Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Lost skills??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Lost skills??


    I was just thinking about the demise of NDB in favour of GPS and how NDB skills will become a thing of the past in the not too distant future.

    It made me wonder if there are any old-timers out there who could tell us of other piloting skills that are no longer in use.

    Some years ago, my Nav tutor told how, when he was in the AirForce, they often used celestial navigation, especially when flying over the poles. I wonder if the AirForce still teaches them celestial navigation.


    FSX Acceleration, on a HP Pavilion dv6 Laptop, 1.9GHz,
    8GB RAM, AMD Radeon card, Win7 Home Prem 64bit
    (It beats my old 386 with FS2. )

  2. Default RE: Lost skills??

    [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Oct-22-02 AT 11:46AM (EDT)[/font][p]the fore runner of NDB's & VOR's is the LF/MF four-course radio range.

    All though i ain't no old timer, i'll tell you a bit about it.

    The N & A nav system as i call it, was the first radio navigation equpiment. With one station, you could define 4 courses. Immagine a large square area divided up into 4 smaller squares. In the middle of the large square is the nav station. It sent out a signal in 4 directions. Assuming the navigation courses from the station are pointing to all 4 cardinal headings (N, E, S, W), the station sends out signals to the 'other' 4 cardinal headings (NE, SE, SW, NW). In these 'other' cardinal headings, it sent out morse code. For example, in NE & SW, it sent out the morse code . - which stands for "A". And in the corner NW & SE it sends out the morse code - . , which stands for the letter "N".

    So depending if the aircraft is either left or right of the course, the pilot would hear either a N or a A on the headset.
    IF the pilot is oncourse, the 2 signalts combine and form a continous signal.

    letter A: . - . - . - . - . -
    Letter N: - . - . - . - . - . -
    Result: ---------------------

    this of course required good situational awareness, because if you were unsure of your location and you tuned in, you could be in either one of the corners.

    Before thsi system, they used pilotage during the day, and 'camp fires' at night. Dunno if they ever utilizied celestial navigation.

  3. #3

    Default RE: Lost skills??

    I am no old timer either. You still have to learn how to do do NDB approaches. They are not at all difficult. The biggest problem with them is the lack of precision, and resulting high MDA.

  4. Default RE: Lost skills??

    USAirways does not allow its Airbus pilots to fly non precision approaches. They have created special RNAV overlays for ILS approaches to each airport they use. This is so that if a portion of the ILS is out of service, such as the glide slope, they will not have to fly the non precision approach. Seems as though we are headed in the direction in which you suggested.


  5. #5
    toddrf Guest

    Default RE: Lost skills??

    Given the high workload of a precision approach to minimums and given the relative proficiency of the general aviation IFR crowd, one wonders if it is wise to eliminate the Non precision approach, with its higher minimums. Higher minimums means greater safety for single pilot ops because you know in the weather briefing if you can get in or not. With only precision approaches available, GA pilots might be tempted to go when they should stay and despite the relative "simplicity" of the precision approach it requires a high level of diligence and skill to go missed at DH and reconfigure for the go around or alternate. Such things are often best left to crew-served aircraft. The NPA gives a margin of saftey for light aircraft IFR flying that the Precision approach does not.

    I think the elimination of non-precision approaches might be a mistake, but it is heading that direction. soon we will all be forced to dump $3000.00 into an approach certified GPS.

    Todd :-wave

  6. #6

    Default RE: Lost skills??

    One thing a non precision approach has going for it, is that the average pilot is flying relativly straight and level to the MAP. If you do dip below on your miss you are usually over the airport or somewhere there won't be something out there to swat you out of the least at the altitudes of most NPAs.
    When you hit the DH on the ILS you heading downhill and if you hesitate or even worse duck down to take a peek you are looking to get hurt. What has not helped is the FAA removing the middle markers from a lot of airports. That beeping will remind you to get ready to go miss in case you are distracted by trying to keep the needles centered with a nasty gusty crosswind.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Indianapolis, Indiana, United States.

    Default RE: Lost skills??

    [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Oct-22-02 AT 05:10PM (EDT)[/font][p]How about good ole pilotage and dead reckoning when VFR? There's no real challenge to VFR flight when all you gotta do is hit Direct To...KJVY...enter...GPS...AP...NAV. I'll use the ole moving map when I'm skirting around restricted airspace for the added "I don't like waving at -16 pilots" safety measure, but pilotage and dead reckoning are both challenging and fun. No one wants to use them anymore it seems.

    Edit: Yes they're still taught but none but the die-hard pilots still USE pilotage and dead reckoning as a primary means of navigation

    PPL Student
    It's a different world up there

  8. #8

    Default RE: Lost skills??

    I got a moving map Lowrance 400 to help me find airports out in the countryside. It's easy to fly right on by a small strip out in the trees or hidden behind a hill. It seems more natural to me to look out the window, fly towards a lake or hill than to stare down in the cockpit. Funny thing is, I have been a die hard flight sim pilot since my Atari 400 days.
    When flying in IMC with my buddy, the guy not handling the controls uses his GPS to make sure that the controller doesn't vector us towards anything that might hurt.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Indianapolis, Indiana, United States.

    Default RE: Lost skills??


    "Cessna 123 turn left heading 240 descend and maintain 4,000."
    "Approach, you DO realize you're vectoring me into a mountain?"

    PPL Student
    It's a different world up there

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-03-2016, 03:07 PM
  2. Lost Luggage, now it's lost people??
    By InsyleM in forum The Outer Marker
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-18-2012, 10:03 AM
  3. Are the lost ruins really lost?
    By elcamino in forum FS2004
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-14-2003, 08:57 PM
  4. lost planes lost site
    By 32lpe in forum FS2002
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-11-2003, 05:07 AM
  5. lost planes, lost mountains
    By waqwa in forum FS2002
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-01-2002, 04:11 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts