Navigation - Where the the heck am I, and where am I going?

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Navigation - Where the the heck am I, and where am I going?

Postby OldAirmail » Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:18 am

I may not be a pilot....

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

SHUT UP! :evil:

OK. So what! I'm not a real pilot, but it's more fun sometimes to pretend.

This whole thing will be like training wheels on a kids bicycle. It'll get you moving in the right direction.

Later, you'll be able to fly a real plane on a dark rainy night during a power failure. When you land, you'll know that you owe it all to me. :D




There's a lot to remember in navigation, and it'll be totally unfamiliar to most people.

If I had a better memory, I wouldn't need to cheat. But cheating seems like the best way to do some things. Like navigation.


For some reason I could never keep some things straight, like ADF, NDB, or DME. But after a while it'll sink in.

Take this - The ADF is set into the NDB, and it'll show up in the DME. Yeah, that makes sense????

If anyone's interested, I'll see if I can make it simple.



So here I am, flying north from from Yaoundé in Cameroon when I decide to head to Douala, Cameroon. Yup! I'm a regular world traveler. :liar:

Image

Not having been to Yaoundé before this, I'm a little uncertain how to get there. On top of it all, I left my map case at home. :oops:

To make it worse, the plane only has basic navigation gear, not GPS.


Luckily, I just happen to have a laptop in the plane. AND on that laptop is both FSX, and PlanG! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Image

So what does PlanG tell me?


Lots of stuff

First off, is the green arrow.

It means "Land in this direction, or you'll be shot down!" Whatever. I'm not going to argue the point.

When you move your pointer over it you get some very useful navigation info.

Image

This information is from the VOR. VOR stands for VHF Omni Directional Radio Range. And the VHF at the beginning stands for Very High Frequency.

This is the VOR symbol. Image The station name is DLA.

The VOR sends out very high frequency radio signals. PlanG is telling us that THIS signal is being broadcast at 110.3 Mhz. Mhz means megahertz. Yeah, just like your computer.

For now, what you want to do is to put that number, 110.3 into Nav1.

That info will be responsible for number 2 and 3 in this instrument.

Image


What I'm going to give you is the simplified version. Remember, I'm not a real pilot, so I can get away with it here.

#1 is the heading that I set to show me the direction of the airport FROM where I was when I started TO the airport.

It's just a guide marker/number that I want to use to show me what direction to fly in. BUT, it's ONLYa marker. If I fly in some other direction it doesn't move, AND is no longer useful!

#3 shows the course (direction) that I need to fly to land. When I get in the general vicinity of the airport, I'll need this to line up with the runway. The arrow and the "wheel" that it's "on" will be pointing directly up.

That white triangle slightly to the right of the orange stick "airplane"? that means that the airport is (to some degree) ahead of me. If I pass the airport, it'll be on the other side, indicating that I'm moving away from the airport.

(Yeah, I know. There's a lot of little stuff to remember.)

#2 now this is the good part! That short yellow line will move closer to the main yellow line as you and the runway line up.



Now for the fun part! We set that number, 300, (the course) into the CRS/OBC/Localizer (for our purposes here all three things are the same thing).

We start to set up for a landing.


The runway is still ahead of us, but WE'RE OFF TO THE RIGHT OF THE RUNWAY.
Image


Well, the runway is at an angle of 300 degrees. And we are flying on a course of 300 degrees. But we're still to the right of the runway.
Image


By heading off to the left we'll get closer to the runway.
Image


Woops! we went a little too far. The runway is on our right now.
Image


NOW! Now we're perfectly inline with the runway and on a course of 300 degrees. Well, close enough for this lesson. :D
Image


This is the kind of weather we were flying in.
Image

Navigation isn't just about getting there. It's about getting out of the plane alive.

On the other hand, navigation can be as much fun as actually getting there. :D


Learn a little bit, and have fun. You can always learn a little bit more later. :D
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Re: Navigation - Where the the heck am I, and where am I go

Postby FoMoCo63 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:22 pm

OldAirmail wrote:I may not be a pilot....


For some reason I could never keep some things straight, like ADF, NDB, or DME. But after a while it'll sink in.

Take this - The ADF is set into the NDB, and it'll show up in the DME. Yeah, that makes sense????

If anyone's interested, I'll see if I can make it simple.





Now I probably am assuming that you meant to say VOR instead of NDB there in your above quote. NDB's are not equipped with DME, Most VOR's are, and there are some VOR's that are not equipped with DME. So not all VOR's are DME as well, they just offer a omni-directional bearing signal, same as a NDB just a omni-directional beacon signal with no DME :)
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Re: Navigation - Where the the heck am I, and where am I go

Postby OldAirmail » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:19 pm

Yeup.

