So, why was I glad I had my Garmin?
We were at an uncontrolled field practicing touch ‘n goes in a calm wind which eventually turned into a pretty nice cross-wind by the middle of the lesson. My student was handling it well so I thought this would be a great opportunity to slowly introduce the awkwardness of “aileron into the wind, opposite rudder.” About halfway through our lesson, another aircraft joined us for pattern work. After a few trips around the pattern, we were on landing roll-out when I began to look ahead for the other aircraft. Due to the crosswind and his lack of correction on the upwind leg, the aircraft we had been following had been pushed pretty far right of the runway centerline. So much so that by the time he commenced his left turn to start the crosswind portion of his pattern, we were very close to crossing his flight path.Many of our portables like the aera 5XX, aera 795/796, GPSMAP 695/696 and G3X all allow the option to display the extended runway centerlines. At unfamiliar airports and even airports that have runways within close proximity to each other, it’s sometimes difficult to determine after a roll-out from a downwind to base leg which runway you might be (or not be!) lined up for. Using the extended runway centerline feature not only paints an extension of the centerline, but also labels the corresponding runway number on that line. During our touch ‘n go lesson, we used this feature to track the centerline on our upwind leg in the pattern, which was very helpful given the amount of crosswind we were flying with.
The ability to turn the extended runway centerline ‘On’ and ‘Off’ is accessible via the ‘Set Up Map’ menu on the products listed above. Enabling this feature not only allows for added situational awareness at unfamiliar airports, but can also assist with proper cross-wind technique in the pattern!