Instrument panels don't look like they used to, especially with the introduction of GPS. While all the button-pushing can be intimidating, it doesn't have to be.
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has an online minicourse on panel-mounted GPS receivers. The first self-paced, 15-minute minicourse is about the Garmin 430/530; similar minicourses are planned for other GPS receivers. Unlike traditional training courses, it focuses on the basic functions used by a typical pilot in VFR flight.
Ever confuse which knob to turn to dial in the communication frequency? The AOPA Air Safety Foundation provides a handy technique to help you remember: "Big number, big knob." After finishing the course, pilots will have a better understanding of the basics. You'll be on your way in no time after learning how to enter communication and VOR frequencies, add GPS waypoints, and use the basic moving-map functions. The course also includes a free PDF quick-reference card to carry in the cockpit - perfect for the VFR renter pilot. If you have more time available, there is a free full-length online course, GPS for VFR Operations.
May 29, 2006