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Scary Read In Wings This Month.

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While reading an article in the latest edition of Wings magazine, I came accross a quote that just seemed to jump out at me. It's in regards to a man who took a test flight in a new C182 equiped with the G1000. (The latest package from Garmin, 2 massive FTDs do everything but cook your breakfast, for those who don't know what it is).


" "I gotta get me one of those" He [the potential customer on the the demo flight] later admited that he would not consider himself a "really great pilot - but this aircraft makes me one." "




Am I alone in being in absolute fear of the pilot who believes that an airplane with the latest and greatest in techno gizmos (no mater how useful they may be) will make up for an overall lack in skill?


I don't claim to know it all, (or much for that matter), but in my mind anything you put in the dash of your plane is just a tool, no different then a surgical scalpel or a welding torch, just cause I have the latest tools, im not about to perform surgery or build a car.


Interested in hearing what other people think of this.



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This goes along the same lines...An individual with more money than skill purchased a new C182 in which to learn to fly. His instructor was a very young Asian female who knew nothing about the machine and in spite of the combination, our student passed his PPL and promptly bought a C206 on Wipline amphibious floats. Now this a/c had more goodies than anyone could imagine and yep..the same low time instructor was again in the right seat.


The owner once said to me that the 3/4 million dollar airplane was great! He could set the GPS waypoints for the local reporting points, set the auto pilot and the plane would fly into the pattern and all he had to do was look out for traffic and handle the radio.


What a crock!



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That brings up the question of what a lot of people would do if their GPS packed it in while they were flying. How many would even know where they were so when they finally found their map they might have a starting point? Too many people rely far too heavily on new gadgets when they should really be learning the basics first and then learn to play with the gadgets..

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Twinstar, I couldn't agree with you more. Some of the F/O's I had in the Maldives were lost without the GPS. I tried it a couple times when it was their leg, I would just turn off the GPS and some of them were just lost without it. I tried to get them to know the islands and know that this island was 22 miles from Male, or that one was 20 miles on the 207 radial but it was for sure an uphill battle. I hate to say it but I don't think it's any better here in Canada, people rely way too much on these little wonder machines. Don't get me wrong, I love having a good GPS in my airplane, but god if it ever quit or gave you problems (and I've had that) you'd better know what to do... That as you say, boils down to good airmanship, and unfortunatley it doesn't seem to be a big priority these days with the wonderfull technology that we have. It's really too bad because some day these people will need it...

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Twotter ------ I'm afraid you are starting to show your age 'ol man. I recently found out that our esteemed government is no longer producing a document called "Navigating By the Sun's True Bearing". This document accompanies me in all sparsely settled and Arctic Island locations to this day.......because long ago I had VOR's and ADF's go u/s on me. If that can happen to them, then the vaunted GPS can also. I never seen it stamped or written on any of them that they are guaranteed not to "go south" and leave you stranded. I suppose that I should also assume that "Astro Shots" are no longer taught for pilots operating in the Arctic. I suppose also that the majority of those reading this post will ask themselves........"what the **** is an 'Astro shot'?"


Good God, I don't want us to go back to Radio Range because Castlegar used to scare the **** outta me, but what the sh*t are they trying to do anyway? ****, I'm still bitchin' about the fact that I seldom have TWO ADF's anymore because I could have one onto my favourite radio station with good "tunes" and the other keeping me pointed to where I was aiming for in the first place. What are they trying to do?......take all the fun outta flying anyway......******. :(


.......and would someone out there please, please, please tell pilots that depend on GPS's with their lives, that I for one, would like them to read their instruction manual on what the section about "Course Offset" means and how to program their GPS to make it offset. Out of 10 pilots I asked last year about their "course offset", 2 out of 10 knew what the **** it meant and how to do it. That should be learned shortly after one learns how to turn the bloody thing to "On".

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Ahhh the Radio Range and listening to stations on the AM radio late at night while flying lost in the high Arctic.....


I wrote a story about getting lost in the Arctic called " Arcturus ( The britest star in the constellation Bootes. ) the missing hours and fate "


.....that was due to a mistake I made with the Astro compass.


When I got my instrument rating we had to know how to read morse code....now it seems that some of the pilots out there don't know how to read period.


Ahhh the wonder of it all, especially the getting to old part, just the other day I was playing with myself and forgot why.


Chas W.

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Charles ------Glad to see you back home and away from those "wicked city women" of the Continent. :D


"Don't go there" with the high Arctic stories Chuck because you'll get me started.


I don't particularly have anything big against GPS's and consider them a great aide to flying, but I get real uncomfortable back THEN and NOW when people start placing their lives in the hands of ONE particular instrument. There are many helicopters that work in the same enviroment of the high Arctic and other sparsely settled ares that have anything BUT a GPS anymore........and I have a real large problem with that for the reasons mentioned above. Those same aircraft also have maps onboard, but more often than not, they can be found back in the hatrack during flight. I guess we all know then what the pilot is relying on to get him home to a meal and soft bed. After many conversations on this subject, I realize that my opinion on this subject is considered archaic by the majority and I long ago stopped being "ruffled" by the rolling of eyes and smirks. :D

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Cap :


You are not alone in your beliefe about maps.


We carry three portable GPS units when flying ferry flights, however at least one of us and sometimes two of us also have a map that we enter our position on every twenty five miles...even in the Sahara Desert.


With three GPS units it is unlikely we would not have GPS navigation....but....why chance it when it is so easy to confirm with a map?



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