Paper vs Electronic navigation.

Vance

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To start with I don't do well with touch screens when flying The Predator. Because of my traumatic brain injury I have reduced fine motor skills. The Predator has a very stiff mast so the stick shake exacerbates the challenge. This makes Foreflight and iFly useless to me.

I feel I have better situational awareness with a paper chart than with a GPS. I navigate by ground features, not headings or magenta lines. I seldom fly direct to anywhere.

I make notes on the chart and have a course line to follow and notes about all sorts of things. I am not flying an airplane and if I have an engine problem pushing the “nearest” button on the GPS is pointless.

There are often NOTAMS around here for GPS interference making it hazardous to use a GPS for primary navigation.

I have access to inflight weather from flight service and ATC.

I have the frequencies and airport diagrams on my radio call sheets and saved in my radio. Two buttons gets me the frequency I want.

In my experience having charts, a chart supplement and my kneeboard with radio call sheets is a good way to manage cockpit organization in The Predator.

I have flown several times with a navigator using Foreflight and I consistently had the answers before he did.

If a client is using Foreflight for his cross country I have him turn it off because I have found it is a distraction for most pilots.

I have a Garmin 696 and I would need to redo my panel to make room for it. I have a kneeboard for it but I still find it cumbersome to find the information I need.

I have a panel powered Garmin 196 that I prefer despite it not having terrain and airport diagrams.

I have a panel powered Garmin 496 that has terrain and airport diagrams but it has shorter battery life than the 196 and is missing some features that the 196 has.

I prefer the Garmin 196, 496 and 696 to Foreflight and iFly because it has buttons and knobs rather than a touch screen.

I would love to have traffic displayed in the cockpit; I do not have a place large enough for a good traffic display screen in The Predator’s panel. I would not give up my steam gages to make room. When I purchase a new trainer it will have room for a useful sized traffic display

I recently cut a gyroplane test flight short in part because the altitude display on the EFIS was small and difficult to read. No EFIS I have seen holds an allure for me.

I would am not trying to tell people what they should use or like. I am describing what I prefer in The Predator and why.
 

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HighAltitude

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When I first subscribed to foreflight, I found that I was sluggish operating it so I used it when I drove to and from work to help me get used to it. It sounds silly, but it really helped me learn how to use it. An ipad is horrible in direct sunlight so I can't imagine it for ads-b tasks. I take a peek at it along my route and use a 3x5 pre-printed card that I made to list the essential airport info of all airport freqs and runway info along my route. In direct sunlight foreflight is a good pre-flight planner for weather and NOTAMS. It takes the role of an electronic sectional for me during the trip.

A Dynon is a completely different animal due to it's ability to be viewed and used in sunlight. I still prefer steam gauges for essential. I have the same problem of finding panel space for a screen and steam gauges in my preferred dream setup. The cost to install both styles in a mixed panel layout is also very high. One would almost have to pick one or the other so my current setup in my 1946 plane is steam gauges as it was built supplemented with foreflight. I am facing another assessment with 2020 on the horizon.

This is a good discussion.
 

giro5

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When getting my PPL and for some time after I always had trouble on cross country flights finding my waypoints. So I bought a Loran and began flying my planned course very close and could finally find my check points I had picked off a chart. I discovered my check points were way too small. I need to pick big things like big lakes, a big mountain, a town by its self etc. If on a cross country I pick something big that is on my course that I can see right after takeoff and head to it and check my compass for a heading once I am at my flight altitude. This accounts for any real winds aloft. Then still flying to my big object I find a notable object behind it (a range) and keep the two objects in line always looking for another object behind the fartherest object in my "range". I will then compare this with whatever electronic gadget I have if I want. But I have literally gone nearly completely across the country navigating with just my big objects and a chart. Works for me in the day time and as long as I can see a long way which is the conditions I fly in.
 

loftus

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I think Vance is clearly in a different situation to most of us with his previous injury and the particular characteristics of the Predator, so I grant in his situation sticking to the paper chart way and his tried and true method makes sense. For everyone else who is prepared to embrace the learning curve of new technology, I'm convinced that digital moving map chart with GPS devices is far superior, offering everything that paper charts, pen and paper notes etc offer, plus much much more. And one can of course still carry additional notes, and fly by dead reckoning particularly in familiar terrain. The digital devices are charts, just glass ones instead of paper. Theres no point me repeating what I wrote in the 'Putting together the accident chain' thread, except to say, (for most pilots in any other aircraft besides the Predator) that when planning cross country flying, having a modern digital map touchscreen system such as the iFly, with one's smartphone or iPad as a backup device (in addition to a paper sectional) would have provided an increased level of redundancy and safety in the situation Vance described where mist obscured his visibility and ability to follow his chart. For those interested in some of the features take a look at the iFly website, and you can see all of the features described there. Also an interesting point regarding carrying paper charts I found in the iFly FAQ section. 'Technically the FAA has never *required* private pilots to carry sectional charts, this is a myth. The specific FAA regulation, FAR 91.103 "Preflight Actions," states that each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar with all available information concerning that flight.'
https://www.iflygps.com/Features
 
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loftus

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HighAltitude;n1135447 said:
When I first subscribed to foreflight, I found that I was sluggish operating it so I used it when I drove to and from work to help me get used to it. It sounds silly, but it really helped me learn how to use it. An ipad is horrible in direct sunlight so I can't imagine it for ads-b tasks. I take a peek at it along my route and use a 3x5 pre-printed card that I made to list the essential airport info of all airport freqs and runway info along my route. In direct sunlight foreflight is a good pre-flight planner for weather and NOTAMS. It takes the role of an electronic sectional for me during the trip.

A Dynon is a completely different animal due to it's ability to be viewed and used in sunlight. I still prefer steam gauges for essential. I have the same problem of finding panel space for a screen and steam gauges in my preferred dream setup. The cost to install both styles in a mixed panel layout is also very high. One would almost have to pick one or the other so my current setup in my 1946 plane is steam gauges as it was built supplemented with foreflight. I am facing another assessment with 2020 on the horizon.

This is a good discussion.
Take a look at the iFly, easy to mount with a stick on mount next to the panel etc, and also much better than an iPad in sunlight, and really prices are now much more reasonable $600 for the newest 740b. Also ADS-B compatible etc, etc
 
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GyrOZprey

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I love my IFly & ping-buddy that shows some traffic ( the ADSB-out ones) .... I have Foreflight on two iPads(mini) ..... I do lots of flight planning on my iPads using Foreflight then program the final draft into IFly...which mostly stays in the gyro! I need to learn how to use the IFly feature that files flight plans ... I usually do that on my iPhone! On my first long cross-country with my yellow TE .. Anahuac to Bastrop ...I bought & cut-up a nice new Houston area chart into manageable strips that were in a plastic knee case ...that I re-arranged each fuel stop to show the next leg ... it was just a back-up to my IFly & a good practice to see how I could navigate with paper ... if I had to!
In Australia ... I used OZ-runways ... I had it on both my iPad minis( one velcro'd to the dash & the other in a handy pouch pocket.).. which are VERY hard to read in sunlight ...even with an antiglare screen shield & panel hood! ..... I just love the IFly size .... with aging eyesight & needing bi/multifocals to see clearly now ... the itty bitty Garmins are useless for me! ...Gotta have that 7 inch screen!

We include an IFly with every Titanium we sell ... unless the owner prefers their own Nav system! I'm looking forwards to seeing what ADSB platform will work well & be cost attractive
 
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Vance

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This is a typical GPS interference notice. They often encompass where I fly although this one does not. Just checking Weathermeister for a weather briefing for a flight to Lompoc and thought I would share this for the non-believers.

Flight Advisory- GPS Interference Testing- Yuma, AZ (07/16-07/31) Notice Number: NOTC7884

FLIGHT ADVISORY
GPS INTERFERENCE TESTING
YUMA PROVING GROUND (YPG) 18-10
16 July – 31 July 2018
Yuma, AZ
 

Kolibri

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To start with I don't do well with touch screens when flying The Predator. Because of my traumatic brain injury I have reduced fine motor skills.
The Predator has a very stiff mast so the stick shake exacerbates the challenge. This makes Foreflight and iFly useless to me.
Ah, so it's an irresolvable issue, both neurological and mechanical.
That wasn't explained in other thread, which read more like a matter of personal preference for paper.

____________
For low altitude VFR during CAVU, paper with an older GPS will generally suffice.
Those who fly in less ideal conditions will benefit from modern tablets with a smart phone backup.
On my Android tablet I've used AnyWhere Map (inexpensive, decent, but undersupported) and Garmin Pilot (superb).

I've not tried ForeFlight because I don't want to be forced into Apple products.

iFly works on any platform, or is offered in a stand-alone unit, and is well-regarded.

