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LONG DISTANCE X/COUNTRY NAVIGATION


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Hi Guys

Anyone amongst you PPG drivers who likes undertaking longgggg...... distance X/Country flying? - the sort of Xcountry that takes one, say - over the Channel to France??, or even onwards across Europe to, say Poland, Latvia or some other far away European country???

Anyone done that sort of journey?

Ultimately I have this idea of flying across Africa (dream on dream on ...... yer, I know) - so navigation becomes an issue.

Question: what do guys use for nav on these sorts of long journeys - do you take a bunch charts in a zip under your seat, use a PDA or UMPC mounted to the frame in a suitable position, running digital charts - which/what charts(?) - has anyone ever got round to producing charts and/or software for to run on PDA's and UMPC's that are specificaly tailored for PPG X/Country use - or do you guys find standard Air Charts just fine?

Anyone have any ideas on, or given thought to which PDA's and UMPC you would use, and what nav & comms software and hardware you'd configure your PDA or UMPC with? What about one of Garmin's Nav units - anyone have experience using one of these on a long X/Country trip?

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Oziexplorer has got to be one of the best known bits of software that you can scan maps into. Works well on a WMPPC device.

Personally, for nav I use a dedicated GPS (Garmin 295). Beauty of that is that the database is updated on a monthly cycle, so you don't have to manually add updates.

Of course, like all good pilots, GPS is not my primary means of nav (ahem), and I always carry the appropriate chart and have access to a compass and know how to use it. Often fun to compare your dead reckoning with GPS.

Phil

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Of course, like all good pilots, GPS is not my primary means of nav (ahem), and I always carry the appropriate chart and have access to a compass and know how to use it. Often fun to compare your dead reckoning with GPS.

No one should be worried about saying GPS is their primary means of navigation as long as it is backed up by a known position fix from either map reading (preferable in this game) or radio nav aid.

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Gulfstream,

As soon as you leave the UK quarter mill charts tend to run out and the half mill rules.

Across Europe and most 'sophisticated' nations digitised charts are available that will work with any GPS unit designed to take them. With a full tank lasting around 40nm (with some left as a reserve) in still air the hops are not huge at 20kts block.

Would I use a GPS unit as a primary aid?

Yeah, why not? Planning is simplified and airspace avoidance easily verifiable, nothing replaces the chart though and I am not sure whether the law has yet accepted electronic charts as satisfying the need to carry a current paper jobbie.

Like the eBook issue, paper is accessible and manipulable in a way that a small screen isn't. Larger scale tactical planning always seems easier to me looking at a large half mill sheet. When you come 'off plan' small screen GPS units start to become less useful unless you have the overall geography well memorised. Rather like looking at the ground through a large bore toilet roll, the bigger picture isn't available like a chart.

That said you can look at your options on a laptop screen in your tent and develop routes that fill your needs on the day. Always assuming of course that you are supported by a vehicle which, for a very long run might be essential.

Africa is a bit different again, but then that's home ground isn't it? :wink:

20091002-uds3c47unkrwk5my94g4nppjy.jpg

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Africa,

I recon Africa is doable.

Its easy to drive the kit there, get down out of Morocco to avoid the nice police men with guns, through the mine field in the no mans land between Morocco and Mauritania and your there.

Real Africa.

Could fly down the West Coast with ease, and be followed by road.

I also know just the man to make it happen. :D

SW :D

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Africa

I have flown down the West African coast at low level from Tangiers/Agadir to Abijan, Ivory coast. The major problem is political really and oh, crap roads - if any. It's the ground support team who have the problems, everyone gets a sore arse. :D

As for the rest of the continent - the middle bit might be a little challenging wouldn't you say Gulfstream? Looking down from our day job reveals the 'dark heart' rolling on for hours, and hours, and hours... But at 20 kts..... 20 kts.

TIA bra!

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I have flewn my Paramotor down some of that coast. And across the dark bit in the middle. :D

The coast is just amazing, as you indeed know, and 'safe' ish as a route. (avoiding many of the political hot spots)

As you say the roads are not like that of the UK LOL

BUT, a decent 4x4 can tackle them no problem at all.

I for one would love to go back to Africa with my Paramotor. Its awesome!

SW :D

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Of course, like all good pilots, GPS is not my primary means of nav (ahem), and I always carry the appropriate chart and have access to a compass and know how to use it. Often fun to compare your dead reckoning with GPS.

No one should be worried about saying GPS is their primary means of navigation as long as it is backed up by a known position fix from either map reading (preferable in this game) or radio nav aid.