I started this post to see if anyone was interested. No one seemed to be. :(

Thanks for looking, anyway. :D
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Re: Navigation - Where the the heck am I, and where am I go

Postby FoMoCo63 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:54 pm

OldAirmail wrote:I may not be a pilot....

First off, is the green arrow.

It means "Land in this direction, or you'll be shot down!" Whatever. I'm not going to argue the point.

When you move your pointer over it you get some very useful navigation info.

Image

This information is from the VOR. VOR stands for VHF Omni Directional Radio Range. And the VHF at the beginning stands for Very High Frequency.

This is the VOR symbol. Image The station name is DLA.

The VOR sends out very high frequency radio signals. PlanG is telling us that THIS signal is being broadcast at 110.3 Mhz. Mhz means megahertz. Yeah, just like your computer.

For now, what you want to do is to put that number, 110.3 into Nav1.


Help a little more here if I may.
The frequency pictured above in the area of direction your suppose to travel is called an ILS feather. It is showing the ils frequency specific for that rwy only and has the freq. 110.3 it is not the VOR freq. that is VOR/DLA 112.90
Some ils freq. do have a DME from the threshold and there are those that don't.

With an ILS approach there are 2 things that need your attention. After entering the proper ils freq. into NAV 1, 1st is the capturing of the ILS, and after setting the correct course for rwy heading it is now the pilots responsibility to navigate the aircraft into position to aquire the appropriate needle heading. Making sure your not to close, or too far from the fields threshold of the rwy you are about to land on. 2nd would be maintaining the appropriate Glide Scope into the ils rwy your going to land on.

Below are a few pic's to help demonstrate what I have out lined above. These are from AIP's (Airport Instrument Procedures) they are for FDDK your airport above.
Image

This is a side view of the above photo and shows your Traffic heights.
Image

Now to capture and maintain a proper Glide Scope into the ils rwy 30 FDDK using your MFD.
Image
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Re: Navigation - Where the the heck am I, and where am I go

Postby boromir125 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:51 pm

Actually, some of us are very interested. I spend way to much time cheating and not enough on really learning the basics of navigation. I'll re-read your post, learn what I can and say "thank you" for the lesson, and taking the time to teach those of us who don't really know. It is appreciated.
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Re: Navigation - Where the the heck am I, and where am I go

Postby OldAirmail » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:11 pm

Thanks, FoMoCo.

Working from the proper sources is definitely better.


Getting around with navigation is one of those things that I like best about a flight sim.

Image

To me, those who want to learn how to make the plane land its' self are missing the point.

Give me a dark and stormy night!, that's what I say.

The airport is all fogged in? FINE. :D

But I'm probably in the minority there. Most people look at navigational instruction and say "TOO MUCH, all I want to do is fly!".



I guess that I was hoping to make it simple and enjoyable, baby steps in other words.

Start out in the easiest way, and build up from there. That's why I started with Plan-G instead of charts.



It's like training wheels on a bicycle. They would be as wrong as can be on a Tour de France bicycle.

But however wrong it may be in some situations, it's absolutely correct for a very young child.

Let them learn to enjoy it, and they can learn the correct way to ride later.


Unfortunately, no one seemed interested, so I stopped.

Perhaps you can be the one to find an enjoyable way to start people off to proper navigation.

Good luck to you.
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Re: Navigation - Where the the heck am I, and where am I go

Postby Fozzer » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:11 am

I must admit that radio navigation has never been a mystery for me in all my (20) years of "flying" with the various Flight Simulator programs, eg:
Flight Unlimited II/III.
Pro Pilot '99.
Fly!
Microsoft FS '98/2000/2002/2004, and FSX.

The early programs had massive paper flight manuals provided with the boxed versions on the Sims...which I still refer to every day.
And all the programs included a "Learning Centre" in which to learn all about flying, including radio navigation!
(I wonder how many newcomers to the Sim ever bother to visit the "Learning Centre" and do their training on the Trainer aircraft, before they board their new "Boing 777" Jet Liner?).

The day that I downloaded and purchased my copy of "FS Navigator" for my FS 2002 and FS 2004, together with the excellent, full, Bendix-King radio stack on the Cessna 172 Trainer (and Beech Baron 58 twin) together with their full compliment of navigation gauges, I have never had a problem with radio navigating my way all around the World using the various Map Charts!

Nowadays these excellent programs are available for free!
"Plan-G" for the Microsoft FS 2002, 2004, FSX...(I use the earlier version 2.0.5 which contains the Google Satellite Maps).
"FS Tramp" for FSX....(programmed by the same Chap who programmed FS Navigator).
A browse through the GPS maps during your flight will reveal ALL the various Radio frequencies that you require!

