7/15/96 - Spoke with Vic Zambrusky at the Seattle Flight Procedures office (ANM-220)
regarding the status of the Driggs GPS approach, which has been in the planning stages for
over a year. He says that the approach is imminent as far as he knows. It has been drafted
and is ready to be published. He will check with the FAA office in Oklahoma City preparing
7/16/96 - Mr. Zambrusky called back and there is a delay in approving the approach
because it is a free-standing GPS approach, and there are no "departure
criteria" for a GPS instrument departure, that doesn't rely on other navaids at the
airport. He advises me to contact Bill Henderson at AVN-120 in Oklahoma city, which is the
GPS Program Development office.
7/16/96 - Spoke with Mr. Henderson, and he advises that indeed the "departure
criteria" are holding up the approach, which is otherwise ready to be published. He
suggests that I contact Lyle Wink, the manager of AFS-440 in Oklahoma City, which is the
office developing the "departure criteria".
7/16/96 - Lyle Wink is unavailable, so I spoke with Dave Eckels at AFS-440 and he says
that the "departure criteria" are being developed, but that it is going to take
about 6 months to come up with approved criteria. He explains that after the FAA
agrees on suitable criteria that the criteria will be circulated among numerous industry,
general aviation, commercial and airline aviation, military and foreign organizations for
comment then they will probably be revised and recirculated again, until the final
format is agreed upon. No, they will not approve an approach into an airport without an
IFR departure. No, they will not approve a departure that simply follows the missed
approach. No, they will not approve a "VFR" segment, or "must maintain own
terrain clearance" departure. I asked if there was anything we could do to accelerate
the process, and he said, emphatically, that we should not get our congressmen involved
because it would only confuse and slow down the process. I agreed to be patient, but
informed him that I would be calling back monthly to check on the progress of the criteria
8/13/96 - Spoke with Mr Wink at AFS-440 and "things are on track" and he sees
no unexpected delays. Again asked why it took so long to simply define how departures
would be designed, since the approach criteria should be much more restrictive, and they
had already been approved. Long litany of bureaucratic steps followed. He echoed Mr.
Eckels' opinion that there were no other options for getting the approach approved without
going through the full "departure criteria" development process.
9/9/96 - Spoke with Dave Eckels at AFS-440 and he reassured me that the "departure
criteria" development was in progress and going smoothly.
11/18/96 - Spoke with Mr. Eckels and was again advised that the "departure
criteria" were progressing through the development process "without a hitch so
12/16/96 - Mr. Eckels advises that there are some "stumbling blocks within some
committees" in the FAA and there may be some delays beyond the original 6 month
estimate. Asks me to call back next month.
2/26/97 - Dave Eckels tells me that the FAA (?) has not been able to agree on
"several" items in the "departure criteria", they have not been sent
outside the FAA for any comment yet, and that "we're essentially going to have to
start over" another 6-7 months will be necessary to get the criteria
developed "he hopes!". I expressed my frustration and disappointment that
AFS-440 could not get the "departure criteria" developed and approved in seven
months, and advised him that I was going to try to recruit some political pressure now
to get the approach approved. He didn't seem to particularly care and again told me that
"it was not unusual to have to wait this long, or longer". He did mention that
one of the things that was holding up the process was a request from VP Gore to get the
departure criteria for a stand-alone GPS approach at Soldotna, Alaska approved ASAP.
3/1/97 - Sent Internet email to VP Gore, all Wyoming and Idaho Senators and
Representatives ref. dilemma with GPS approach at Driggs. Specifically asked VP Gore to
include us along with Soldotna, AK in his request for action by the FAA.
4/18/97 - Spoke w. Vic Zambrusky (206-227-2224) at the Seattle FSDO and he confirms that
VP Gore has instructed Flight Standards in Washington DC to expedite the Soldotna AK and
Driggs GPS approaches. Mr. Zambrusky spoke with Melissa Graffigna at AVN-120 in Oklahoma
City, and she is drafting the approach.
4/18/97 - Called Ms. Graffigna, and apparently the original approach, due to be approved
7/96 was a straight-in Runway 21 approach with seven step-downs over the mountains. She
has redrawn the approach to begin with IAF west of SABAT on V298 to LAMON, then south with
a small dog-leg at Tetonia FAF. Missed approach will be a right turn teardrop back to one
of the intermediate fixes. MDA is to be ~600 agl. She mentioned that Air Traffic was
asking for the approach ASAP. I offered to do anything I could to help with the design of
the approach, being familiar with the area/terrain. She said that if I was a plastic
surgeon, maybe I could offer some services in exchange (humorously). I mentioned that, as
a family physician, I could only offer a free pap smear (humorously!). Asked if we could
get a direct-line approach from LAMON intersection, and she will check with Supervisor, Al
Mostello. I should call back 4/21/97.
