Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1837558
Lockhaven wrote: I see on another thread you are flying UAS air cadets, are you now telling us the RAF doesn't teach the art of navigation in accordance AP3456 and the use the MK4A whizz wheel anymore.


Nope, whizz wheels consigned to the dustbin which is where they should be in 2021
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#1837562
MattL wrote:
Lockhaven wrote: I see on another thread you are flying UAS air cadets, are you now telling us the RAF doesn't teach the art of navigation in accordance AP3456 and the use the MK4A whizz wheel anymore.


Nope, whizz wheels consigned to the dustbin which is where they should be in 2021


Thats fine I wasn't aware they had dumped them completely in preference for MDR techniques, every day is a school day.

However are the civilian schools teaching MDR techniques.
#1837567
Things I have come across in the last year:

Students on solo navs with SkyDemon zipped in a bag on the back seat so instructor can see where they went but they ‘can’t cheat’

FIs and FEs refusing to accept a SkyDemon produced PLOG and making student produce one with a whizz wheel in a locked room

FIs and FEs who refuse to carry a moving map because ‘they don’t need one’

FIs and FEs who haven’t a clue how to work onboard equipment, including one who actually keeps a Garmin 430 switched off and uses the standby radio as ‘its overkill for PPLs’

FEs who deliberately pick ridiculously hard to find turning points and routes that are likely to cause infringements to ‘see whether the candidate can cope with it’

These are people that students are paying hundreds of pounds an hour to fly with.

Imagine, god forbid, a solo student gets lost and has a mid air collision or CFIT. If you’re a CFI or an FI, good luck explaining to a coroner that you’ve denied the student use of a moving map and potentially traffic information on that map.
#1837568
Lockhaven wrote:However are the civilian schools teaching MDR techniques.


Unfortunately the nav theory exam requires a level of precision that can't be achieved by MDR, indeed can only just be achieved by whiz wheel with very careful draughting and measurement. Needless to say this level of precision is pointless in real life - it's impossible to hold a heading that accurately.

So students have to learn to use the whiz wheel. But that doesn't mean they can't use MDR for their cross country exercises. I taught people to use it as a simple sanity check too, after working stuff out by whiz wheel.

I'm a great fan of MDR. It's so easy once it "clicks".
#1837573
MattL wrote:@lobstaboy no they don’t. The new e exams have been specifically written so they can be completed with a normal calculator and no whizz wheel.


Sorry, yes you're right - I meant they require more precision than can be done using MDR, even though MDR is good for real life. At least that has been my experience.
#1837574
MattL wrote:Things I have come across in the last year:
FEs who deliberately pick ridiculously hard to find turning points and routes that are likely to cause infringements to ‘see whether the candidate can cope with it’

These are people that students are paying hundreds of pounds an hour to fly with.


Agreed on many of the issues, as we've both seen. On this one in particular, as we both know entrapment is a very forbidden tactic for FEs. An example of another one I've seen over the last few years: semi-surreptitiously during the enroute section distracting the candidate with external references, then "switching one mag off to see if they noticed". Glad to say that individual is no longer a FE, or indeed employed as a FI. The route must be achievable for a pilot of average skill using a technique of their choice, as I train FEs to set.
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#1837612
There's a good intro to MDR here
https://britishaerobaticacademy.com/nav ... ate-drift/
It works really well for visual navigation at GA speeds. I like it because
- it's easy and simple
- it encourages you to use good visual reference points to check when in flight
- it encourages you to use a paper chart with your track and a wind arrow drawn on it because that's an easy way to visualise it when in flight

YMMV
#1837621
It puzzles me that the main method of navigation preparation is to calculate and use headings. Our goal is to fly tracks. The only reason we fly headings is because for the first 70 years of flying (and a lot more of sailing) we had no inflight indication of track. So we have to guess a wind vector, apply it to an estimated airspeed to calculate a correction and then fly that using a heading indicator that has multiple errors only some of which are corrected by the deviation card, whose data is normally presented to the pilot using a device that drifts and needs continual manual alignment. It's an absurd chain of unreliable guesswork, but it used to be the best we could do.

But now (well - for the last 20 years) we have an in-cockpit device that accurately and reliably gives a realtime readout of track. But we still teach and use calculated headings as the primary process for navigation. Even a GPS-based package like SkyDemon prioritises headings over tracks, in its PLOG and map display.

And we agonise over what will happen if our GPS fails. Well I've had more compass failures (2) and DI failures (3) than GPS failures (0). When I learned to fly in 1989 I don't recall anyone getting worked up about what to do if the compass failed. Navigate by landmarks. Use D&D. Use the sun. Land if really necessary. Why do we NEED to be able to complete our (leisure) flight unaffected? DR could be an advanced skill for those who are interested, a bit like astronav.

No, it puzzles me. And more and more people I know. In fact I've started to see people not bothering to align the DI and compass as they don't use it. And one who sets it to "North" whatever the current heading so he can see if he is wandering off.

We should rethink navigation from the ground up.
T67M, flybymike liked this