IndianGuy
Posts: 3126
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2000 3:14 pm

Cross Country Navogation

Mon Mar 17, 2003 2:07 pm


How do pilots in small personal planes like Cessna’s navigate frm point to point, esp on “Long-Hauls” of 400-500 nm? I am sure they can be equipped with FMS’s of some sort (on King Air actually had 2 LCD displays!), but what of those aircraft that don’t have these and only have the most basic of instruments?

-Roy

 
ScooterTrash
Posts: 553
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2001 10:39 am

RE: Cross Country Navogation

Mon Mar 17, 2003 2:15 pm

Some have Global Positioning Satellite equipment and most have some sort of VHF radio navigation equipment. Many still navigate the old fashioned way: A map, a compass, a stop watch and a pencil.

I miss the good old days!
 
Woodreau
Posts: 1182
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

RE: Cross Country Navogation

Mon Mar 17, 2003 2:18 pm

Well we look on the charts and find VOR's and dial them into the NAV freq, ident the VOR to make sure we've got the right one, then dial in the radial that we want to track and then center the needle. Once the needle is centered then we're on the selected radial.

As far as flying point to point, if you're doing strictly VOR/NDB navigation, you can't fly point to point. All you can do is fly from VOR/NDB to VOR/NDB. Charts will tell you what radial/bearing and distance. But you can't get distance unless your aircraft is equipped with DME and the navaid also has DME available as well.

There is equipment out there that gives GA aircraft GPS capability. Garmin is a well known one, that will allow aircraft to be able to fly to a specific point.

Before GPS, Cessna did equip some of their GA aircraft with a rudimentary VOR/DME RNAV system that would allow you to fly from point to point.

This is all a very oversimplified explanation, I'm sure others will/can probably expand.

Woodreau

[Edited 2003-03-17 06:21:38]
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
Posts: 3960
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 1:18 am

RE: Cross Country Navogation

Mon Mar 17, 2003 3:26 pm

Finding my way accross country? Fly IFR- 'I follow roads"  Wink/being sarcastic


On cross country type flights in light aircraft....we basically use whatever the airplane is equipped with. If it only has VOR's, then we go VOR to VOR, using airways when practical. If the airplane has GPS, LORAN or some other form of RNAV, then we can go direct to the destination if so desired/cleared.

Speaking of FMS's, some of the new stuff that Garmin has put out- the GNS 430 and 530 Nav/Comm/GPS- are amazingly capable. They can do most of the things a modern FMS can do, with a sweet display. Just... it's not an FMS, hah.

The other day, on going back from Amarillo, TX to the next fuel stop in Monroe, LA, we got cleared direct to destination 400 miles out. Plugged "MLU" into the GPS and off we went. Too bad I got stuck with a headwind going both ways accross the country when trying to get the airplane back for an AD that was due, haha.

And yes.. I do use a map and know exactly where I am on it no matter what kind of equipment I have on the plane.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
flyf15
Posts: 6633
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:10 am

RE: Cross Country Navogation

Mon Mar 17, 2003 3:31 pm

I just got back from an almost 2000nm cross country in general aviation aircraft.

During the flight, to navigate, NDBs, VORs, GPS, Radar Vectors, pilotage, and dead reckoning were used.

NDBs, VORs, and GPS are probably very known to you.

Radar vectors: If you don't know about these, this is when you are on with air traffic control and you are given headings and altitudes to fly. All in all, they are pretty much navigating for you. This is usually used in busy terminal areas to route traffic.

Pilotage and dead reckoning: This is when the pilot uses a map, computed headings/distances/times, landmarks, etc to navigate. It is by far the most enjoyable way to get around and I have personally done flights of almost 4 hours in length using no radio navigational aids or vectors. If you know the area of the country you'll be flying in its usually very easy to get around and know your way.
 
IndianGuy
Posts: 3126
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2000 3:14 pm

RE: Cross Country Navogation

Mon Mar 17, 2003 3:58 pm


Many still navigate the old fashioned way: A map, a compass, a stop watch and a pencil.


Thats what i want to know. Can you even open a map inside the Piper's cockpit? It doesnt look that big?

And whats the stop-watch for?

-Roy
 
POSITIVE RATE
Posts: 2121
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2001 11:31 am

RE: Cross Country Navogation

Mon Mar 17, 2003 4:00 pm

It's called dead-reckoning. Basically what you do is fly a Heading which will keep you on a planned track, and you do time checks along the way. I.e let's say your TAS is 115kts, you work out a Groundspeed based on wind and from that groundspeed you then compute your next ETA. It's always good to have some Nav instruments to cross cheack along the way. Almost all airplanes are equipped with at least an ADF if not a VOR, which will enable you to cross reference with your dead-reckoning to ensure you are on track. An essential piece of equipment for dead-reckoning type navigation is the Flight computer or "whizz wheel", which will enable you to compute your HDG,GS,TAS,X-wind component,ETA,fuel usage etc.
 
IndianGuy
Posts: 3126
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2000 3:14 pm

RE: Cross Country Navogation

Mon Mar 17, 2003 4:00 pm


Many still navigate the old fashioned way: A map, a compass, a stop watch and a pencil.


Thats what i want to know. Can you even open a map inside the Piper's cockpit? It doesnt look that big?

And whats the stop-watch for?

-Roy
 
POSITIVE RATE
Posts: 2121
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2001 11:31 am

RE: Cross Country Navogation

Mon Mar 17, 2003 4:09 pm

Yeah you can open a map inside the Piper's cockpit. It's a bit of a pain though you have to fold the map up to the right size and it's sitting on your lap. The 2 most important maps for visual navigation are the VTC(Visual Terminal chart) and the WAC)World Aeronautical chart). The watch is used to calculate ETA's, plus you'll need to broadcast your ETA over the radio so other traffic know where you are or where you're going to be at a specific time.
 
Woodreau
Posts: 1182
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

RE: Cross Country Navogation

Mon Mar 17, 2003 4:29 pm

You can use a chart inside a single engine piston cockpit. I keep my chart to about 8x8 inches, as I go from one side to another, I merely "flip" the page and open up the next pane. (after unfolding the top and the bottom)

Before I go up on a cross country, I've already picked out the route of flight, marked up the map, highlight the route so that I can find the route easily when I glance down from "outside" to inside the cockpit to look at the chart.

On the VFR sectional charts, I pick out checkpoints which correspond to something that I can pick out visually and that is relatively unique. that would clue me into where I am but also when I see it I will recognize it right away.

I've already picked out which navaid I'll be using. I've calculated the amount of time (and correspondingly fuel) it should take to go from checkpoint to checkpoint. If I take longer then I'm probably running into headwinds that are stronger than forecast or maybe forecast winds are just totally off. And I'll have to recompute to see if I have enough fuel onboard to make it to my destination. I've already picked out likely airports along the way - which ones have fuel which ones do not, and also in case any emergencies pop up, (including the places where I can stop to do bathroom breaks in case breakfast/lunch, etc decides not to agree with me mid-flight)

IFR charts are similar, but I won't be able to see the terrain below me on the chart all I have are the grid altitudes for the quadrant, instead all I can see on this chart are the airways and the navaids which make up the airways, and intersections, distances between navaids. This is the info that will enable to to navigate solely by the VOR's. But I fold these charts up into a 8x8 square as well and "flip" them when I go off the chart. If I'm primarily going north-south then I try to ensure the next flap is folded last so that all I have to do is turn the chart over, otherwise I'll turn the chart over, see I've got the wrong flap, unfold the map, and refold to get the correct flap (the other one) in view.





Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.

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