4/21/97 - Called Melissa Graffigna, and approach will have to be as drawn. Direct-line
approach would have missed TERPS approach polygon intersecting terrain SW of Driggs and
would require additional 400' added to MDA. Should finish drawing within 48 hours and send
to QC, Flight Check and Air Traffic in Seattle. Also spoke with her supervisor, Al
Mostello, who expressed distress that VP Gore was putting pressure on their office for a
particular approach. He did not feel that seven months was excessive to get the 'departure
criteria' out of the FAA, and had lots of bureaucratic reasons for the delay(s). Discussed
'Direct Rule' for airspace allocation (need Class E for the airport plus a pocket around
the IAF and intermediate fixes), where ARTCC is allowed to allocate the airspace if there
is no adverse public comment from the airspace designation process. Said he would call to
see if Seattle ARTCC had already assigned the airspace when the approach was to be
released last summer. Could be up to eight month further delay if not! Also, I
should know that my comment about donating a pap smear could be taken seriously as sex
descrimination. I told him that the comment was made in jest, and Melissa's comment about
plastic surgery was what prompted my answer in the first place......he doesn't seem to
have much of a sense of humor!
4/21/97 - Al Mostello called back from AVN-120 and said that it looked like the airspace
had already been allocated. He will check for sure and call back again.
4/23/97 - Gus Boyd from Driggs called. He had spoken with Bill Henderson, manager of
AVN-120 and the approach drawing had been finished and forwarded, flight check was
scheduled, and the approach should be released mid-July in time for the FAA fly-in!!
4/28/97 - Gus Boyd talked to Bill Henderson again, and it looks like the airspace has
not been designated yet, and that may cause a long delay (6 - 8 months!!). I called
Mr. Henderson, and he assured me that the approach would be out of their office within a
few days, but I should expect a long delay waiting for the airspace designation, which HAD
NOT been done when the original approach had been designed.
4/29/97 - No answer at Al Mostello's office in AVN-120.
4/29/97 - Spoke with Jim Riley at Seattle Air Traffic, ANM-530 who confirmed that no
airspace had been designated Class E for the Driggs approach, because the departure had
never been designed back in July, 1996. Also, he said that after the airspace was
described in legal format by Salt Lake ARTCC, it would be recommended by ANM-530 to the
General Counsel's office (AGC-230) in Washington DC, who would come up with a Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking, post it in the Federal Register, wait for public comment, send it
back through the loop for changes, repost it (read loop-loop-etc...) then draft the final
airspace designation rule, and then forward the package to the National Flight Data Center
(NFDC or ATA-100) to have the approach published at the next charting cycle (every 3
months). He thought the entire process would take 8-10 months. He was not familiar
with the "Direct to Final Rule, with comment" process and generally was quite
pessimistic, blunt and not very helpful. He said George Orr, his supervisor, was the one
to speak with, and I asked if he would please ask Mr. Orr to call.
4/29/97 - George Orr called back from ANM-530 and said that the "Direct to Final
Rule" process (skipping all the NPRM input - change - input - change delay) might be
feasible, but every time he had recommended it to the General Counsel's office (AGC-230)
it had been turned down. East of the Mississippi everything down to 1,250 ft. is
designated as controlled airspace, so approaches there do not have to wait for airspace
designation. Everything west of the Mississippi, however, has to go through the
designation process. He was very optimistic, positive and helpful, and I thanked him for
his attitude. He said "I just started in this position, so I haven't had time to get
pessimistic yet". After the airspace is legally described by Salt Lake ARTCC, his
office will forward the approach packet to the Airspace and Air Traffic Rules Branch
(AGC-230) of the General Counsel's office in Wash. DC for approval. He said he would
recommend a "Direct to Final Rule, with public comment", but that Patricia Lane,
the manager of that branch, would have the final say. He gave me her phone number so I
could inquire about the philosophy behind the "Direct to Final Rule" process.
