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Question For The Nav's Amongst Us!

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Question For The Nav's Amongst Us!

Old 28th Dec 2018, 16:58
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Chugalug,

Yes I remember that incident - in fact on my only ever staff crew trip on a VC10 a few weeks before, the guy in question was the nav' out of Bahrain to Changi
Something similar happened on a Herc' in 72/73 - the nav'; applied grivation east instead of west ( or was it the other way round? My brain hurts! ) lo and behold landfall was IIRC Greenland and not Newfoundland or Labrador. On arrival at either Gander/Goose the skipper sent a signal outlining what had happened, including that the nav' had realised and owned up to his error. His E Cat arrived by return signal, but because he had owned up he was treated very sympathetically. I believe that Fg Off nav retired as a Grp Capt.

Beags

After my posting I put declination in the search engine and found it is a rarely used term instead of variation. Test pilot son says he is aware of that definition but always uses variation.

I did do a couple of polar grid/gyro training flights to Thule, the second was in '71 when we took some of the Red Arrows team to examine possible routes for their Gnats to use on what was to be their first States trip the following spring. I recall looking at Sondestrom, Frobisher and Narssarssuaq ( sp.? ) as well.
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Old 28th Dec 2018, 19:09
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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B48N:-
Narssarssuaq ( sp.? )
It's spelt Bluie West One if you are a fan of Ernest K Gann.

Couldn't possibly be my ex FO Hastings Nav who retired as a Gp Capt, or I'd surely have heard about it. The arcane practices of Navs became even more arcane in those northerly latitudes, but mine always got me to the other side of the pond without incident, for which I give (and gave!) much thanks.
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Old 28th Dec 2018, 21:48
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Variation, deviation.. it all comes from boats in the end
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Old 28th Dec 2018, 22:01
  #24 (permalink)  
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It's spelt Bluie West One if you are a fan of Ernest K Gann.
To be an Aviator....one must know Gann!

There are airmen and there are pilots: the first being part bird whose view from aloft is normal and comfortable, a creature whose brain and muscles frequently originate movements which suggest flight; and then there are pilots who regardless of their airborne time remain earth-loving bipeds forever. When these latter unfortunates, because of one urge or another, actually make an ascension, they neither anticipate nor relish the event and they drive their machines with the same graceless labor they inflict upon the family vehicle.

Ernest Gann


There many other quotes that are worth reading....he knew what he was talking about.
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 01:25
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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he knew what he was talking about
Except for where the airport was in relation to the Taj Mahal, and the recommendation to inflate your life jacket while in the aircraft. Still, Antoine de Saint- Exupéry had the red nav light on the right wing tip. Shows the best can slip on facts. Having said that, anyone who hasn't read both authors can hardly call themselves aviators.
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 01:34
  #26 (permalink)  
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He had night flying over the Appalachian Mountains in the middle of a Winter Cold Front nailed.

He did it in a DC-2....I did it in a Beechcraft Baron.

It was a nearly religious experience.

When the Tornado touched down five minutes after I did and made off with my aircraft and a lot of others.....it became a religious experience!
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 02:53
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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In the 70s and early 80s KC135s were still using celestial as our primary means of navigation. We had dopplers, but they usually didn't work over water. We did practice grid on a regular basis though so it wasn't a big deal to see really strange headings.
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 21:50
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Had the RAF and USAF launched a thousand airplanes each....day and night....to say three hundred targets scattered all over Germany.....how would the Luftwaffe have coped with such a wide area to defend?
More easily I submit.

Concentration of a 1,000 bombers in a limited area and time saturated the defences and achieves local air superiority. A similar plan was envisag envisaged in the Cold War with penetrating bombers routed through just a few gaps this saturating the missile batteries.

Had the 1,000 bombers been spread over much of Germany many more fighters would be able to engage.
​​​​
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 21:57
  #29 (permalink)  
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Something similar happened on a Herc' in 72/73 - the nav'; applied grivation east instead of west ( or was it the other way round? My brain hurts! ) lo and behold landfall was IIRC Greenland and not Newfoundland or Labrador. On arrival at either Gander/Goose the skipper sent a signal outlining what had happened, including that the nav' had realised and owned up to his error.
An d the VC10 around 1968 but he didn't own up.
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 16:23
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The Blue Spruce Route was still in the En Route Supplement in order to cross the pond in VOR cover when all the super kit goes tango uniform and there are no directional consultants on board. A good hint though when heading west is to keep the sun on the left side of the aircraft. The converse also applies.
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 17:06
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In the pre Omega days on the Nimrod Mk1 there was a pragmatic approach to high latitude navigation. In in event that we were called out to go a very long way north, it was considered it would be prudent to drop a couple of 8 hour life sonobuoys in the last stretch of open water when confident of our position. We would then proceed to do what was required and on going off task put the buoys on the d/f and homer, update on top and go home.

Job’s a good’n!
YS
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 17:27
  #32 (permalink)  
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Bush flying in Alaska with the Hughes 500D and other helicopters with Mag Compass only or at best a Directional Gyro......with upwards of 20 Degrees Variation and some aircraft caused Deviation....and in the very far north along and beyond the Arctic Ocean coast line....with no discernible land features in sight.....life could bet a bit worrisome at times.

Sense of Direction could be a real quandary as looking a route that was clearly north/south or east/west....and having a Compass reading well off of that was a hard thing to accept.

Then add in near white out conditions and a featureless surface.....it was great fun.
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Old 31st Dec 2018, 17:40
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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This old Brit found navigation in Canada to be bl++dy difficult due to the absence of roads, railways and habitation in general, but a Canadian pilot told me that a plethora of the above mentioned in much of the UK was equally difficult for him!
At least in the UK fields are rectangular and not circular!
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 06:02
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Meandering back to the original question, at the risk of going slightly off topic, this is a fascinating story on its own: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47192952
Shackleton's skipper, Frank Worsely, was a very skilled navigator and used a sextant and chronometer to calculate the precise co-ordinates of the Endurance sinking - 68°39'30.0" South and 52°26'30.0" West.
The time-frames are about the same (1915 vs 1900), but the required degree of navigational accuracy in polar exploration is much more than a passenger steamer of the same era. It probably still doesn't come close to the implied accuracy for the original story.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 11:33
  #35 (permalink)  
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Rose.....I can assure you navigation in the UK by use of a map and Mark I Eye is very difficult for those not used to the UK.

On our charts....the yellow bits connote Towns, Cities, and Major Urban areas....and they stand apart from the surrounding rural areas both on the map and to the eye.

When you get down towards London for instance....the whole map turns yellow on you and discerning the different place names of the huge glob of yellow becomes impossible to the visitor.

I and another American Pilot got quite lost over London.....he was doing the navigating and I was doing the flying (Honest Mi'Lord....although I was the Captain).

When I saw the map rotate 360 degrees twice in the space of a minute....I suspected the worst and upon inquiring if he had any idea of our location.....he gave me an odd look.

His response while looking back behind us on his side...."Nope...none at all....but it is 3:15!"......made me think he was losing his grip.

I turned the aircraft to see what he could be looking at......to see Big Ben itself.

Fortunately.....I immediately knew where we were and which roads to follow to find our way to Bristow's Headquarters in Redhill.....and a subsequent unplanned meeting with Mr. Bristow himself in his office.

Seems there were some inquiries by some folks at the CAA that related to my tour of downtown London.

Had we been British I surmise we might have been in some trouble....but as we were "....a couple of bloody Yanks...." we escaped and kept our jobs.

After that....Mr. Bristow knew our names for sure.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 20:58
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GordonR_Cape View Post
Meandering back to the original question, at the risk of going slightly off topic, this is a fascinating story on its own: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47192952


The time-frames are about the same (1915 vs 1900), but the required degree of navigational accuracy in polar exploration is much more than a passenger steamer of the same era. It probably still doesn't come close to the implied accuracy for the original story.
From a practical point of view, as far as they could prove that's the position they were in, so they could claim they were simultaneously in those time zones. At the same time no one can prove they weren't there!
Of course if they were that convinced they should have kept the sighting so others could check their workings...
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 03:42
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Originally Posted by Bing View Post
From a practical point of view, as far as they could prove that's the position they were in, so they could claim they were simultaneously in those time zones. At the same time no one can prove they weren't there!
Of course if they were that convinced they should have kept the sighting so others could check their workings...
Good points, though its pretty clear the story is apocryphal. No sailor worth his salt tries to take position sights from the rolling deck of a ship at midnight, which is the crux of the tale.

A so-called noon sun sight takes several minutes of careful planning and relies on a visible horizon, while night time astronomical sights require the position of several stars for accuracy. The SR-71 had an expensive navigation system that could do this (even during daytime due to its high altitude).

Lots of useful background available online: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_navigation
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 10:41
  #38 (permalink)  
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Did many USAF aircraft get a fully automated astro system as that Wiki article seems to imply? I ask as the C-141A was, I believe, intended to have one, complete with Astro-Tracker but, in the event, only the Astro Computer element was fitted. Very useful it was too, but sights were taken by Navs with a Kollsman sextant in the normal way.

And does anyone recall using that Link Celestial Nav Trainer mentioned, either in RAF or US service? All I can recall from Nav School in 1965 (Hullavington) was having to get 100 star/planet shots with the Bubble Sextant, hoping that the resulting lines went through some part of Wiltshire.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 12:22
  #39 (permalink)  
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With the current shifting of the Earth's magnetic fields in the Arctic Regions....even if you know your position to the ever so small a margin....how do you determine the proper course to steer to arrive at your destination?
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 14:18
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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With the introduction of SCNS into the C130K fleet, the periscopic sextant was removed and celestial navigation went with it. I never did get the 100 star/planet sightings completed at nav school and my Rude Star Identifier was handed back into stores in the year 2000 in as new condition.
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