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Use of Skydemon etc in training and tests

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Use of Skydemon etc in training and tests

Old 25th Oct 2021, 23:10
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Use of Skydemon etc in training and tests

There seems to be increasing talk of this ATM but has anything actually been put out in writing? I keep expecting to see something on SkyWise but either I am missing it or the authorities are!
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 00:58
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All the FIE’s, SE’s etc. I’ve spoken to are totally in favour of it. Tests are busy enough for FE’s. SkyDemon etc. is very helpful imho.
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 08:54
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Its all very well talking about it but there should be guidance on how it is taught and used in tests, my own view is that the Whizz wheel should be consigned to museums and planning done electronically, basic nav still needs to be taught and in the skills test the candidate should be allowed to start with GPS but this would be failed during the nav so they then have to resort to back up with more traditional forms of nav
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 19:29
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The latest version of ICAO Annex 1 on which the syllabus is based was edition 13, July 2020. There is an amendment 177 dated 12 July 2021. At $122 I doubt that many are likely to see what it says and whether there are any fundamental changes. Somehow I doubt it, ICAO moves at the speed of a lame tortoise. The regulator lost the plot some time ago.
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Old 27th Oct 2021, 18:13
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And yet I hear that at Examiner seminars people are being told that we should be teaching it and allowing GPS use on test!
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Old 27th Oct 2021, 18:55
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Agree that it should be taught and tested. Both methods of navigation should be learnt, but in my experience the winds aloft are more accurate on SkyDemon than the F214 anyway - whizz wheel calculations are already off track... I teach planning electronically, and teach the nav using GPS and compass/stopwatch.
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Old 28th Oct 2021, 00:34
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It is an odd dichotomy. I want to go electronic, but feel the need to teach the Wizz wheel, which in itself is a bit archaic.
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Old 28th Oct 2021, 01:10
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GPS is in the syllabus and should be taught both theory and practice. Unfortunately the syllabus is a rather poor document and quantifies very little. Whilst no radio/nav is in the LAPL or NPPL syllabus, if the student were to learn on an aircraft where gps is an integrated part of the aircraft systems you could not get away without teaching how to use it.

We have a requirement to teach traditional navigation but it is up to the instructor to integrate that with the use of modern equipment. Unlike the RAF who now have Grob trainers with an integrated glass cockpit, producing a syllabus to match the aircraft is relatively easy but in the civil World training takes place on a variety of different aircraft fitted with an equally diverse range of equipment.

It is a challenge for instructors to teach conventional skills and to incorporate modern equipment. Sky Demon was the original topic and one must accept that this is a portable aid and is not built into most aircraft, as such it is not the primary navigation aid.
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Old 28th Oct 2021, 08:55
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Sky Demon was the original topic and one must accept that this is a portable aid and is not built into most aircraft, as such it is not the primary navigation aid.
other similar aids are available but I deliberately put this rather than GPS because use of these is being pushed by the CAA not only for PPL use but AIUI in instructor and examiner seminars for students.
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Old 28th Oct 2021, 16:04
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I think Instructors can be divided into two camps, the traditionalists and the revolutionaries. There are many who want to see the preservation of traditional skills and many of those never teach any gps use at all. Amongst the revolutionaries there are those who would throw out all the traditional teaching and simply follow the magenta line, rergarding a nav failure as an unlikely event to be treated like a stall or an engine failure.

Systems have advanced to the point where they cannot be ignored, in some cases they are a fundamental part of the aircraft and have to be taught. In the absence of any real syllabus change it is down to instructors to ensure that their students are adequately equipped to cope with the wide range of equipments available.

Examiners are required to see the first leg of the Skill Test Section 3 as conventional VFR navigation, after the first turning point, any equipment fitted to the aircraft can be used. Examiners should use this in a practical way in order to assess the candidates ability to navigate and in partricular not to place the aircraft in a position where an infringement could occur.

Much of what you refer to eminates from those dealing with infringers and whilst their arguments are sound, they are not synchronised with those conducting training in often basically equipped aircraft. A pad with Skydemon on the knee may well prevent an infringement, but how you teach someone to use it and integrate its use with conventional equipment is the challenge being discussed at seminar level.
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Old 28th Oct 2021, 18:46
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rergarding a nav failure as an unlikely event to be treated like a stall or an engine failure.
There is nothing wrong with that - but then we have stall warners to help with that and we teach recovery from both and in the same way we should be teaching people to have some sort of back up and how to recover in the event of the GPS system failing - and not just carrying a second IPad or phone but a printed chart and plog, the big threat being a solar storm or deliberate interference taking out the satellites.
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Old 28th Oct 2021, 21:05
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On test if i see gps in the cockpit i ask if the candidate if they can use it to divert back home. No pass or fail, just let's me know the person has knowledge of kit. Can be used on nppl for diversion.
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Old 28th Oct 2021, 21:11
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Originally Posted by sluggums View Post
All the FIE’s, SE’s etc. I’ve spoken to are totally in favour of it. Tests are busy enough for FE’s. SkyDemon etc. is very helpful imho.
Suggesting examiners get lost without aid of gps?
Examiners only got to sit there and look out of the window.
Would help if a few more candidates did that.
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Old 28th Oct 2021, 21:59
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Iíd argue not learning / using the technology thatís readily available and far more accurate to be a greater issue than ditching the whizz wheel. The amount of people Iíve flown with who have no idea how to tune a beacon or use the gps is worrying! The equipment will save your ass far more than the whizz wheel! Of course solid S.A is key but when it gets muddled the instruments or GPS will save you a lot more than anything else. Worst case call ATC!!
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Old 28th Oct 2021, 22:29
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Worst case call ATC!!
the trouble there is that AIUI if we got a REAL sunburst event it woyld not only take out the satellites but would also disable radio coms, IMHO we need to teach both use of GPS including SD type systems (which have their own GOTCHAS) and also basic traditional basic nav techniques.
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Old 28th Oct 2021, 23:12
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Originally Posted by foxmoth View Post
the trouble there is that AIUI if we got a REAL sunburst event it woyld not only take out the satellites but would also disable radio coms, IMHO we need to teach both use of GPS including SD type systems (which have their own GOTCHAS) and also basic traditional basic nav techniques.
Not exactly an everyday occurrence, the probability of events needs to be considered for training purposes. Itís more likely a student / low houred PPL will lose S.A worrying about maps, lines and miss identifying landmarks / confirmation bias under stress. Quite often a glance at the gps instantly corrects the problem and calms the individual. Dead reckoning isnít up to todayís complex and congested airspace.
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Old 28th Oct 2021, 23:26
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Originally Posted by Contact Approach View Post
Not exactly an everyday occurrence, the probability of events needs to be considered for training purposes. Itís more likely a student / low houred PPL will lose S.A worrying about maps, lines and miss identifying landmarks / confirmation bias under stress. Quite often a glance at the gps instantly corrects the problem and calms the individual. Dead reckoning isnít up to todayís complex and congested airspace.
Which is exactly the reason it should be taught and used, but people should still know how to revert to the basics if needed (to me the equivalent of teaching stall recovery or PFL).
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Old 29th Oct 2021, 05:55
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“Traditional” navigation is not some mystical superior method of navigation it simply exists because until the advent of GPS the pilot did not have accurate, real time, instantaneous aircraft position information. Everything about the use of the PLOG,map, and wizz wheel was the work around to that problem.

With the advent of GPS the pilot now had position information and instantaneous rate of change of position information to provide real time track, ground speed and ETE. GPS with electronic mapping then allowed real time orientation by means of a moving map display.

A GPS will always be more accurate than traditional nav methods and a moving map will usually provide superior Pilot spacial awareness.

The challenge is to ensure that students understands what the box is telling them as well as how to use the box without a lot of head down button pushing. They also need to develop the big picture position situational awareness so as to be able to always do a mental gross error check on what the box telling them and not wind up totally lost if the unit fails.

Those skills are both teachable, must be practiced, and should be examined.
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Old 6th Nov 2021, 10:29
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I try to persuade skill test candidates to use Sky Demon for planning purposes but in the air I want to see basic Mark 1 eyeball and a map, navigation. The fatal accident(pilot) to GBXRG off Guernsey in 2011 was a result on just relying on GPS with no realistic back up plan based on simple DR navigation. Due to this accident I always cover alternator failure on the test too. For GA light aircraft flying I believe that GPS enhances basic DR navigation but it shouldnít be seen as a total replacement.
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