Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Pacific Routes  
User currently offlineFedEx From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (17 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 956 times:

I have this big question in my head on how the
airlines such as Qantas,AOM,Air Pacific and Air
New Zeland navigate the pacific. I know they use
GPS, but how do they navigate by radio if the GPS where
to fail. Also, who do they talk to once out over the water?
Honolulu center? I know Korean Air and others that head up
to the North Pacific talk to OAK center then Anchorage Center
up in Scott's neck of the woods. Can someone help me out?
Thanks much!

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineBryanG From United States of America, joined May 1999, 453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (17 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 955 times:

GPS isn't the end of inertial navigation. All the planes that fly trans-ocean routes have INS navigation systems. In fact, I don't even think that GPS is used regularly as a primary navigation system in commercial airliners. Inertial nav systems are on most newer airliners of 737-and-up size.

User currently offlineIainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (17 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 955 times:

They do not use GPS as it is not approved by the gov. They use internal flight systems that work out there position a lot like GPS but not quiet and make a short wave radio call every 10 degrees in lat or long the cover If there instruments and computers were to fail they would get out the map and prey alot.

User currently offlineaviator_ua From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (17 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 955 times:

To enter oceanic airspace, an aircraft needs to have 3 long range nav systems with 2 operating at all times.
Most airlines still use triple inertial nav systems and now some are using GPS. The routes such as the famous
R22 which goes all the way from alaska to tokyo are laid out in lat/lon coordinates. Inertial nav, or INS is a relative system. A crew will program the lat/lon coordinates of the gate position before taxi, then the INS keeps track of all accelerations, turns, climbs etc etc. made by the aircraft in terms of lat/lon. Its a most expensive system yet its theory is simple. If I know where I am when I start, and I keep track of every movement, Ill always know where I am. Kind of like an expensive dead reakoning system. lol
However, with time, INS looses its accuracy and this is called drift. Updating can usually remove most of the drift error. This is why carriers are moving to GPS.
Its super accurate, doesnt suffer from drift and its always exact. What alot of carriers do is to mount dual GPS with 1 INS as backup or dual INS with 1 GPS as backup. You need 3 working long range systems to be legal in oceanic airapsce. As far as comm with ATC. The airlines use what is known as HI Frequency radios.
These have a range of a few thousand miles. If you have ever used a short wave radio you have heard Hi freq. Of course, new technology is coming on line all the time. UAL uses high speed data links to ATC to avoid the spotty performance of Hi freq. When you contact an ATC over the water, this is really a relay station. Your speed, altitude, heading, track, next fix and fix after that are sent by this relay station to the ATC unit and your position is plotted and checked to make sure you have the legal seperation from other aircraft. Once in range of VOR's and land based comm, you switch back to the regular comms and navs.

User currently offlineaviator_ua From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (17 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 955 times:

GPS has been approved for use ONLY on pacific routes.
Both gentleman are right. INS is still the main navigating system of choice for the airlines. We are always last to get all the goodies. lol
INS has drawbacks though. The newer INS units cant be updated. Updating over a VOR would introduce an error rather than correct for one because the newer units are so very very accurate at the start of the oceanic leg. You can only update over a known fix such as a VOR, NDB, DME fix and these fixes are just not accurate enough to re-program the INS. The older units have drift rates of 1 to 2 miles of drift per hour. The newer units that we now use have as little as a tenth of a mile drift per hour. Like most nav systems, INS was developed by the military. It is still the ONLY nav system that is totally self contained. It needs no signals from outside sources like ground based VOR's or even satelites. You can navigate anywhere in the world without having to depend on any outside signals.
Everything is right in the box. lol

User currently offlineMD-11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (17 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 955 times:

Also, if GPS/INS fails, if there is nothing else left to do, they will simply fly the headings and times indicated in the flight plan, and will most likely turn up at some place pretty near to where they wanted to get.

aviator_ua: That route going from Alaska to Tokyo is R220, just wanted to point that out...

User currently offlineaviator_ua From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (17 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 955 times:

Its just an old habbit of leaving off the last zero.
Thanks buddy.

User currently offlineaviator_ua From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (17 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 955 times:

MD11 is correct. Even though you are navigating with these sophisticated systems, you are also doing it the old fashioned way as a backup. Plotting charts are used to plot position at waypoint passage, 10 mins. after waypoint passage and mid-way between waypoints. This way you can watch your track and it will be very noticeable if you begin to deviate from track. However, this has its drawbacks too. The lat/lon that you are using to plot with is coming from the nav system. If its wrong, so is your plotting. But with 3 systems plus your own plotting the odds of everything going down the tubes is small. Navigation will always be a combination of methods. By using these different methods you reduce the odds of a gross navigational error.
As MD11 mentioned, knowing the winds, you can fly headings that will keep you relitively close to track.
As you can see, no matter how sophisticated the nav systems are there is no substitute for good old fashioned navigation principals.

User currently offlineflyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (17 years 5 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 956 times:

Doesn't INS contain Ring Laser Gyros?

Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
What If AA Had Gotten PA's Pacific Routes? posted Mon Apr 19 2004 06:21:14 by Copaair737
Old Delta Pacific Routes posted Tue Oct 14 2003 00:43:01 by FLY777UAL
Northwest's Pacific Routes-fall Skeds? posted Sun Aug 24 2003 03:34:12 by 747buff
United And Northwest Combined Pacific Routes posted Tue Mar 25 2003 14:41:43 by Ciro
FedEx South Pacific Routes posted Sat Dec 14 2002 12:35:10 by Gigneil
Delta's Pacific Routes posted Wed Jan 23 2002 02:08:14 by Matt777
Air Canada And Asia Pacific Routes posted Tue Jan 22 2002 05:04:14 by Ibizajet A330
UTA's Pacific Routes posted Thu Jan 10 2002 08:18:39 by VirginFlyer
Air Canada To Add Asia-Pacific Routes posted Wed Dec 5 2001 09:58:27 by United Airline
LAX Trans-Pacific Routes posted Wed Nov 14 2001 01:37:26 by KLMBlue