My Flights and other ramblings
by, 11-26-2011 at 12:52 AM (2725 Views)
My recent kick is to experiment with navigation techniques. Like all other pilots here I started with VOR's, NDB's and ILS's, or just plain ole looking out the window. I knew there was a GPS in the planes but truthfully I did'nt want to bother with it cause I preferred to fly the old fashing way.
(note about this blog. I wanted to keep it fresh instead of having old ramblings here and I just deleted everything instead of saving and posting the old stuff on a html page. Opps.)
After years of normal navigation, it was time to experiment.I decided to break out the GPS. Well now that I think about it, let me back up a little. I did go through a FMC phase. I'm not really sure which sim I was flying that had planes with the computer. Honestly I dont remember much about it except it flew the plane as planned. Despite me being a gadget person, I really never got into the FMC 100% like I did the GPS. Before the GPS one technique to fly to a far away point was to use the top-down view, point the plane at Hawaii from a long distance andusing the heading bug to keep the plane pointed in the almost right direction and then use normal navigation to land the plane. Now it's GPS time. Oh wow, the thing will keep me pointed towards Hawaii. I could not believe it. So actually the GPS opened up a whole world of added flight adventures for me. I've always had a good list of airport codes memorized for a long while, and suddenly I was like I gotta fly to KBOS then KSEA then KSAN then KBNA then KMIA then KEYW then PHNL then...... and that just kept going and going and going. The GPS was too easy and I got to see much more scenery from the sim than I normally would have.
We now interrupt this navigation blog for a mini blog..
Every pilot here on flightsim.com, real or sim, has a reason for being here. It's neat to read articles and forums to get an idea on what others idea's are as to what this flight sim is all about. Those ideas changes
speed and direction as much as the wind does which makes it interesting. I like to think that I just sit in the corner watching everything. The reason I say that is because really the only thing I do is fly the airplanes. I just use only the sim. This kind of parallells ham radio. a "ham" can take the hobby as far as possible and have all kinds of experiences. Me, I just stay on one small part of the hobby and use pretty much the minumum amount of equipment but that's what I like. I term it being at the bottom of the ham barrel. Same thing with the sim. I use FS9 and FSX and maybe a controller to fly with but in realily I use just the keyboard 99.9% of the time. I've been flying like that since 1991. So what I'm getting at is any thing I contribute to the forums or just rambling here has only to so with the sim itself and what I do with it.
And now back to our regularly scheduled navigation blog...
So the GPS increased my interest in the sim. After 100's of hours flying direct I finally decided to start filing flight plans using the low and high alt routes. Today it's still not my preferred way to navigate but I have increased the usage of flight planning. Using flight plans is not the main function for my GPS. For those here that flew FS5, there was a function that where if you were flying the 172 and you pressed X then the plane would automatically fly to and land at the nearest airfield and you did not have to do a thing. That was autoland and it was fun to watch. Well the GPS went up a notch on my friend list when I discovered that it could fly the plane towards an ILS as long as you flew a pattern to where it can fly towards the ILS everything was fine. (I do not and will not use the ATC) Another step closer to that FS5 autoland! So after flying like that for a while, up another notch the GPS went on my friend list. Next I discovered RNAV and GPS approaches. Now I can take off, fly decend and just sit here while doing a minimum amount of navigating. Now (March 2013), I'm picking intersections to fly to, really like having a million NDB's. This allows me to pilot the plane and let it fly towards a runway or ILS easily. Even the local airports here in Tennessee have intersections to guide you to a runway which comes in handy if the apt doesnt have an approach of any kind. While I'm on the subject of intersections I recently discovered another new thing about the sim. I've always wondered why there was 2 diffrent colored int. Well the blue ones are named and are in the GPS database. The pink ones(or whatever color they are..I'm colorblind) are labeled unnamed...(yet they have names) and they are not in the GPS database. So the blue ones are the int's you can type in the GPS and use for navigation. So to recap, as in real life aviation, I've gone from using on ground navigation aids to the ones in the air. It's neat to hear aircraft leaving KBNA and being directed to big daddy. No longer do I hear them being directed to OPRY while heading towards the 200 heading runways. When I was going to MTSU..Go Raiders!..they said that there would be a day that VOR's would be taked out of service. Well the first one I've heard about is the KCHA vor. There may really be a day when there are no more morse codes in the air on our airplane scanners. Welcome to 2013.