I think you will find that the CAA state that GPS should not be your primary means of nav. That was what I was implying. Whilst a very good system, it is liable to be turned off at any time by the US military, and the receivers are known to fail, or have batteries go flat. A map and a compass are pretty infallible if you can use them.

Phil

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I think we need to be practical about this. When we say, 'primary means' I would take that to mean, 'primary available means' I think?

If you take the literal meaning then you must assume that in order to remain legal, all airborne craft float about with their pilots religiously steering to map and compass and taking the odd crafty peek at the small screen. I doubt that is the case though they should (must) be carrying a chart and using it with GPS to confirm track keeping. A matter of proportion of attention devoted perhaps?

A map and a compass are pretty infallible if you can use them.

If you have trudged your way through 'PPG Nav 5', my little navigation pdf you hear me piping on about how important it is to become and remain competent at DR navigation using a chart, watch and compass and eschew the GPS unit you become so. That is still definitely what I hold true to, but we can't escape that GPS is an invaluable aid to precision navigation. If you can navigate the more skilful way then the GPS becomes more of a supportive aid anyway. The real plot runs in your head. imho

Extract from 'PPG NAV 5'

20091002-fndgwa5puc7rgqdufppphet37f.jpg20091002-8dumysg67eqcry87xshpu3thbt.jpg

When you can navigate the difference between chart and GPS becomes less defined. You use the two in conjunction, one supplementing the other. You could lose either and the end of the world is still a long way off. Lose them both and you either follow your mates or land and recover the map. The other would be unlikely to have survived the drop. :lol:

Sorry to woffle on but it is an important point, particularly for those trying to decide where they should be placing their priorities with aerial navigation.

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Primary means of updating commercial aircraft inertial navigation systems is by GPS these days. Use it as a primary means so long as you are always verifying the output it produces. If you cannot verify the data the GPS is giving on a map then don't continue until you can.

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A fair comment plus wise advice Fanman.

In talking to Gulfstream1 it is worth mentioning that the guy is a very experienced FW aviator and well used to fast low level navigation. What I recommend to him reflects his experience wrt nav techniques. He will find his own way - map or screen and remain legal while he does it I am sure.

The GPS system carried by an airliner is duplicated as well as being certificated to the highest standards. It is the most accurate source of navigation data on the modern jet.

'Depends on the system of course but these days GPS, INS and FMC positions are used to verify each other by comparison. On the 777 and modern Boeings GPS doesn't auto-update the INS, it refines FMC position. System monitoring completes the package to warn of anomalies or disagreements between the sources.

It's a world away from what we do here isn't it? :D

______________________________________________________________

In PPG with only two sources we have potential for distraction, argument and confusion.

Your GPS needs to be understood and used effectively, pilot nav techniques need to be understood and used confidently. Whilst both work really well, one system does need to be primary in the early days of pilot nav imho.

I would suggest that the map and basic pilot nav skills should be primary and GPS derived information (track, ground-speed, distance to way-point etc) could be used to refine and assist.

If your DR nav gets a little screwed then if you cannot fix your position using logic and pilot nav techniques, use the GPS to help you refix your position on your map and get back on track physically and mentally. The simple inspection of 'distance to run to next way-point' should give you one line of position which in itself should enable you to 'find yourself'.

GPS should be used in this way as an 'aid to supplement' rather than 'a crutch to lean on with hope'. Hopping between systems is all well and good but it does have its pitfalls. That is why initially we qualify our trainees to PPG1 on their navigation exercises without a GPS available to them in flight. Get the basics first and you have a better chance of understanding how to use the toys effectively later. Digging yourself out of minor navigation jams using basic techniques delivers confidence, a asset of enormous value to a fledgling 'navigator'. :wink:

I hope that doesn't sound like preaching, I have to remain aware that we have a very broad experience range here and guys watching who will form opinions from what they read. We need to do our best for them.

INS - Inertial Navigation System

FMC - Flight Management Computer

GPS - Q. What does the US abbreviation 'Course' actually mean? An interesting question.

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All good comments ... thanks for the input guys.

Anyone seriously interested mid/second half next year, who has time on their hands to take a few months sabbitical leave, a North/South trip down Africa (route still to be decided i.e. down the West Coast, or down the East Coast or down the centre - or a combo of all 3) - do let me know: its something I am defineatly very keen on doing.

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All good comments ... thanks for the input guys.

Anyone seriously interested mid/second half next year, who has time on their hands to take a few months sabbitical leave, a North/South trip down Africa (route still to be decided i.e. down the West Coast, or down the East Coast or down the centre - or a combo of all 3) - do let me know: its something I am defineatly very keen on doing.

