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SkyDemon

Old 25th Aug 2016, 12:02
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SkyDemon

I'm training for my PPL and I've started using SkyDemon Light to generate my PLOG. In my PLOG the level for one of my waypoints is shown with a red background which I assume is a warning. I cannot work out what it is warning me about? If anyone can tell me I would be grateful.
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Old 25th Aug 2016, 13:32
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Ah OK, it's MSAW for the mast at Wells.
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Old 25th Aug 2016, 13:55
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You are possibly too low or too high
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Old 25th Aug 2016, 14:06
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I believe that would indicate you are below the minimum safe altitude - for VFR flying this isn't necessarily an issue, but worth understanding why it's warning you, as while e.g. if it's due to a mast near your track which you will be able to see and avoid that's probably not an issue, if it's because the ground rises up you might either end up violating rule 5 (by e.g. flying too low over a built up area), or worse fly into the ground if it rises significantly...
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Old 25th Aug 2016, 17:25
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I'm training for my PPL and I've started using SkyDemon Light to generate my PLOG
As a matter of interest do you do a manual Plog first? i.e Measure track angle, distance etc and apply wind to work out headings and times?
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Old 26th Aug 2016, 15:02
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I'm training for my PPL and I've started using SkyDemon Light to generate my PLOG. In my PLOG the level for one of my waypoints is shown with a red background which I assume is a warning. I cannot work out what it is warning me about? If anyone can tell me I would be grateful.
Do us and yourself a favor and change your mindset!

First. Yes, you will use solutions like Skydemon, Jeppesen MFDVFR, Garmin, or whatsoever later in your career, but I strongly advice to DO SO AFTER you finished you PPL. Use a paper chart, a calculator, a pencil, colored stickies, paper and hand drawings of wind triangles. Once you really master that, you are ready to get an electronic brain extension. Skydemon has a very special way to calculate certain numbers, which is clearly different to what you do by hand (i.e. fuel: understand that part first by hand calculations). Also keep in mind that important things are NOT COVERED (and most certainly will not be covered in the foreseeable future) by a Skydemon PLOG, such as start- and landing distances! We had an inexperienced pilot wanting to go from LOWZ on a hot summer day and it only saved him by surprise when a friend saw his PLOG before T/O - he was in serious danger (660m RWY; elevation 2,470ft; 90F; 150HP; ...)!

Second. RTFM, read the manual instead of blasting such questions through the internet. You will easily find that Skydemon shows a error if your planned flight altitude is below MSA Minimum Safe Altitude. Read also the manual how to set that. But again, do that after you learned what MSA is by understanding your text books, SERA and your local airspace.

Last edited by ChickenHouse; 26th Aug 2016 at 15:14.
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Old 26th Aug 2016, 17:08
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Originally Posted by fairb View Post
I'm training for my PPL and I've started using SkyDemon Light to generate my PLOG. In my PLOG the level for one of my waypoints is shown with a red background which I assume is a warning. I cannot work out what it is warning me about? If anyone can tell me I would be grateful.
I'd suggest you learn how to use the SkyDemon, what its functions do, how they are displayed, etc, before just "using" it. A bit like, "I'm learning to fly in a Cessna 152 and I found a lever in a quadrant on the panel that moves up and down, what is this for?"
Short answer: you are heading for high ground above your planned altitude, or controlled airspace at your altitude, or restricted/danger/prohibited area.
As has been said. Learn the basics first before relying on electronics.
Look at the CAA chart (paper version) of your waypoint.
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 00:19
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Bad bad idea to use Skydemon when learning to fly! You definitely need to get strong knowledge of basic flight planning and able to use charts, CRP-1, markers and rulers. Any flight school tolerating their students using Skydemon need to be stripped of their FTO certificate ...
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 08:16
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So an FTO who is progressive and makes sure their students are properly prepared and understand the tools they will almost certainly use in the real world once they gain their licence should be shut down?

Yep. That would be pure genius.
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 08:35
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Steve - thats not the point that's being made. By all means teach gps use prior to licence issue - but the point is that that should only come after the basics have been learnt by paper chart, whizz wheel and so on. Its vitally important to understand what is actually going on with wind calculations and to be able to navigate from a plog and chart. Even if you never have to use those skills in anger once you have qualified, they will help you spot gross errors and are available if the technology lets you down (I mean WHEN the technology lets you down)
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 08:59
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Indeed it is important that pupils should learn how to do this by hand but they also need to learn how to use the computerised system, as evidenced by this question! ATO's should include some training on GPS devices etc. purely as they are so common. It is NOT acceptable to simply ignore them for the purposes of training purely because they are "easier to use".
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 09:10
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Heston, AucT said 'Any flight school tolerating their students using Skydemon need to be stripped of their FTO certificate'.