With a Cessna 152/172 Trainer aircraft, a Bendix-King Radio Stack, and a copy of Plan-G/FS Tramp, Radio Navigation becomes easy-peasy in a couple of hours, or less!
And how about joining a radio navigation knowledgeable, fellow flight simmer, in a Multiplayer session, using identical Trainer aircraft, for one-to-one instruction, as in a real aircraft flight?.
Its something I've done with great success with new Flight Simmers over the years, much to their enjoyment!

Radio Navigation is great fun...easy to do..and increases your knowledge of that aspect of "Flying"!

There are many helpful, back posts, in the Sim V "Flight School" Forum, dealing with all aspects of Radio Navigation.

If you desire to learn about all aspects of "Flying", a visit to the Flight Sim; "Learning Centre", will get you off to a good start, long before you struggle with that gigantic passenger jet!
...trust me!

Paul....FS 2004/FSX + FS Navigator + Plan-G + FS Tramp + a practice Trainer aircraft!.... :mrgreen: ...!
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Re: Navigation - Where the the heck am I, and where am I go

Postby E-Buzz » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:15 am

OldAirmail and FoMoCo63,

Thank you both for this lesson in navigation! :clap: It is something that I really do not have a firm grasp on.
I've been lurking here for quite a while (this is my first post), have learned many things about FSX, and love this site!
The FSX tutorials, while helpful for getting you started, do not have the detail that people like you provide.
You all (I mean everyone who has ever posted) have helped me to get the most enjoyment from our hobby, and I thank you!
My wife, however, may not share my enthusiasm as now I'll probably spend even more time "flying around in la-la land," as she so eloquently puts it.
Now, I gotta fire up some stormy weather and fly IFR tonight. :pray:
Thank you all again!
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Re: Navigation - Where the the heck am I, and where am I go

Postby OldAirmail » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:39 am

"(I wonder how many newcomers to the Sim ever bother to visit the "Learning Centre"..."

I'm one of those younger folk who just took to the wide blue yonder, not knowing anything and proud of it. :lol:


I was used to map (topographical) and compass from the old Boy Scouts days.

But it was probably about a year after I started "flying" that I became interested in "How do you get there?".

Reading the manuals was too much trouble.

Just look at most of the manuals. Lots of dry info, and you have to know a good chunk of it before you understand most of it.

Looking at a navigational manual now, it makes sense. But not to a novice.



Let's face it, I'm not a great writer.

But if I were, I'd like to create simple, and enjoyable introduction to aircraft navigation. Something that people could enjoy, step by leisurely step.

Not "Here are the steps 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13.....".

Some of the manual are, of course, better than others. But how do you find that needle in a haystack.

Search Google? OK - "aircraft navigation" = "About 307,000 results (0.40 seconds)"

Never mind, I'll just keep on flying. :(



I believe that Pete or Chuck has a manual on this site. I may have even read some of it.

If it fits the descriptions of "fun" and "enjoyable" perhaps it could be "pinned" somewhere to help people as they become more "aware" of the need for navigation?



Everyone who starts "flying" should do it however they want to.

This isn't a flight school where there is a "Best Way". There are better ways, yes. But for most, this'll be entertainment.

Once they become familiar with some of the concepts, then they may decide to learn more. But if not, that's fine.


I became interested in navigation on a night flight from Athens to Naples. During the dark flight in heavy cloud cover I ran into an old volcano. :lol:

From that point on I became a little more interested in "Where the heck am I, and where am I going?"

To me, it's fun. I wish that more people could learn to enjoy it too.
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Re: Navigation - Where the the heck am I, and where am I go

Postby logjam » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:06 pm

Actually, that's why I use a flight Sim program, primarily to keep in tune with navigational progress and to practice those tried and true approaches. Yes it's nice to try out aerobatic manoevres in nostalgic warbirds, but you can't feel the G forces or the pit of the stomache feelings that you get with real flying. It doesn't matter so much that you can't feel it when you complete a QGH recovery or an ILS manual, it's the satisfaction that you haven't lost it that counts. Keep this one going.
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Re: Navigation - Where the the heck am I, and where am I go

Postby OldAirmail » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:49 pm

Thanks guys for the contribution.

Yes, logjam, you hit the nail right on the head - Satisfaction.

I swear, the satisfaction you get when coming in for a landing in bad weather, in better than a drug high.

YOU did it. You used good planning, and knowledge of flight instruments to find the airport and bring the plane down safely.



That's not to say that I don't wipe all the clouds from the sky on occasions simply to enjoy the scenery. :D

"Flying" has many aspects, and I'd rather that people learn to have a good time learning, than to learn for leanings' sake.
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