We are planning a long distance XC trip next year across France 1st April. Not quite Africa but a good safe place to test your long distance techniques and kit in preperation. Far less likely to get eaten by anything :shock:

See the thread in Events viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3499

It was going to be a race but due to popular demmand a more leisurely treck has been decided upon which is far more user friendly and opens the event to all levels of confidence with options to fly or drive. There is a great bunch of people interested which makes it all the more attractive.

Hopefully Aus T2T will still be on for 2011. Maybe Africa 2012.

What a great sport this is.

Whitters :wingover:

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Certainly looks like this one could be fun - and a great oppurtunity to get a feel for what sustained day in/day out flying trip would be like, and the issues one has to deal with.

Question: has the route been defined yet - what is it? Any high altitude /over mountains flying on the route - folk staying in hotels each night or camping out at camping sites under the stars? - has a schedule been put together .... all the usualy questions .... ect ect

Thanx

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Gulfstream,

As soon as you leave the UK quarter mill charts tend to run out and the half mill rules.

Across Europe and most 'sophisticated' nations digitised charts are available that will work with any GPS unit designed to take them. With a full tank lasting around 40nm (with some left as a reserve) in still air the hops are not huge at 20kts block.

Would I use a GPS unit as a primary aid?

Yeah, why not? Planning is simplified and airspace avoidance easily verifiable, nothing replaces the chart though and I am not sure whether the law has yet accepted electronic charts as satisfying the need to carry a current paper jobbie.

Like the eBook issue, paper is accessible and manipulable in a way that a small screen isn't. Larger scale tactical planning always seems easier to me looking at a large half mill sheet. When you come 'off plan' small screen GPS units start to become less useful unless you have the overall geography well memorised. Rather like looking at the ground through a large bore toilet roll, the bigger picture isn't available like a chart.

That said you can look at your options on a laptop screen in your tent and develop routes that fill your needs on the day. Always assuming of course that you are supported by a vehicle which, for a very long run might be essential.

Africa is a bit different again, but then that's home ground isn't it? :wink:

20091002-uds3c47unkrwk5my94g4nppjy.jpg

Remote Africa ...... thats the problem part - limited avaliability of detailed charts, and I wouldn't envisage a backup vehicle! Just me, sleeping bag, emergency food/water (army style re-hydration type packets), basic toilitries, one change of clothing - the idea been to always try and get to some or other village for night - so I have a roof over my head and the last remaining Muaratainian Mountain Lion, or pack of wild desert dogs don't dine on me - somewhere where I can wash off, can get a "home-cooked" [peasent] meal - and some fuel (??) - and then stopping off every few days in some regional town to take care of whatever can't be taken care of in remote areas.

Practical weight restrictions mean consolidating navigation, maps, coms, planing and avionics (e.g. altitude, fuel, heading, course, air speed, distance, sat com card, blah blah, blah blah ...) all into a single rugged lightweight UMPC platform, has to be the way to go i.e. having it all together and "loosely" inter-linked (digitaly) saves having to carry a bunch of individual "tools". Backing that up with essentials, like a standalone compass (even if your nav skills aren't the greatest you should at least be able to get back to a general location/area on a compass) and a handheld sat phone - that should complete the picture

Comments welcome............

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Comments welcome............
Off topic a bit I know...

But whatever you end up doing, please don't go scaring the cr@p out of the wildlife like this bloke... :evil:

(1m26s Ostrich, 4m30 Vilderbeest, 4m45s Elephants) - Bl@@dy irresponsible !

[youtubevideo]

[/youtubevideo]

Horrible to say, but by the end I was almost willing him to have engine trouble and start thinking of a safe landing place... :twisted:

Definitely NOT one for my favourite 'Videos of the Week'

Andy

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One way to make a wildlife video .... nope, I intend to keep well aways from the wildlife - I grew up in East Africa and have seen the results of what an irate Ostrich can do to an adult (the unfortunate native came to the mission hospital my parents ran, cradling his intestines in his hands, after having been kicked in the gut by the animal who caught him stealing her eggs!)

Medical help is always an issue when traveling alone in remote areas.

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The short answer for me, would be

Pre arranged LZ if I am aiming for a target, EG.. Lambourn to Plymouth.

But I just LOVE landing out and working out how to get juice / lift home. As mentioned in other posts, I have never had a problem getting a lift home in under 30 mins.

I guess it just adds a bit of adventure.

Ref Other countries...

They all have there own laws, rules.

In Morocco for example, It is Illigal to fly a Paramotor. (and you dont want to get caught breaking the Law in Morocco!)

In Brazil you need an FIA licence to fly a Paramotor...

In the UK, F all is required.

And so on...

Find a country that tickles your fancy, and then check out the local 'stuff'

SW :D

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