I was surprised to see "GPS" listed on continental's list of approved devices above 10k feet (knowing full well it should be safe, but surprised they agree) and turned on my Nuvi 350 at 35k feet. I was quite surprised to never really get good reception. At most it was getting 3-4 sats with solid blue bars, anda few with hollow bars. Anyone had any luck getting it to lock on? I figure the shielding of the plane, plus maybe the possibiltity that the Nuvi is disregarding values that it things dont make sense, ie altitudes of 35k feet and speeds of 400+mph. Anyone fly with their Nuvi?
Which also brings up another question - reading the details on the Satellite screen? Anyone have a better idea of whats going on? I thought only 4 sats were needed for an exact fix, any idea why it seems to require 5 to say "locked in?"
I've tried with my Mio and i was able to get a lock on. It takes a little while but i had a good window seat. Its really fun to watch the icon zoom across as 350 miles/hour
Thanks Kid - interesting that the Mio would lock on. Interesting hearing these reports.
A couple of years ago, my wife & I took a train trip from Ohio to the upper midwest (North Dakota). I took my GPS-III+ along, and was really surprised that I could get a good signal from the window. It was fun to see where we were, and we sometimes hit over 80mph, which I thought was just amazing, given the state of the railroads.
Few years ago, I was able to use my Magellan SportTrack Pro while on a Cessna Jet. The only way to work was to place the GPS next to the window. It was intersting how accurate the GPS was when comparing it to information from the cockpit (speed and altitude).
During recent trip, I accidently had my Bluetooth GPS on in my bag in the overhead compartment. While looking at my map on my Palm I was suprised that I was able to get some reception.
Yep, I plan on takeing my GPS accros Europe for three weeks. It should be a lot of fun to download all the track information for the whole trip.
Do a search for "Airplane Use" under the open talk forum. There is quite a long thread with several people's experiences in doing this.
I work for Delta. We too will allow the use of a GPS above 10,000 feet as long as there is no external antenna with a wire. The antenna for the GPS, when placed right up against the window might be able to see a few birds and it does take a bit to lock on. You have to remember that right above you is a ton of metal, insulation with reflective properties, etc. The GPS can't see through that so the only thing you can get is limited "visibility" through the tiny window. Be sure you do turn it off when requested. The GPS does resonate a signal just because it's a computer. I would hate to be coming in for an autoland CATIII approach and have a harmonic stray signal get into the wiring and command a hard nose down! Not pretty!
I was able to get a great signal on a Delta flight the other day. I only thought about using it while on the final approach so I was only able to get a max speed of 365mph.
particularly Winstonw and cltmte. Good info. Agreed about approach and landing The thread mentioned above in open talk is excellent. Sorry I missed that before now.
On both my wife's 350 and my 360 we have lock ons. 643 mph is the record beating my wifes previous record by over 100 mph. The altitude was also accurate at 37000'.
Just be aware that all electronics including that GPS are to be turned off during final approach. This is a federal offense and you can do jail time.
Here is the FAA link:
Even more important, that is the most critical phase of flight. I really do take the turn it off below 10,000 ft rule seriously, federal law notwithstanding.
interesting watching a route be constantly recalculated!
I started a thread a couple of weeks ago about this. You can see my experiences on that thread. However, I am like the above and turn it off. I do not want to be the cause of the plane malfuctioning.
Got a great signal last week on a US air flight with a window seat using a Nuvi 750. I had absolutely no luck in the middle or row seats. With the GPS within a few inches of the window I was able to get a full signal. Max speed of 390' and elevation of 25000. It is neat track your progress across the country.
You may want to try a little program call TinyURL.
the web site is
When Posting long URL's it compresses it to a tiny one that is still clickable. They even have a toolbar that is real handy and free. Your long URL is reduced to something like this...
I guess when i copied that long FAA url it was messed up by the picture it went through...BUT it does work, give the site a try.
Try this one...
I was able to get my nuvi 350 to lock on (took longer than usual). My top speed was somewhere around 600+. It was not comforting, however to see that during the thunderstorm we were flying in the pilot would come in to the airport only to turn around and head out to sea again. I almost wanted to start giving him directions!
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