4/29/97 - Patricia Lane's phone extension doesn't exist, and I'm referred to the DOT
operator, who connects me to the "alternate number" (267-3915), where I get a
gentleman who refers me to the acting manager of AGC-230, LoraLee Peter. He transfers me,
but I wind up back in the FAA computerized answering system, which says "Good
day..." and hangs up. Back to the DOT operator, who tells me that she does not have
any extension for LoraLee Peter anywhere in the FAA. She gets me back to the main number
for AGC-230 (267-3222), where I'm informed that LoraLee Peter just married and her maiden
name is still in the phone books. Finally, I get through to Ms. Peter. Ms. Peter advises
me that she is just filling in for Patricia Lane, but that she is familiar with the
airspace designation process. She thinks that the "Direct to Final Rule, with
comment" process might be feasible, but the fact that new Class E airspace must be
designated might require the full NPRM process. I should know, however, that for the past
year the airspace designation process has been delegated to the Regional Air Traffic
offices, and Mr. Orr should be able to make the "Direct to Final Rule..."
decision, in conjunction with the FAA Regional Counsel office in Seattle. If they wished,
they could consult with the General Counsel office in Wash. DC. The "docket" for
the proposed approaches is in the General Counsel office, but they are prepared by the
regional offices, and the General Counsel office does not have to be involved.
4/29/97 - Called George Orr back at ANM-530 to let him know what Ms. Peter said about
the "Direct to Final Rule..." process that his office, in conjunction with
the Regional Counsel office, could perform the final approval of the "Direct to Final
Rule" process and he sounded much more pessimistic this time. He said he would
keep me posted, but it didn't sound like I had made much progress, or convinced him that
his office had the final say to avoid the NPRM loop delay.
4/29/97 - Called Washington DC and got the White House phone number, (202) 456-1414. The
male operator, with an ominous tone to his voice, was reluctant to put me through to Vice
President's Gore's office until I had gone through quite a few details of the saga, but
finally put me through to their voice-mail, where I left a message asking for one of the
staffers to call back ref. another potential delay in getting the GPS approach approved.
4/30/97 - Spoke with Vic Zambrusky at ANM-220 in Seattle ref. conflict between Mr. Orr
at ANM-530 in Seattle and LoraLee Peter at the AGC-230 General Counsel's office in
Washington regarding the "Direct to Final Rule" process. Mr. Zambrusky had also
heard that Mr. Orr's office was not going to propose the "Direct to Final Rule"
process. Vic suggested I contact Mr. Orr's supervisor, Helen Parke at ANM-500 in Seattle
(425-227-2500) and ask her to help resolve the conflict. Vic also advised that we would
need an approved altimeter system, or AWOS-1, for the local altimeter setting before the
approach would be authorized. He recommended an Airport Improvement Grant for funds for
the AWOS-1 (or 2,3) or asking our congressmen to append the request for funds for Drigg's
AWOS directly on the FAA appropriations bill from Congress. He is going to fax the details
of the dual-altimeter installation directly to Teton Aviation.
5/5/97 - Called Helen Parke with ANM-500 in Seattle, George Orr's supervisor, and
described the dilemma of Mr. Orr's comments regarding the "Direct to Final Rule"
process and LoraLee Peter's statements regarding the General Counsel's role that the
process could be approved, in conjunction with the Regional Counsel's office in Seattle.
She said she would discuss the matter with Mr. Orr and get back to me with an update.
5/5/97 - Spoke with Vice President Gore's office, through the Press Corp's office, and
they are going to try to find the staffer that was involved with my original email request
for assistance, and get back to me. Their direct phone number is: (202) 456-2816.
5/5/97 - George Orr called back ref. discussion with Helen Parke earlier today, and he
has confirmed that the "Direct to Final Rule" process can, indeed, be initiated
out of the Seattle office and he is proceeding in that direction. He did want me to know
that after the notice in the Federal Register if there are any adverse comments he will
have to restart the NPRM process, which might take even longer. His office has received
the drawing of the approach and has forwarded it to SLC ARTCC for their legal description
and their evaluation ref. any impact on the IFR environment. He will call me back next
week with a progress report.
5/5/97 - Tried to reach someone at the Airspace and Procedures office at the Salt Lake
City ARTCC but all the Airspace staff are out. Paul Brophy, of another office,
suggested I call Arnold Bosley (801-320-2530) who is the manager of the office for
updates. Bob Fairchild is the person who will be doing the Driggs airspace specifications.
Mr Brophy thought it would take 10 - 14 days to get the description back to Seattle.
5/13/97 - Spoke with Arnold Bosley at SLC ARTCC and he expects to be done with the
airspace description by the end of the week and have it back to the Seattle office by next
6/3/97 - Returning from Sandpoint this afternoon, overheard an FAA Flight Check flight
inspecting the Dubois VOR. Asked them about getting our GPS approach checked and they
advised that they were not equipped for GPS flight checks. We should call the FICO office
in Oklahoma City to check on the schedule.
