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Thread: I am a flight 'virgin' no more!

  1. #71
    robert l's Avatar
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    I still have my E6B from 1973, the one that has the scroll knobs. Was going to give it to my much younger flying friend when he got his PPL but he said, I can't take that, it's an antique, you need to hang on to it. Little does he know, he will get it as a keep sake when I pass on. LOL. Now days, for the kind of flying I do, my ipad and ForeFlight are plenty !
    Bob

  2. #72
    DaleB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHICAGORANDY View Post
    Why is that Dale? Not a critique, honest ignorance on my part, and a sincere desire to learn. Is that most fliers use pilotage/landmarks rather than route planning/wind adjustments? Have the modern glass panels, GPS, I-Pad apps etc. made these calculators obsolete/redundant?
    The short answer to your question is: Yes.

    Of course there is absolutely no reason you can't continue to fly with paper charts and pre-electronic age tools, but... most of us don't. Once you're done with flight training, there are much better, faster and easier tools to use than an E6B for pretty much any task. Your phone or tablet can carry an app that will do all of your flight planning and W&B calculations, as well as moving map navigation... so you won't need paper charts either.

    You can still use pilotage and landmarks, and in fact you should do so rather than just blindly following the magenta line on the GPS. I got tired of having to order paper charts, so I got a tablet that always has ALL of the sectionals and AFDs on it, current and up to date. Of course it has an internal GPS receiver as well, so it takes a lot of the work out of finding your position on the chart.
    Measure twice, cut once...
    scratch head, shrug, shim to fit.

  3. #73
    robert l's Avatar
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    I like to carry an external power source even if I'm only flying local, which is mostly what I do. But especially going somewhere on an extended flight. I took two with me when my flying buddy and I flew to Sun N Fun even though it was only going to be a 4 1/2 hr flight. We were using the planes GPS, an ipad with ForeFlight and a back up ipad with ForeFlight and two power sources just to be on the safe side. We did end up having to detour for weather though. I have no affiliation with any brand but the ones I use have15000 mA with an input of 5V 2.0 A Max. I don't understand all that but it's supposed to be good.
    Bob

  4. #74

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    Randy, I also made a 98 on my private pilot written ,missed one silly question night lighting, still bugs me and virtually never had to use it. I wouldnt spend a penny on an electronic E6B, the manual one is easy and simple to use. I was given the Sportys one as part of a review course once and never used it again. Dont know how much it cost but spend that on a fight lesson. Sounds like you are doing great and really going to it. I may be the most old fashioned pilot on this forum, but Ive flown all over the U S part of Canada and the Bahamas and I use charts. Those old fashioned charts have probably taken me to Osh more than most people on the forum and in four dffeeent aiplanes. I navigate by all methods, pilotage is like you drive a Harley, you go to the corner and turn left and go till find Hooters. Thus in the plane if you are flying and dont see the big lake down there, you are proabaly not at Chicago. Most of my navigation is a form of dead reconing, that is if you leave Denver and fly 66degrees at 200 knots for 4 hours you should be at Osh. An I use vor/dme also, a lot. Having electronic postion maps or GPS is a good short cut, but dont be nuts. Once coming from New Orleans to Houston Hobby I put Hobb in the magic box and got something like 1200 miles since that was Hobbs New Mexico. And the sectionals have a lot of useful and interesting details. My friend has a magic box too, says hes got all the charts but mostly I cant read them in real light. Maybe he can. I probably spend $40 on charts to go to Osh every year.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 10-05-2017 at 06:44 PM.

  5. #75

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    Randy, by knowing all 3 methods of navigation you have a 6th sense, sort of like a defensive back in football as to what play or route he may face next.

  6. #76

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    Thanks for advice guys - I do believe I will save the electronic E6B money and divert it to instructor time instead.

  7. #77
    DaleB's Avatar
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    Good call. You won't be sorry.
    Measure twice, cut once...
    scratch head, shrug, shim to fit.

  8. #78
    Cary's Avatar
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    I still keep my aluminum pocket-sized E6b that I bought almost 45 years ago, more as a keepsake than anything. Once in a blue moon I'll take it out and see if I can still do something on it, but I hardly ever actually use it. I fly a 180hp 1963 P172D with a C/S prop, which is just a different model of 172 that flies a tiny bit faster than most other 172s. Just so that you can get a feel for what the "real world" of GA flying is, here's what I do.

    I flight plan using 115 knots (no wind), which is pretty close. For loose planning purposes, I assume a 10 knot tailwind eastbound and a 10 knot headwind westbound. So for instance, if I'm flying east and I have 300 nautical miles to my first stop, I divide that by 125 knots and figure it'll take me about 2 + 25. If I'm flying that leg west, then it's at 105 knots for 2 + 50. Foreflight will give me a slightly closer figure when I actually do my flight plan, because that app takes into account the forecast winds. But winds are still a forecast, and in reality it's not much closer, unless the winds are much stronger than my assumed 10 knots.

    I rarely do a weight & balance, because I seldom fly with the seats full. If I do have the seats full, I know I can only have half tanks to account for the 4th person; otherwise, like every other 172, it's really a 3 person airplane. Weight is the primary issue with a 172; if the weight is under gross, the airplane will be balanced (that is not necessarily true of other airplanes). My airplane's tanks hold 52 gallons, so half is 26 gallons x 6 lbs/gallon or 156 lbs. That means that the 4th person has to be a smallish person, assuming that the other 3 are in the 180-190 lb range. When I'm carrying 4, I also take out my usual carry-ons, because they're unnecessary for local sight-seeing flights.

    Most of my flights east of the Rockies are "direct-to", whether VFR or IFR. It's easier with a GPS, and that's what ATC expects most of the time. But I also keep track of my position with pilotage and the VORs and ADF (that really shows my age, right?). GPS signals can be interrupted, so it's very important to use some sort of non-GPS backup--I have personally experienced GPS outages of the GPS system, not my airplane's equipment. If I'm flying west of the Rockies, depending on routing, it's either all pilotage (aim the airplane toward that pass, make sure there's enough altitude to clear it safely, etc.) or by following the airways. Typically if I'm on airways, I'll program each VOR as a waypoint on the GPS in addition to using the VOR side of the box. Redundancy is the name of the game, and that's a safety issue.

    I no longer carry paper charts, other than the chart put out by the Colorado Department of Aeronautics, which has suggested pass routings through the mountains along with a bunch of other useful information. I use Foreflight on an iPad Mini 4, and my primary backup is Foreflight on my older Mini, with a second backup being Foreflight on my iPhone SE. Although GPS signals can be compromised, the maps of Foreflight are still usable if the GPS function stops, so although it took several months for me to be comfortable with just electronic charts during which time I had both paper and electronic, after 4+ years of using them, I am very comfortable now. I'm not computer savvy enough to try to learn more than one aviation app, although I have acquaintances who have more than one on their iPads or Android devices (Foreflight only works on iPads and iPhones).

    As for fuel planning, if I'm going anywhere non-local, I know that my airplane burns 9.8 gph consistently, so I plan on 10 gph. I always plan on landing with an hour remaining. I also have a good fuel flow totalizer gauge, so I can confirm whether my fuel burn is correct, but mostly I use time from take off to landing and 10 gph. That makes it easy to calculate. For instance, on my hypothetical 300 nm flight leg above, I know that as long as the winds aren't in excess of 10 knots westbound, 30 gallons will get me there.

    Weather is always the biggest planning issue. While you remain a VFR-only pilot, you will want to make sure that there aren't any weather issues in addition to wind. I'm lucky, because I live in a part of the country that is blessed with sunny days most of the time, with clouds that are much higher than I care to fly. You're in a less amiable area, so you'll need to be more careful. Although once you're certificated, you can legally fly in minimum VFR conditions, I don't advise that, ever. 3 miles of visibility, for instance, isn't much at all, and it can drop to much less than that very quickly. A raggedy 2000' ceiling can become much less than that very quickly. Set your personal minimums much higher than the legal minimums. Be a fair weather pilot--it'll keep you safe.

    Spend time learning weather from several sources. It's the single most important tool any pilot can have in his/her toolbox, the ability to understand weather. Attend seminars, read books, take online quizzes--increase your knowledge as much as you can. IMHO, the very best weather text is Bob Buck's Weather Flying, which was originally written by Bob Buck and is now updated and modernized by his son, Bob Buck Jr.

    Finally, always let someone know what you're doing and where you're going. That means either file a flight plan (don't forget to close it!) or use flight following. I rarely file a VFR flight plan, but except for strictly local flights, I always use flight following or file IFR.

    Learning to fly is a whole lot of work, but the rewards are tremendous.

    Cary
    Last edited by Cary; 10-06-2017 at 12:58 PM.
    "I have slipped the surly bonds of earth...,
    put out my hand and touched the face of God." J.G. Magee

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