User Waypoints

              Pilots rarely create a User waypoint, but I’ve heard many stories of clearances to a point defined either by Lat/Lon or distance and bearing from a waypoint in the GPS database.  It’s not hard to put a waypoint there if you’ve practiced the procedure beforehand, so let’s review the process. 

            One way to create a User waypoint is to pan the map (push cursor on the map page) and move the arrow to the location and Enter. A default waypoint is named (starting with 0001) and asks you if you want to Create? it (see figure on left).   The Lat/Lon of that arrow is shown (see below) and you could find your point that way (but there’s a better way).  Just enter again on Create? and you’re finished.  This is particularly easy if want a waypoint at present position. Push cursor, Ent, Ent, and you’re done.  It literally takes a second.  The waypoint is displayed as a cyan square on the map on the right.

User Wpt Page

 

            If you want to change the name before creating it, put the cursor on USR and spell your choice. To do it later go to the User waypoint page (figure on left) and in the Menu choose View User Waypoints?  Move the cursor to 0001 and write over that (small and large knobs) to name it as you like.  If you want less than 4 characters, write over the last ones with a blank (which comes after 9 and before A as you scroll).

            This method is great for creating waypoints on the approach to an airport that you want to use in marginal visibility, or where you want the route to avoid terrain or obstacles.  Simply fly the route on a good day, and create waypoints as you go, starting from an initial point (IP) plus a few more on the approach path (with the last one a few miles from the airport).  Now you can make and store a flight plan that starts at the IP, uses each point, then ends with the airport itself.  If this is a private strip with no airport ID, make the last waypoint at the approach end of the runway. 

            Now suppose you’re cleared to a point defined off of another waypoint (or by a Lat/Lon).  To do this you need to go to the User Waypoint page shown above.  From this point on it gets very tricky and easy to mess up, so note carefully.  When you get to that waypoint page one of your User waypoints will be, here (below) showing 0001.  Since this is one of your stored waypoints, the name is already used. So you might expect a menu item asking if you want to create a new waypoint, but alas that’s not the case. 

            What you must do is put a cursor on the USR name and write over it; here we spelled HOME.  Now Enter and the cursor moves to the REF WPT box, and we put in ABQ.  Enter again and the cursor moves to the RAD box and we went west of ABQ on the 270° radial.  Enter again and put in a distance (we chose 15 nm). Enter again and the cursor moves to the second reference waypoint (OLS) on line below.  Don’t enter anything in that line, unless you want to know what radial your point is on relative to a different second waypoint.  In that case, enter the waypoint and the RAD will be determined. Keep pushing Enter until the cursor is on Create?, then Enter again and you’re finished.  If you wanted to define this point by Lat/Lon, keep pushing Enter after you change the name to HOME until the cursor is on the POSITION box, then put in the required Lat/Lon, then Create it.

Create Wpt

 

            Try this a few times, so you can make all the mistakes during practice.  After you’ve done that you’ll have a number of User waypoints in your database.  You can always find where the nearest 20 are to your present position by going to the NRST group, USER page.

 

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