Remember back to your pre-private days as a pilot and all of the milestones you achieved prior to receiving your Private Pilot Certificate? First, the infamous three touch-‘n-go solo, a few cross-country flights with your flight instructor and then the long-awaited solo cross-country! Per FAR 61.109, one of the solo cross-country flights must be 150 nautical miles total in distance and include three, full-stop landings at three different points. Since you’re utilizing your Garmin portable GPS to assist with flight planning and navigation, let’s say you have diligently entered in your whole flight plan into your portable. You have landed at your first destination and are ready to start the second leg. How would you activate the next leg of your flight plan?
Luckily, one feature available on several of our portables is the ability to activate a leg within a flight plan. This can be done on the aera 5XX series, aera 795/796, GPSMAP 695/696, and G3X series. With your Garmin portable, you can build your entire flight plan prior to your departure and continue to use the same plan throughout your entire flight, while utilizing the activate leg feature.
How do you take advantage of this? Build your entire flight plan as you expect to fly it, or in the case of this example, KDBQ-KALO-KCID-KDBQ. In the previous example, we have successfully completed the first leg of our solo cross-country and we are ready to activate the KALO-KCID leg. To do so, simply select the destination airport and select the “Direct-to” dedicated icon, twice. A message will populate asking if you wish to activate that particular leg and you may select “Yes.” This activates only one leg of your flight, allowing you to use the original flight plan you built prior to departure.
In the event you have an aera 5XX series, given there is not a dedicated ‘Direct-to’ button, simply select the destination airport on the flight plan page and a menu will populate with the ‘Activate leg’ option.
While this is just one of the many features available on our portables, it has many applications. This example just happens to my first solo cross-country route where I quickly learned a lesson about reverse sensing! Needless to say, if I had the opportunity to use any one of these portables on my flight, the activate leg feature would have been quite helpful!