DMD3 asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 7 years ago

Could I get by with updating a GPS biannually, or even triannually?

If I purchase a Garmin GPS (I'm thinking about getting an Aera 500), do I HAVE to have it updated once a year? If I fail to update it, will it quit working properly? Let's say I skip a year and try to have it updated the next year, will they charge me double to make up for not having it updated the year before?

Please note that I don't plan on flying in any IFR minimums; my reason for wanting a GPS is that they are going to be letting the VORs going out of service (the ADS-B law becoming effective in 2020), so I feel less safe doing cross-countrys. I only plan on doing basic VFR navigation, and I mainly need something to point me in the direction of the airport, and to tell me how far I am away from it, that's about it.

7 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    You should NOT depend on a gps for PRIMARY navigation. While VFR with out the aid of VOR, NDB, etc. you should be navigating via either ded reckoning or pilotage,, If you cannot do this,or feel less safe,you need remedial training. Sure a gps is a convenient redundant system however what you describe the intended use for is simply a crutch . You should be able to determine direction and a close approximation to distance of any nearby airports etc with out depending on a GPS.( especially one with an expired database).@ ALL times!! You are an accident/incident waiting to happen with this mindset !!!.!................@ Tracy et al, In the US, there is NO requirement to carry current charts (;part 91) while flying, there is no requirement to have ANY charts on board for for that matter.

  • 7 years ago

    You never have to update it. If you use it in your car and there is something there or not there when the database was published there is no problem. Drive around it. If you expect it to do you any good in an airplane, you should update it at the same frequency as charts are updated. Then there will be no conflicts with what the GPS says and what the chart says. Regardless of whether it is IFR certified, you can still use it for navigation if it NOT your only source of navigation equipment. It is legal as a backup.

  • 7 years ago

    1) If you're flying VFR you don't ever have to update it, but it wouldn't be wise to entirely rely on it when it isn't current.

    2) Contact Garmin with your questions. Most of them are already addressed in the FAQ's on their website, and their customer service will promptly answer any other questions.

    3) Become better at pilotage. Don't become a "cripple of the magenta line"

  • 7 years ago

    Since no hand held devices have ever been approved for navigation updates are not mandatory at all! Having the necessary charts with you is a different matter or at least an approved EFB and those do need to be current.

    Source(s): TL
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  • 7 years ago

    A handheld is not legal IFR anyway, for VFR, it doesn't matter.

  • 7 years ago

    It's like flying with expired pubs, still works, but not legal for navigation if the database is expired.

  • 7 years ago

    You have no business in flying if you count on GPS.

    Good luck.

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