The Elite AATD has a real Garmin 430 in it. Having the actual GPS in the sim makes the requisite "button pushing" much easier to learn. Garmin is to be commended for their serious efforts to teach pilots how to use the Garmin GPS units by providing very good computer simulation programs. But it is a fact of life that many people find it difficult to learn how to actually use the unit by use of the computer simulation programs.

Learning to use the IFR GPS in the sim is extremely effective, not to mention much less expensive than learning it in a plane. Combining sim sessions with the ground needed to understand the world of IFR GPS provide a true benefit to the pilot wanting to either learn or improve understanding of the Garmin GPS.

WAAS approaches are now a reality, and they provide a new level of precision. Although they are technically considered non-precision approaches, their minimums take the pilot down to near ILS minimums. Sim Flite Minnesota is scheduled to upgrade its Garmin 430 to a 430W. With the new GPS, you will be able to get hands-on experience with the WAAS technology.

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