6/5/97 - Contacted FICO (Flight Inspection Central Operations), Charlie Peters, in
Oklahoma City (405-954-9798) to check on the scheduling of the Flight Check for our GPS
Approach. Mr. Peters stated that his office could not start the flight check process until
the approach had been completely approved and he had the "approach package".
Also, he thought the Flight Check for our GPS was a moot point because "no
controllers were clearing pilots for stand-alone GPS approaches. I told him I would
6/6/97 - Talked with George Orr at ANM-530 (SEA ARTCC) regarding the airspace
designation, and he indicated that the SEA ARTCC Legal Office (ANM-7) had forwarded the
Airspace Docket #97-ANM6 to AGC-630 General Council's Office in Washington for publishing
in the Federal Register, requesting Direct to Final Rule, with public comment to be
received by 8/15/97, with a publish date of 11/1/97.
6/6/97 - Spoke with Carol Johnson, the docket clerk in AGC-630 (202-267-3132), and she
has Airspace Docket #97-ANM6, but it is missing Richard McCurdy's original signature from
ANM-7, the Legal Office at SEA ARTCC. After she receives his original signature the Docket
will be published in the Federal Register 4 days later.
6/6/97 - Called Mr. McCurdy's office at SEA ARTCC Legal Office, and he is away on
vacation until 6/9/97. Left a message on his voice mail asking him to contact Ms Johnson
at AGC-630, when he returns, to arrange to send a signed docket so that it can be
6/6/97 - Called SLC ARTCC (801-320-2000) and spoke with Scott Jorgenson in the
Procedures Office regarding whether or not ATC was clearing pilots for stand-alone GPS
approaches (see conversation with Charlie Peters at FICO yesterday) and he assured me that
they were being cleared, and that he had personally cleared pilots for the stand-alone
approaches at Ely and Tonopah.
6/6/97 - Tried to reach Charlie Peters at FICO ref. the above, but he has taken Friday
afternoon off. Spoke with Steve Slezicki, the Procedures Representative at FICO and he
informed me that they had received our approach package, #542, yesterday and had faxed a
request for Flight Check to Sacramento, and it is scheduled to happen June 9th Monday!!!
If the pilot approves the approach it will be sent to NFDC in Washington, awaiting the
airspace approval process via the Federal Register, public comment and George Orr at
6/17/97 - Spoke with Carol Johnson, the docket clerk in AGC-630, and our docket
(#97-ANM6) is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register today.
6/17/97 - Called NDFC to get the IAP publication dates, and spoke with Kim Dagger
(202-267-9308). The dates are as follows, with Change Order dates indicated with (C), and
cutoff dates for receipt of the approach procedure packet also indicated. There is a
drop-dead date for changes at 30 days prior to the publication dates, for AVN-120 to make
any last-minute changes.
AVN-120 can submit a "proposed" procedure packet for the cartographers to
start working on for final publication if there are "no changes to the enroute
structure", and a new procedure can be published at a Change Notice time if there are
no changes to the enroute structure otherwise the approach must wait for a normal
publication date. NDFC receives the "approach packet" from Mr. Henderson's
office at AVN-120.
6/17/97 - Spoke with Bill Henderson at AVN-120 and he indicated that he did not see any
way to have the approach published earlier than 11/6/97, since there is a 30 day waiting
period after the public comment period ends on 8/15/97 before the airspace can be
finally approved. He is going to send in the "proposed approach" packet to NDFC
within the next two weeks so they can start working on the chart drawings. And waiting...
7/15/97 Received an email from Nina Smuckler, (Yonina.Smuckler@mail.house.gov)
Legislative Assistant to U.S. Representative Helen Chenoweth, from Idaho, who had received
a copy of my original email to V.P. Gore. She had been unable, to date, to find out
anything about the GPS approach at Driggs 4 months since she had received the email!!
Amazing! Replied to the email, asking her to contact George Orr's office in ANM-530, in
Seattle ARTCC asking that our approach be approved without undue delay.
10/2/97 - Spoke with George Orr at SEA ARTCC, and he informed me that their office
received no public comment by 9/9/97, hand-carried the file to NFDC office requesting the
approach be published under the final-rule process, and he expects it to be published the
first week of November, 1997 !!!!!!!
10/6/97 - Called Kim Dagger's office at NADC to see if we could get a copy of the
approach faxed to Driggs so we could begin some training before the approach is published
next month. She was out, and I was referred to Charlie Wykoff, who said that the approach
was at NOS and that I should call Pat Danks at (301) 713-2630. She was out and I was
referred to Charlie Wykoff (301) 713-2962, who said he would look into getting us a copy
of the approach.
