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Old 07-12-2009, 01:54 PM   #11
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Give me a topo map, compass and altimeter and I can pinpoint my location anywhere on the face of the earth.
Indeed, all I need is a compass, map and landmarks. Hell if I can find my way out of a damn jungle, where you have to climb trees to see where the hell you are and deserts full of sand dunes and salt plains and the Rocky mountains, I figure I'm good to go here or on any continent. Now the ocean, I will admit I am no seadog, may have some problems there.
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:33 PM   #12
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I asked what would you do if GPS were turned off or worse, intentionally offset to confuse people. He knows how to use VOR and other navigation types but only because he is an instructor pilot, most students today rely soley on GPS which is kind of scary to me. It's a single point of failure and you should learn alternative ways. I can use VOR's or everyone's favorite IFR (I fly roads/rivers) so I think I would be ok.
I got my Private Pilots License in 1974 and there was no GPS back then - strictly VOR station tracking, a good chronograph, and visual checkpoints. I flew VFR in 150's and then the newer 152's. My Dad had a Mooney Ranger with dual transponders and while GPS was available, he never saw it necessary to spend the money - he was not IFR rated, but flew all over the country. All I ever knew was a map and a plotter... although my first 3-leg solo x-country flight was a bit nerve-racking, it was a great learning experience. GPS vs. VFR is the same scenario as when calculators first hit the scene. As kids got used to using calculators they lost the ability to think and extrapolate - all they know are keystroke sequences!
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:44 PM   #13
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Yep. a lot of your older pilots, UUGH.....older than you and me, fly using map of the earth navigation, with few instruments. Them older bush pilots in Alaska do it quite frequently.
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:25 PM   #14
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Yep. a lot of your older pilots, UUGH.....older than you and me, fly using map of the earth navigation, with few instruments. Them older bush pilots in Alaska do it quite frequently.
I don't think I would fly in a private plane with anyone younger...I had to learn an awful lot in ground school with regards to computing weight and balance, cloud formations, fronts, plotting courses, and knowing emergency procedures. Somehow I doubt that today's technology is the "do-all and end-all" everyone makes it out to be - sometimes good old fashioned "knowledge" counts for more...
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:27 PM   #15
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Indeed, all I need is a compass, map and landmarks. Hell if I can find my way out of a damn jungle, where you have to climb trees to see where the hell you are and deserts full of sand dunes and salt plains and the Rocky mountains, I figure I'm good to go here or on any continent. Now the ocean, I will admit I am no seadog, may have some problems there.
An altimeter really helps with terrain association when you're in mountainous terrain. Once, we were 2 peaks over from where we thought we were. If it weren't for the altimeter, we would have been lima mike foxtrot.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:35 PM   #16
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An altimeter really helps with terrain association when you're in mountainous terrain. Once, we were 2 peaks over from where we thought we were. If it weren't for the altimeter, we would have been lima mike foxtrot.
Affirmative, just never had much use of one, old school.
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:35 PM   #17
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Affirmative, just never had much use of one, old school.
Damn flat landers.
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:17 PM   #18
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I've never used a GPS yet to this day, always relying on the "old fashioned" way I learned as a "kid". GPS is something i keep saying I'm going to get, but never do.
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:59 PM   #19
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I don't think I would fly in a private plane with anyone younger...I had to learn an awful lot in ground school with regards to computing weight and balance, cloud formations, fronts, plotting courses, and knowing emergency procedures. Somehow I doubt that today's technology is the "do-all and end-all" everyone makes it out to be - sometimes good old fashioned "knowledge" counts for more...
I think as for emergency procedures, not much has changed. The checklist out of a 1979 172 manual I have is almost identical to a current year 172 except for some minor changes that have happened to the plane and the electronics are different. Pilots are still trained in emergency landing and to always be thinking about where to land should the engine fail at that moment. But reliance on electronics could be a problem. Heck the current 172's connect to ground radar to provide traffic avoidance alerts(not 100% accurate) but its amazing all the tech in these planes, but you can still turn all electronics off and the plane flys the same.

Weight and balance, yea there have been changes, while a student they teach you how to do it pen and paper but in reality, you use an online calculator setup for the exact plane, if you even do it at all, but pilots have skipped that even before there were radios in planes.

Weather, I think your right, we rely on radar and websites to provide the weather more often. I've canceled flights before because as I'm at the plane the wind is too strong and gusty for me to feel comfortable to fly but the weather report says 5 knots steady. Some pilots trust the tech 100% and that's where the common sense and knowledge come into play.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:08 PM   #20
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Give me a topo map, compass and altimeter and I can pinpoint my location anywhere on the face of the earth.
That's the ticket. If you can't figure out where you are or where you want to be and how to get there with a topographical map and a compass, you shouldn't have left your house IMO. (Although without a means to determine latitude and longitude, I question your ability to pinpoint your position anywhere on the face of the earth. Celestial navigation will help, but without knowing the time of day you don't have all the information you need.)

Don't get me wrong -- GPS is really handy and electronics are a lot of fun. But if you become dependent on them, you could be screwed.

How many folks other than me also own purely mechanical automatic watches (no quartz movement)? Go buy a Seiko 5 sport watch for $70 and you'll be able to tell the time should something in your area/region fry electronics.

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