I don't frequent areas with common GPS interference, and have yet to encounter such in my x/c travels to 26 states.

Regards,
Kolibri
 

Vance

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Kolibri;n1135523 said:
Ah, so it's an irresolvable issue, both neurological and mechanical.
That wasn't explained in other thread, which read more like a matter of personal preference for paper.

____________

Regards,
Kolibri
A push button GPS works just fine for me in The Predator and adds to the information I receive from the charts. I have and fly with a Garmin 196, 496 and 696 and use them to validate my decisions based on paper.

I have a personal preference for paper as a primary source for navigation information. I fly with both aeronautical charts and road maps.

When I plan a flight my waypoints are identifiable and marked on the chart and I have back stops to know sooner when I have missed my waypoint. I use a plotter and a marker. I have ETAs for each waypoint so I know when things aren't working out.

I teach primary students to use charts. I teach lost procedures and diversion using charts. I am often surprised by some certificated pilots inability to use and understand charts.

When I give a proficiency check ride I expect the applicant to understand how to use the navigation equipment onboard.

I don't fly fixed wing aircraft and seldom fly at night.
 

eddie

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A company called Nushield offers plastic overlays to help with the visibility in bright sunlight for most devices,including the garmin gps.

they work great.
 

Vance

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One of the many things I like about my Garmin 196 is it is very easy to read in direct sunlight. The 496 and the 696 aren’t quite as readable in direct sunlight.
 

Kolibri

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=83uvKWJS2os
400 hour pilot, 33 y/o. He made a bad decision to fly toward such weather, erroneously relying up NEXRAD for near-time conditions.
The fault was his to have done so. That T-storm line was not something to skirt so close to. He had enough long-range WX to have known this, IMO.
Also, ATC advised him to turn S/SW and avoid it. He simply cut things too fine, even with his own presumed (slightly) greater distance away.



For you onboard weather enthusiasts I feel this video is worth watching to help define its limitations
Whatever the limitations, it's preferable having on-board weather than not.

Regards,
Kolibri
 

Vance

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In my opinion 3590Tango is a good example of bad information being worse than no information.

I feel he would not have tried to go around the thunderstorms if he didn't think he had the tools for the job.

Even without the Garmin 496 or the Garmin 696 I can call flight service on the radio for weather in flight and talk to someone who knows more about the weather than I ever will.

The pictures are interesting but in case of 3590Tango they lead him to imagine that he knew more than he did.

He had all the latest toys and the advice of someone experienced and yet because of his bad information he chose to ignore the voice of experience.

I would much rather have a briefer tell me the flight is not recommended and not go than to put myself and my passengers at risk based on a misunderstanding of how useful the information was and how capable I am.

I am comfortable with my low fear threshold and often cancel or modify flights for weather in California. I prefer to cancel while still on the ground but if I spot vertical development or smoke in the vicinity during a flight I don't hesitate to call flight service and ask.

I have to admit to a very bad habit I have of checking to see if my decision to cancel was correct and if the weather would have become a problem. This only encourages me to press harder the next time if they were wrong.

By their own records they are only right 65% of the time. It is not hard to see I am likely to be wrong more often with my very limited knowledge of weather no matter how many pictures I look at or how hard I analyze the weather information available to me.

I do not have a compelling reason to fly a gyroplane in bad weather so I don't.
 

Doug Riley

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I teach navigation to sailors. I hammer on the idea that paper and E-nav are complimentary, each to the other.

In the boating world, operating in bad weather is kind of a given. You can't outrun a 40 mph thunderstorm in a 7-knot sailboat. Therefore, there's perhaps more chance in a boat than in an aircraft that all your electronics will fry at the same time, thanks to the EMP from nearby lightning strike. Still, it can happen in an aircraft, too.

Moreover, planning and plotting your trip on the paper chart gives you better situational awareness, IMHO. And you can see more detail on a paper chart without zooming in and out constantly. Detail matters to us who fly low and slow, in a craft with a steep glide ratio.

The best navigation employs multiple sources of data and continually compares and contrasts them. This should get you closer to the truth. So use those paper charts.

Don't stow them right next to the mag switch, though. I did that once and managed to shut off my engine while reaching for a chart. I had no in-flight start ability, but managed to switch her back on before the prop had fully spooled down. The engine re-lit, and I proceeded on my way, with a somewhat elevated pulse.
 

Kolibri

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In my opinion 3590Tango is a good example of bad information being worse than no information.