10/10/97 - Never heard from Mr. Wykoff, so called Ms. Danks at NOS again. She said that
she would not have a copy of the approach until 2 weeks prior to the publish date, and I
should call back then if I still wanted a copy for training. No, she did not know if any
other office might have a copy of the approach procedure.
10/27/97 - Called Ms. Danks at NOS back, and she "did not come in today", and
so was referred to Bill Maynard, who said he would look into getting us a copy of the
approach. Left my number, both phone and fax, and asked if he would let me know if the
approach drawing was being sent. It is now 10 days from the publishing date and we still
haven't seen the proposed approach procedure!
10/27/97 A fax copy of the GPS-A approach at Driggs arrived!! Unfortunately, there
are no lat/long's on any of the interections, so we cannot practice the approach until
it's published. Also, the missed approach climb altitude, which is back to the first
waypoint on the approx. straight-in approach, is 15,000 feet! Called AVN-120, who designed
the approach, and spoke with Don Harmer, because Bill Henderson was out. He would not
release the lat/long. coordinates because of concerns about "someone plugging in the
wrong coordinates, even VFR"!! He mentioned that the coordinates of all the
waypoints/intersections were available in the National Flight Data Directory (NFDD), which
is published weekly. He suggested contacting Jeppesen & Co. to see if they would
furnish the coordinates. As for the missed approach climb altitude, he suggested
contacting the local ARTCC (Seattle) office and requesting a change to the approach
10/27/97 - Called for Vic Zambrusky at ANM-220 in Seattle to discuss getting the 15,000
missed approach altitude revised, and to see if he could give me the lat./long.'s for the
waypoints, but got his answering machine.....left a message.
10/27/97 - George Orr, from ANM-530 in Seattle called (I thought returning Vic
Zambrusky's message but he said their offices were widely separate and his secretary
had indicate that I'd called ??). He didn't have the lat./long. coordinates and said
that he would have Mr. Zambrusky return my call regarding the missed approach altitude. He
didn't have any idea where the message to call me had originated??
10/27/97 - Called Jeppeson Inc. in Denver and their data office provided the lat./long.
coordinates for PIKEQ (N43 56.7 W111 08.5) TIHQI (N43 49.5 W111 05.8) and DIGUQ (N43 44.9
W111 05.9) waypoints.
11/3/97 - The November 6th revision of my NOS approach charts contains the GPS approach
for U59, albeit with a missed approach altitude that is a little unreasonable. Also, the
departure calls for doglegs to two waypoints that are not defined in the approach chart
manual, (should be in the electronic databases) and then to LAMON. Called Vic Zambrusky to
ask about the missed approach altitude and he said that his office has already contacted
Melissa Grafigna at AVN-120 to see if the altitude can be lowered. Finally!!
11/7/97 - Well, it's a beautiful day for flying at Driggs, and we're about to shoot the
GPS approach for the first time. We have inserted our latest Jeppesen NavData card, that
arrived yesterday, into our Garmin GPS-165, cranked up the plane, and taxiing out to the
runway are looking for the Driggs GPS-A approach - and (*&&^$%%$#*&*(*&
it is not there!!! The unique GPS waypoints for the apprach are there, but the approach
does not show up on the "Route" page, and none can be selected for the airport!!
Since we're already running, and it's such a nice day, we hand-loaded the lat./long.'s for
each waypoint and shot the approach anyway. It's a pretty good approach, but I still do
not know why the FAA had to put a dog-leg in the approach 5 miles from the runway, nor
specify a missed approach climb altitude of 15,000 ft. to the same IAF waypoint that calls
for 10,000 ft. on the approach.
11/7/97 - Called Tech. Support at Garmin and spoke with Randy, who indicated that our
GPS receivers did not have the latest software that would support stand-alone approaches.
Ours, supposedly, would only recognize GPS overlay approaches. We pulled all three of our
Garmin GPS receivers and FedEx'd them to Garmin for the software updates.
11/10/97 - Randy called from Garmin and said the receivers had arrived, the software
updates had been installed, but the Driggs GPS approach was not on the datacards. This
seems strange, since the unique waypoints for just this approach are on the cards. He said
he would call Jeppesen and find out what gives. The GPS receivers have been modified and
are enroute back to Driggs.
11/11/97 - Haven't heard from Randy at Garmin, so called again and left a message on his
voice mail "because he's on another line" regarding the missing Driggs approach
on the Jeppesen NavData card.
11/12/97 - Still haven't heard from Randy at Garmin, so called again and found him in.
