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Portable COM NAV GPS hand held radio onboard commercial flight ?

Portable COM NAV GPS hand held radio onboard commercial flight ?

Old May 7, 2023, 9:45 am
  #1  
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Portable COM NAV GPS hand held radio onboard commercial flight ?

Can anyone who may have flown commercially, report on allowance or restriction by TSA or flight crew for bringing on board an aviation radio that is 2 way COM w/ NAV & GPS ?
TSA says radios are not restricted for carry on board.

I am starting my PPL training and have a Yaesu FTA-850L and would like to take it onboard to see if I can use GPS tracking with ILS & VOR capture.

Will never use the COM (transmit) onboard, but would like to use it as a receive only mode to track the plane's course and see which waypoints it flies.

Like a cell phone, the device can be put into non transmit mode much like "Airplane mode" on a cell phone.

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Old May 8, 2023, 9:18 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by 4sallypat
Can anyone who may have flown commercially, report on allowance or restriction by TSA or flight crew for bringing on board an aviation radio that is 2 way COM w/ NAV & GPS ?
TSA says radios are not restricted for carry on board.

I am starting my PPL training and have a Yaesu FTA-850L and would like to take it onboard to see if I can use GPS tracking with ILS & VOR capture.

Will never use the COM (transmit) onboard, but would like to use it as a receive only mode to track the plane's course and see which waypoints it flies.

Like a cell phone, the device can be put into non transmit mode much like "Airplane mode" on a cell phone.
I've semi-regularly carried a NAV/COM handheld radio in my carry-on when I'm going to fly personally at my destination, and I haven't had any issues recently. There were more questions shortly after 9/11, but nothing too unreasonable. I have a SIDA badge for several airports where I am screened, though, so they may ask fewer questions.

I don't usually pull it out on the plane, so I'm not sure what you'll find there. I can say if you've never tried ForeFlight or similar, that may be better for your application. I use it for my personal flying, but I also will use it flying commercial just to "keep up" with the flight. Before they close the door I'll jump on FlightAware and look up my flight number. The app has an option to copy the flightplan to ForeFlight, so I'll select that. Then go to airplane mode and jump in Foreflight and follow along.



One other word of caution -- you're probably already aware, but if you tune in an ILS on your radio and are on a plane flying the approach, the radio will automatically pick up any associated outer/middle/inner markers on the approach. Those beeps are loud when you're flying the plane (but very useful) and could be quite alarming to fellow passengers who aren't expecting them if your volume is turned up.
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Old May 8, 2023, 11:58 am
  #3  
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Thank you!

Very useful.

I might just avoid the hassle from the flight crew and try ForeFlight !
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Old May 16, 2023, 11:16 am
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Originally Posted by 4sallypat
Thank you!

Very useful.

I might just avoid the hassle from the flight crew and try ForeFlight !
No worries; let me know if you need help figuring Foreflight out. It's fairly self-explanatory, though, and your CFI should be able to walk you through it (especially if they are also a CFII). Do be aware that if you use it on a commercial flight, you should turn off the audio runway alerts. Nothing gets your neighbor's attention faster than a loud "Entered runway 1-8-right, twelve thousand, five hundred remaining!" Ask me how I know...
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Old May 16, 2023, 2:10 pm
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Realistically, don't expect your radio to do much of anything other than when you're on the ground or very low near an airport. Modern airliners are basically Faraday cages. Don't expect GPS to function, nor ILS. VORs are also going to be difficult to capture, with most of them having <40 mile range and aimed for traffic <18,000 feet. Also, I hate to tell you this, but you'll never use the ILS/NAV features on that radio. I bought one of the NAV/COM radios back before I started training too, only to find out that COM is all you need from a handheld. Spend the time working with Foreflight instead. Protip: Use the handheld to get ATIS & clearances before you start the engine. As long as the Hobbs/Tach meter is spinning, that's $ from your wallet. AA batteries are much cheaper.

Once you get past your PPL training, chances are you're never going to use a VOR either. ILS is supposed to be used for Instrument approaches, which is beyond the scope of PPL, although to be honest I've been using ILS since the second flight of my training. I used it as a nice security blanket to make sure I'm where I should be.
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Old May 17, 2023, 12:17 pm
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I've carried a few different HTs onboard without a hitch. I noticed that the list of prohibited items a long time ago included GPS units, but I never understood why.

-C
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Old May 17, 2023, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by jsds
I've carried a few different HTs onboard without a hitch. I noticed that the list of prohibited items a long time ago included GPS units, but I never understood why.

-C
Who prohibits GPS units?
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Old May 17, 2023, 9:03 pm
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Originally Posted by TGarza
Who prohibits GPS units?
Some airlines used to explicitly prohibit any radio transmitters or receivers. In fact, rather stupidly, United's website actually states even today that "Radio receivers and transmitters" can't be used during flight. The same page also states that laptops and seat charging ports can't be used below 10,000 feet which is outdated, not to mention that they have Gate-to-gate wifi which obviously uses "Radio receivers and transmitters"... I do recall at least one airline I've flown that explicitly listed GPSes in their 'Not Allowed' to be used list, but I don't remember who it was (probably an Asian carrier I suspect). United Airlines had them listed in their in-flight magazine as being allowed for several years, but I think that's gone now.

For some time it was actually illegal to use certain radio receivers on US airlines (eg, this ruling), but that was very far in the past...
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Old May 17, 2023, 9:17 pm
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Originally Posted by docbert
Some airlines used to explicitly prohibit any radio transmitters or receivers. In fact, rather stupidly, United's website actually states even today that "Radio receivers and transmitters" can't be used during flight. The same page also states that laptops and seat charging ports can't be used below 10,000 feet which is outdated, not to mention that they have Gate-to-gate wifi which obviously uses "Radio receivers and transmitters"... I do recall at least one airline I've flown that explicitly listed GPSes in their 'Not Allowed' to be used list, but I don't remember who it was (probably an Asian carrier I suspect). United Airlines had them listed in their in-flight magazine as being allowed for several years, but I think that's gone now.

For some time it was actually illegal to use certain radio receivers on US airlines (eg, this ruling), but that was very far in the past...

There is a difference between prohibited use during a flight and prohibited in carry on luggage.
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