I feel he would not have tried to go around the thunderstorms if he didn't think he had the tools for the job.
I disagree with your interpretation.

In my opinion, even if his screen had showed real time weather (it didn't, and the pilot knew it),
he skirted far too close to the storm line. I'd have been several miles farther SE, had I chosen to divert around it vs. land as a precaution.

On the left is his presumed (i.e., dated) WX, vs. actual on the right.


pilot presumption vs. actual.png

He had all the latest toys and the advice of someone experienced and yet because of his bad information he chose to ignore the voice of experience.
No, not quite. He had a sufficiently accurate picture even at 8+ minutes old to have wisely given that weather a much wider berth, or land elsewhere for the night.
Gust fronts can extend a surprisingly far distance, and he was well within their typical range. He did not seem to appreciate that.
So, I cannot envision that having XM weather was worse for him than not having it at all.

Also, it was not "
bad information" but several minutes old. The general picture and direction of the storm hadn't changed in that time.
It was the pilot who didn't correctly interpolate the cell's current position.

He was a young and IMC-inexperienced pilot, and probably fatigued after 9 hours of flying, thus prone that night to bad judgment.
A course far to the SE (i.e., over Madisonville) would have been prudent, and such was discernable with or without on-board weather.

His "
We'll play it by ear" comment to ATC betokened a dangerously casual attitude. That played a much larger role than his not-quite-current XM weather.
He was in contact with ATC, but disregarded the prudent advice to turn away from the storm line.
Such a pilot would have probably done so even without on-board weather. There were many such pilots and crashes before the days of digital technology.

Regarding briefers, I've noticed a qualitative downturn over the past few years.
There are still some older and experienced ones, but it's hit or miss who you'll get.

Finally, I think that calling modern e-nav devices "
toys" and "gadgets" is an unfairly dismissive attitude.
They are powerful tools, and highly beneficial when used wisely.

Regards,
Kolibri
 
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500e

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Doug I will agree coming out of southern Spain heading for Ireland we got into a storm with a fair bit of lightning had a strike that took ALL our instruments out including deck & nav lights not a happy experience, the only up side was we all ways keep a paper chart updated every 20 minutes & thanks to some one like you we were taught to use it.
But I also agree with Kolibri regarding the electronics they are great when working, in a heli charts are a fiddle I tend to plot a course on paper with time & way points inc airfield call signs\ Freq \time & mark it off as I progress.
Works for me a bit of a chore but each to his own all ways do the gross error check as soon as possable
 

All_In

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The anwser is use glass but have charts as back ups.

I now have glass and use it only in FW.
But I also have charts and a VOR in my fix wing and at 5K above the surface I could get a fix over 500 times before I hit the ground.

When Chris Kruz and I were flying from San Diefo to ROTR I used glass but Chris Kruz was following on the chart ticking off 50 miles ground references as co-pilot and something for him to do.
However after 10K hours dead reckoning by chart before GPS and flying that same route is like flying in my backyard and I could find where I was in the dark from the mountain peaks you aim at by dead reckoning along the route. You could blind fold me and fly anywhere within 2000 miles even in Mexico and I could pinpoint on the chart were I was without a VOR in less than 2 min's prob one.

In the gyro I will fly GPS and let my EFIS watch my engine for sightseeing. However I will do what I think Vance does and print and laminate the portions of by charts on my route and alternates.
If it's not an engine out I can fly i circles if I need to find where I am on the charts and continue as I have for over 10K hours on charts no big deal and I enjoy paper. It's like pirate days with charts of yore and plotters and lat and long lines how cool is that.
 

HighAltitude

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On my commercial flight home today, it donned on me that a trick I use when flying commercial may not be so obvious to others. I use my google map to see where we are in flight. As a last ditch trick if you are ever lost, the simple google map would be better than nothing to help you find your way.
 

jakalope

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Why do I never hear any ever mention Avare (for Android)? It's a totally free Aviation GPS and works great! I have it on my Tablet and on my phone. I just stick my phone to my panel w/ Velcro, and there's my VFR GPS. Updated charts, current weather updates, airport info and flight planning all on my phone (or tablet, but my phone fits my panel better) in a free aviation GPS. I would encourage folks to check it out. If you use something else, why not have a backup on your phone, even if you like paper? If you get a little "displaced", just whip out your phone and there you are on a glass sectional. It's great backup or primary. We're all different though, whatever gets you through the sky.
 
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