I was objecting to that blanket statement, not your more nuanced definition of what should or shouldn't be taught.
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 10:00
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I seem to remember passing my driving test at 17 without having done any motorway driving (not in the syllabus), and the instructor recommended a 'pass plus' course which was basically an optional hour spent focused on motorway driving. It was certainly a good idea and served me well at the time.

I wonder if a similar thing could be set up for this kind of scenario; not a rating or qualification as such but a CAA-backed optional extra syllabus that schools could offer to newly qualified pilots? I'm sure there are plenty of other things that could be covered at the same time?

Pilots gain additional experience on new systems and schools get more revenue. There would also be a smoother transition between student and PPL holder, as lets face it we're not done learning at any stage are we.

Of course, nothing to stop schools offering this themselves I don't suppose, doesn't need to be officially backed.

Makes more sense to me than trying to shoehorn GPS training into the PPL course and undermining the importance of traditional navigation methods.
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 10:11
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I must say that I am a recent PPL and there was very little to cover the use of GPS and apps such as skydemon, but I wish there was. I use skydemon all the time now. I haven't to this point, but when I come across an aircraft with a built in GPS I am going to be left to my own devices to work out how to use it.

If the technology is there, it should be used. And I now use skydemon as my main nav tool. I always mark up a map and have a paper PLOG, handy for scribbling clearances etc (although I don't bother with the timings, but would if SD crashed and I went back to the map). This serves me perfectly. Why on earth this isn't the standard way of going about a XC is beyond me.

*Ducks for cover*
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 11:27
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It's not the standard way because what happens when the battery fails or the tablet decides it's not playing, or the electronic system you learned is superseded in 2 years' time?

The reason for learning the stopwatch & compass method during the PPL is the same reason why freeform jazz musicians are well-trained in traditional music first - get the basics right, and then you're well-set to learn other stuff more effectively.
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 11:52
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I recently discovered that a student pilot was using Skydemon to make up his Plog. The simple (!) acts of deciding what route to fly, measuring the track angle and distance on a chart, applying wind corrections manually (whether mental DR or using the whizz wheel), preparing and studying the chart etc are essential building blocks in learning how to navigate.

Once these steps have been mastered including how to navigate whilst airborne then and only then is it acceptable to start using other devices to assist the task.
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 12:03
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I must say that I am a recent PPL and there was very little to cover the use of GPS and apps such as skydemon, but I wish there was.
I wish more PPLs would realise that having a licence does not stop you from talking to instructors and asking for extra lessons in anything you may or may not have covered, some schools/clubs offer a "beyond the PPL" course of various types but if this is the case or not a decent instructor will be more than happy to do any training like this.

Last edited by foxmoth; 9th Sep 2016 at 15:18.
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 13:36
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Originally Posted by foxmoth View Post
I wish more PPLs would realise that having a licence does not stop you from talking to instructors and asking for extra lessons in anything you may or may not have covered, some schools/clubs offer a "beyond the PPL" course of various types but if this is the case or not a descent instructor will be more than happy to do any training like this.
Descent instructors?

It's over forty years since I learned to fly and I know many things have changed since EASA but are there climb instructors, too?

P.s. Best learn how to spell properly before relying on electronic devices to do it for you....
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 14:21
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what happens when the battery fails or the tablet decides it's not playing, or the electronic system you learned is superseded in 2 years' time?
I will have my map and printed PLOG, I will know exactly where my position is when the battery decides to pack up so will carry on the flight using map, printed PLOG and watch... No big deal.

With the way technology is going in 2 years there will be something making life even easier to move on to - if there isn't and the app store closes forever, I will still have a map, ruler, whizz wheel and pencil.

The reason for learning the stopwatch & compass method during the PPL is the same reason why freeform jazz musicians are well-trained in traditional music first - get the basics right, and then you're well-set to learn other stuff more effectively.
I also agree this is essential, but I don't see why when you know this you can't use a gps as your main form of nav?

Personally I like to do all of my planning even for a local bimble. I wouldn't just jump in on a xc without having drawn a line on a map and thought about it first.

I wish more PPLs would realise that having a licence does not stop you from talking to instructors and asking for extra lessons in anything you may or may not have covered,
This is true I know, however my instructor didn't have skydemon and neither did most of the others... (Although after showing him what it can do he does now).

Best learn how to spell properly before relying on electronic devices to do it for you....
lol.
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 15:21
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P.s. Best learn how to spell properly before relying on electronic devices to do it for you....
When i have done a long night flight across the Atlantic then woken up after three hours sleep speelink is one of my lower prioorities!
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