Pro Pilot Tip:

During a Step-Down VNAV Arrival, Avoid a Potential G3000 Gotcha

by Jeffrey Robert Moss “MossY”

During NBAA 2013, I had the opportunity to sit down with a few folks at Garmin to discuss the G3000, which new Citation M2 pilots will soon be flying. Using their booth simulator, we ran one of my favorite VNAV profiles: The Sunset2 Arrival into Las Vegas-McCarran (KLAS). I like to review this arrival because many G1000 pilots fail to recognize the Bottom of Descents (BOD) that occur during the arrival and if not paying attention, come very close to stalling the aircraft.IMG_8022

Having put the G3000 through its paces on the Arrival twice, for you future M2 pilots, here are my best practices. The only place to display the VNAV Profile Window on the MFD is in FULL mode. I advised Garmin to kindly change this as you lose the ability to split screens if you want the VNAV Profile window.

The best practice that has been used in other aircraft with dual FMS units (GTC’s in this case) is to put your flight plan legs on one GTC (I recommend you always have one GTC displaying the flight plan legs no matter what you are doing) and place the other GTC on VNAV. The secret to remember is you can always access the VNAV page in the GTC by going to “flight plan.” Then once in the VNAV page if you want to go BACK to the FlightPlan Legs, just hit the BACK button. Remember: The BIG GOTCHA why people almost stall during RNAV STARs is because they fail to recognize that a Bottom of Descent will occur.

IMG_8020There are great videos that explain the BOD Level Off more clearly then I can do here, but for now, just be sure to watch out if your GTC displays a BOD or Time to BOD. I recommend you raise your threat level and watch for the ALTV mode annunciator on top of the SCOREBOARD on the PFD. The time to BOD is one of the primarily indications that you are going to level off during a multiple step down VNAV Arrival.


Jeffrey Robert Moss “MossY” is the 2010 National CFI of the Year, Master CFI and an Instructor/Mentor Pilot on the Citation Mustang, M2 and CJ Series as well as Phenom 100/300, Premier IA & Eclipse 500/550. He is widely regarded as a subject matter expert on Garminology, iPad and transitioning single-engine piston pilots directly in single-pilot jets.  His company has online video courses for pilots on the G1000 and iPad.