, but does not mean you shouldn't prepare for one problem just because something worse could happen. I am overly cautious at times and I think having one will ease my mind a bit if I get into hard solo ifr.

Plus, it is not my money. The parents offered to get me something for christmas. I told them i dont really need anything but they will get me something anyway. I would prefer they get me something I have thought about buying myself and will get some use out of.
 
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