He was unable to get hold of Jeppesen, but had left several messages. I told him I would
11/12/97 - Called Jeppesen in Denver and, after going though several answering machines,
phone mail slots, and a couple of operators, finally got through to Mick Archer (303)
784-5423. He checked the database and found the waypoints, but the approach was not
stored, as such. Further checking revealed that "Garmin told us not to include any
GPS circling approaches" in the data supplied to them for their NavData cards.
The Driggs approach, since it does not line up directly with the runway(s) is labeled a
"GPS-A", or circling approach. He suggested that I contact Clay Barber at
Garmin, who apparently receives the data from Jeppesen.
11/12/97 - Called Clay Barber at Garmin (913) 397-8448 ext. 1375 and he explained that
at the time Garmin designed the GPS receivers they never anticipated that there would be
any GPS circling approaches (now there are 37 in the U.S.) and therefor there is no
"data type" in the software to accept that "type" of approach. He
suggested that I contact the head of tech. support, Bill Stone (ext. 1342), or the
President, Gary Burrell (ext. 1307) to see what could be done about this policy.
11/12/97 - I was unable to get through to Mr. Burrell ("unavailable, according to
his secretary) but I did speak with Bill Stone. He again explained the "data
type" problem, but didn't have any idea when they might start supporting the circling
GPS approach. I explained how important this fact was to our airport, and he said he would
call me with that information. He suggested that if Jeppesen would supply the approach
labeled with a runway number, like "GPS rwy 21", their receiver would process it
11/12/97 - Called Mick Archer back at Jeppesen, but was only able to get his voice mail.
Asked the operator for the Product Manager for the NavData division, who turns out to be
Bill Kellog, but he is also "unavailable". Left messages for both to call to see
if we can get the "data type" changed for the Driggs approach.
11/12/97 - Called Vic Zambrusky at SEA ARTCC to see about some sort of letter from FAA
to Jeppesen, authorizing them to re-label the approach as "Runway 3/21", but he
was out. Left a message on his voice mail.
11/12/97 - Called John Goostrey at the Boise FSDO to see if he knew of anyone at the FAA
who would authorize Jeppesen to rename the approach. He didn't know of anyone offhand, but
would look into it and get back to me.
11/12/97 - Called Jeppesen back again, and spoke with Doug Rhomberg in NavData and he
indicated that Jeppesen could re-label the approach with some FAA authorization (Form 8260
?). He said he would be happy to coordinate the re-labeling with Garmin. I offered to call
the other GPS manufacturers to see if others had the same problem with circling
approaches. Doug indicated that the re-labeled approach could be directed only to Garmin,
so it wouldn't confuse other manufacturers receivers.
11/12/97 - Vic Zambrusky from SEA called back. He thought that the GPS circling approach
problem had been solved by the manufacturers. He did not think it would be possible to get
the FAA to authorize the relabeling of the approach, even though it would be relabeled
only for the GPS receiver, and not for the approach plate, which would remain
"GPS-A" and that it would only be temporary until Garmin fixed the problem.
He seemed most concerned that the other manufacturers would feel that Garmin was receiving
some special consideration from the FAA!! even after I pointed out all the effort that
has gone into getting the approach published!! He gave me the name of the FAA National
Avionics Resource Specialist, Jim Treacy, in Seattle (425) 227-2760 and said that he would
have the information on which, if any, of the manufacturers did/did not support circling
approaches. Mr Treacy was out, so left message on his voice mail. I hope all these folks
that get voice mail from me do not call back at the same time!
11/12/97 - Spoke with a technician at Allied Signal / King in Olathe (800) 257-0726 and
he checked a KLN-90B on their bench and the Driggs GPS-A approach came up, including both
11/12/97 - Talked with Brian at Trimble technical support, and one of their units did
not show the Driggs GPS approach, but the Data card was outdated. Wayne McGrew in tech.
support is going to check the unit with a new card and get back to me. Northstar Avionics
in Acton, MA (800) 628-4487 has closed for the day.
11/12/97 - Brian Stone with Garmin called back and we had a conference call with Rulon
Horsley at American Avionics regarding the limitations of the Garmin units with GPS
circling approaches. In essence, Mr. Stone said that Garmin engineering was looking at the
problem but their memory space was limited and he did not know if they would ever support
the circling approach in the GPS-155 or GPS-165, though they could support them right now
if they were labeled with a runway number. He did not think they could be labeled with an
alpha character like "A", however.
11/12/97 - Wayne McGrew with Trimble Tech Support called back and neither their Model
2000 Approach nor the Model 2101 IO GPS receivers were able to call up the Driggs GPS
approach, though they both had the waypoints in their data cards. He does not think the
Trimble GPS units are able to handle circling GPS approaches. He suggested contacting Sue
Caldwell in Engineering about their databases and software.
