A portable aviation radio is essential equipment for any pilot. It's an easy way to get a clearance before starting the engine, and a valuable way to learn communications without burning any avgas. While these ground-based uses are nice, though, the real value of a radio is found in the cockpit. If the worst should happen and your panel goes dark, a good NAV/COM in your hand can save the day. It can help you navigate to an airport, call ATC for help and maybe even help you shoot an instrument approach.
But how good is a portable radio in an emergency? Do they really work beyond a few miles? We went flying to answer this question, and the results were pleasantly surprising.Read More