Direct-To Operations

            One of the most useful, but sometimes misunderstood, of GPS operations is the use of the “D-Arrow” button (D–>).  Often thought of simply as a way to make a “Direct-To” flight plan (it really isn’t a “flight plan” in the traditional sense), it’s in fact much more versatile than that. Here are 6 things you can do with the button: you can (1) create a flight leg from your present position to a waypoint of your choosing, or (2) a leg along a specified course to that waypoint. If you don’t know the identifier for a specific waypoint, you can (3) choose it from its facility name or city on the D–> page. You can (4) eliminate any Direct-To course you’ve made using the D-M-E trick that I’ll explain in a moment. Any chosen leg in your flight plan can (5) be “Activated” by pushing it twice.  And, after pushing the button, you can (6) select any waypoint in your flight plan or from any of 25 nearest airports.

            Some of these operations can be done by first identifying the waypoint (put a cursor on it wherever found– flight plan list, nearest list, a waypoint page, etc.) then pushing D–>.  Or, you can first push D–> and then select the waypoint from the Select D-> Waypoint page.


Direct operations

            Here, to go direct KOAK from present position, just push the Enter button twice, once to make “Activate?” flash, then a second time to make it happen.  To go to KOAK along a different course, choose that course in the CRS box (move the cursor there and change it) before you Enter. This is useful if you’re vectored to a nearby airway after takeoff.  Put in a downstream VOR or INT as the waypoint, and the airway course in CRS box to make a flight leg along the airway. To undo any D-> operation you have created, push D->, Menu, and ENT (my DME trick).

            If you want to go Direct to a waypoint in the city of Selma (there’s one in CA and two in AL), but you don’t know the ID, go to the 3rd line and spell Selma, moving the cursor with the large knob, choosing a letter with the small knob. There are duplicate waypoints in Selma, and after you put in the letter “m” the rest of the line is completed for you.  The Craig airport (KSEM) comes up first, but 2 other Selma waypoints can be found by continuing to turn the small knob (one way or the other – always try both).  With one click, we find Skyharbor (S63).  Both of these are in Alabama.  Another click gives the Selma airport in California (0Q4).

            If the waypoint you want is on your flight plan, you can move the cursor to the FPL box and scroll through a list with the small knob.  Or, if you want one of the 25 nearest airports, go to the NRST box and scroll with the small knob.