11/19/97 - Called Gary Burrell, President of Garmin (800-800-1020 x1307) to inquire
about the status of fixing their GPS receivers to accept circling GPS approaches. He was
unavailable and left message on his voice mail. Bill Stone with Technical Support returned
the call, and had no new information. He "thinks" Garmin can make the software
changes, but will not commit to any time estimate only that it will be "several
months to a year".
11/19/97 - Talked to tech. support at Northstar, and one of their technicians brought up
Driggs on their M-3 GPS unit, and it supports the GPS-A approach. Sent an email to AVweb
on Internet to point out the problem with Trimble and Garmin, to see if they had any
11/19/97 - Tried to reach Jim Treacy at the Seattle FAA avionics office, but he is still
out of town. Left another message on his voice mail.
11/19/97 - Called AVN-120 in Oklahoma City to speak with Bill Henderson. He is out of
the office, and spoke with Don Harmer about who might authorize Jeppesen to relabel the
NavData card data. He was pretty pessimistic, and said it would have to come from an
office "much higher". He suggested contacting John Chapman at the Seattle Flight
Standards office (425-227-2221), or Paul Best at the Washington DC office (202-267-3737).
Tried John Chapman in Seattle, but he is out of the office. Left a voice mail message.
11/20/97 - Called Paul Best at the Washington Flight Standards office, and he referred
me to Steve Jackson at the Oklahoma AFS-450 Standards Development Office. I explained the
problem with the GPS-A circling approach label for Garmin and Trimble, and he echoed the
same concerns about "I don't know if we can relabel a circling approach as a
GPS-rwy03, since that implies the approach is straight-in", even though I carefully
pointed out that the printed approach plate would be unchanged, and could even contain a
note that the approach might be temporarily selected in some GPS receivers as a
"runway xx" approach. He is going to check with some other people in his office
and get back to me. Also, he suggested that I explain the problem to AOPA, who are working
with the manufacturers and FAA to encourage standardization.
11/20/97 - Talked to Dave Reinhart at Trimble technical support, and he does not know
why their 2000 Approach, and 2102 IO GPS units do not support circling GPS approaches. I
explained that if Trimble and Garmin had a common problem with the approaches, the
relabeling solution would work for both. He is going to check with engineering to find
out, and then call back.
11/20/97 - Steve Jackson with AFS-450 called back and asked how recently I had spoken
with Garmin. He thought that Jeppesen had conveyed a "fix" to the GPS
manufacturers for the circling approach problem several months previously. He had spoken
with Del Smith at Jeppesen and they were looking for a solution.
11/20/97 - Called Del Smith at Jeppesen and he indicated that the data that they send to
King contains the GPS circling approach datatype. He does not know if King modifies the
datatype to make it recognizable by their GPS receivers. We have passed the deadline for
the December data update. Now, Jeppesen needs authorization to relabel the GPS approach by
12/12/97 in order for it to be incorporated into the NavData database card for the 1/1/98
11/20/97 - Spoke with technical support at AlliedSignal / King and they indicated that
they made no changes to the data as supplied by Jeppesen. They used the datatype supplied
by Jeppesen to describe the circling GPS approach.
11/20/97 - John Chapman called from the Seattle Flight Standards office. He does not
know why Don Harmer with AVN-120 referred us because he only deals with airline matters.
He thought that we would have to have approval from the Technical Programs Division,
AFS-400, in Washington to get the approach relabeled. He thought that we would have to put
everything in writing for them to consider any action. He supplied their address but did
not know the manager's name:
11/20/97 - Dave Reinhart from Trimble called back and said that his software engineers
told him that Jeppesen had taken out the GPS-A approach descriptions because there was not
enough room on their NavData card and that their units would recognize the approaches
when Jeppesen put the descriptions back in ??
11/20/97 - Called Mick Archer at Jeppesen to see if, indeed, they had removed the GPS-A
approaches from the Trimble cards due to space constraints. Left a message on his voice
11/24/97 - Talked to Mick Archer at Jeppesen, and he was able to determine that one (of
many) data files that Jeppesen extracted for them (trimble.world) contained data for
stand-alone and circling GPS approaches. Trimble runs the Jeppesen data through their own
packing software that likely strips out the circling approaches (or their receivers just
do not support them, like Garmins).
11/24/97 - Spoke with Steve Jackson at AFS-450 and he had heard from Jeppesen that the
Garmin engineers had called asking about possible data formats for the stand-alone
circling GPS approaches, so he was encouraged that the problem might be fixable without
relabeling the approach in the NavData cards.
11/24/97 - Called Gary Burrell, President of Garmin, again to see if he would intervene
in the software rewrite that would be necessary to recognize the GPS circling approaches.
Unavailable and left a message on his email.
11/25/97 - Doug Carlson, Garmin's Director of Flight Test, MIS and MRP, called back for
their president, Gary Burrel, because "he has been really busy these past few
weeks". He reiterated that the reason that Garmin's GPS receivers would not recognize
the "GPS A" circling approach was because the FAA had assurred Garmin that there
would only be straight-in GPS approaches. He indicated that he "knew" that the
software would not accept any datalabel other than those for the approved approaches
(possible interim fix) and was resistant to checking with their software engineers to see
if any alternate labels might get through the packing software or the GPS receiver
software parsing routines. He also stated that any software change would require a 20,000
page "Fault Tolerance Specification Test - #DO-178) that could take months to
accomplish all this just to get the receiver to recognize "GPS A" rather than
"GPS rwy21"! Difficult to believe. He is going to call me back next week to let
me know if they have any timeline for the proposed software fix.
11/25/97 - John Goostrey from the Boise FSDO called and he had spoken to ANM-530 in
Seattle, who indicated that they had gotten the approach approved, but didn't have any
notion of what to do ref. the problem with particular GPS receivers.
11/25/97 - Jim Treacy with ANM-103N (National Resource Specialist Branch - involved with
GPS hardware) called back. He did confirm that if Garmin makes changes to the operating
firmware in the GPS receiver they will have to do the Software Fault Tolerance tests,
though it is not as extensive as Doug Carlson from Garmin indicated. We discussed multiple
options for an interim solution until Garmin can fix the software, and Mr. Treacy favored
relabeling the approach with "VOR-A", and then making the phantom VOR
essentially continually out of service which would accomplish the same thing. He is
going to look into the options and get back to me. It's wonderful to talk to someone who
looks for solutions and not obstacles!
11/25/97 - John Goostrey (Boise FSDO) called back and their office had checked with
several GPS manufacturers and had determined that Appolo supported the approach, Magellan
was checking, and "Wayne" at Trimble told them that he could "talk me
through" how to get the Garmin GPS to work at Driggs - ??
11/25/97 - Unable to reach Wayne Valldeperas at Trimble tech. support, so called Dave
Reinhart in tech. support and found out that Wayne is a marine tech. rep. (!) and Dave
doesn't have a clue what he might be talking about. Dave has found out that the
trimble.word data card from Jeppesen does contain the Driggs GPS approach and it does work
on their Model 2101 IO GPS. He said that he doesn't know why "Jeppesen removed the
GPS-A approaches from their other data cards", but they have been instructed to
replace them at the next revision date.
11/26/97 - Received a c.c. of Jim Treacy's email to several FAA offices concerning our
plight at Driggs. He asked for comments on several possible solutions, including my rec.
to relabel the approach as "GPS-rwy21"; his suggestion to relabel the approach
as a "VOR-A GPS" approach, with the VOR notamed as "out-of-service"
indefinitely; or create a Special Approach Procedure" for Driggs using the Jeppesen
NavData data. He has asked Peter Skaves in his office to follow-up on this issue while he
is out of the office until 1/5/97.
12/1/97 - Received the following follow-up email from Mr. Treacy: "New
Information: I spoke with Bill Stone at Garmin today; he told me that the Garmin 155
and 165 GPS receivers are capable of recognizing a VOR circling approach. A VOR/GPS
circling approach comes out of the data base as a VOR circling approach. If we were to
merely change the designation of the GPS A approach to VOR/GPS A, without any information
associated with a VOR, the approach would be displayed by the receiver as a VOR A
approach. Bill did not know if the Garmin receivers can operate from a special approach
procedure as opposed to a public procedure. He will call back with the information and
leave it with Pete Skaves if I'm out of the office. The solution that Les Bervin and I
prefer, is to issue a special VOR/GPS circling approach procedure with a note indicating
that there is no VOR and the approach can only be flown using the GPS."
12/1/97 - Sent an email reply to Jim Treacy and Peter Skaves, thanking them for their
assistance, and inquiring whether or not they thought we could make the 12/6 deadline for
the NavData and IAP 1/1/98 publication date.
12/1/97 Spoke with Peter Skaves in Seattle Flight Standards, and he said that Jim Enias
("Ennis") at AFS-400 in Washington, D.C. was going to effect the changes
necessary to get the approach relabeled, or otherwise revised so it will work with the
Garmin receivers - pending revision of the software by Garmin. Called Mr. Enias but he was
on the phone - left message on his email.