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  #1  
Old 10-21-2014, 10:54 AM
JoeLofton JoeLofton is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 150
Default Back to the Stone Ages - Almost

Sunday, on a VFR flight to Las Cruces, I lost the GPS signal to my Trutrak ADI about 80 miles east of El Paso. Then lost the GPS signal to the 796 about 10 miles east, which also took out the ADS-B traffic. Suddenly I was faced with navigating through the interesting mix of Class C airspace, restricted areas, mountains and rain showers armed only with a finger on the (electronic) sectional and landmarks on the ground. I pulled out the iPad for the larger SkyViewPro sectional and was surprised that the iPad still had a good GPS signal. A close call - I almost had to do it the old-fashioned way.

In retrospect, I'm surprised at how comfortable I've become with the little airplane symbol on the magenta line. It took a few minutes to mentally switch over to old-fashioned pilotage and I was relieved to see the iPad working.

Don't know what caused the GPS signal loss. The 796 reacquired about 10 miles out from Las Cruces. I think I'll practice my pilotage more in the future.

Joe Lofton
RV-3
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2014, 11:58 AM
krw5927 krw5927 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Wichita, KS
Posts: 1,986
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https://www.faasafety.gov/files/noti...t_Advisory.pdf

You may want to document as much information as you can about the location and time of the event and let the appropriate ARTCC know about it.
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RV9A
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2014, 01:12 PM
JoeLofton JoeLofton is offline
 
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Posts: 150
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Thanks - I'll send a note if I can figure out where to send it. And pay better attention to Navigation NOTAMs in the future.
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  #4  
Old 10-21-2014, 01:42 PM
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Saville Saville is offline
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: KBVY Massachusetts
Posts: 1,261
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I've been brushing up on my XC's and I'm mostly using the Lindbergh Technique. Took no time at all to get back into the VOR swing of things and GPS makes it so that you have to be really working hard to get lost.

But I know those electrons can stop flowing and/or GPS signals weaken and so I always fly with paper. And I'm maintaining the skills to use it.
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2014, 06:52 PM
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AAflyer AAflyer is offline
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Fort Mill, South Carolina
Posts: 378
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What's a V.O.R.?
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Bruce Windom
QB RV-8 N148BW
First Flight: Oct '16
AeroSport Power IO-360 180hp w/dual P-Mags
Catto 3-blade, with black carbon spinner.
10" Dynon SkyviewTouch. That's ALL.
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  #6  
Old 10-21-2014, 07:05 PM
BillL BillL is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 6,314
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What I am confused about is - if GPS was not available, how did the iPad have maps? I would guess the sat view factor for the iPad is not as good as a mounted antenna.
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Last edited by BillL : 10-21-2014 at 07:12 PM.
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2014, 07:06 PM
Charles in SC Charles in SC is offline
 
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Posts: 771
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What is a GPS?
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2014, 07:23 PM
jrs14855 jrs14855 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lake Havasu City AZ
Posts: 2,637
Default Navigation

The Lindbergh way was a compass heading, using a compass that was considerably better then most magnetic compasses used today. Any charts that he may have had available were very basic, probably ships charts.
For may years I have amused myself on a semi regular basis with dead reckoning. Draw a line on the chart, after takeoff, turn off the nav radios and fly a compass heading for 1 hour or more, 500 agl. If one makes a reasonable wind correction you can come amazingly close.
Years ago I had some regular passengers on a pilot services deal. I would do a one hour run across NE PA without looking at a chart. One of the passengers asked the aircraft owner how I found my way. The aircraft owner said he used the navigation radios. The passenger said-no he turns all the radios off. The owner got a big laugh out of that and told me about it later.
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2014, 07:44 PM
jrs14855 jrs14855 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lake Havasu City AZ
Posts: 2,637
Default Nav

In the Lindbergh era there were not even any aeronautical charts. The first Sectional chart was published in 1930, full coverage of the "lower 48" was not available until 1937.
Experiments with low frequency navigation began in the late 20's. Low frequency ranges became available in the early 30's and were the only means of navigation until the late 40's when VOR's were first installed. There was celestial navigation but this depended on being above the clouds, which often did not occur on the N Atlantic.
So virtually all ocean flying in the WWII era was a combination of dead reckoning and low frequency beacons and ranges.
The Earnest Gann books are a fascinating read on the subject.
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2014, 09:15 PM
JoeLofton JoeLofton is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 150
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My Trutrak ADI has a hockey puck antenna mounted under the canopy behind the pilot. It was the first to go. The 796, mounted just above the stick, was using the internal antenna, which has always been rock solid. It was the next to go. The iPad, with internal antenna, was stuffed deep down in the cockpit beside me until I turned it on. It never lost position. Go figure.
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