Cross Country Lap Box

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Gone Flyin, Aug 3, 2021.

  1. Gone Flyin

    Gone Flyin Pre-Flight

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    Had this idea so thought I'd share for the new students out there.

    After fumbling with all the paraphernalia needed to go on a cross country I came up with a cheap way to keep all the items one might need, at the ready. I have a Cessna 150 so space is at a premium up front.

    [​IMG]

    I bought this clipboard case thing from Staples for $16. It had a clip already on it but it was hard to use and I needed the one with the large metal center section. So, I also bought the wooden clipboard version for another $4 and put that clip on this one, above.

    [​IMG]

    Inside, I have all I need for a cross country. Extra flight planner sheets, a post-it pad, a calculator, a small timer, my E6B and the old fashion type sectional plotter. I like this version because it has a 360 degree compass on the end. This makes it easy for me to get the true course.

    [​IMG]

    In the plane, I attach the timer to the clip and the calculator to the top right. That leaves me room for my folded sectional and the days flight planner.

    Even with sitting on a thick seat pad and the yoke back I can easily slide my right hand in to the case to retrieve the plotter or the E6B.

    While I did not have it in time for these pictures, I also added some strips of non-skip tape to the back of the case so it stays put on my legs during flight. The best price I found is a a small roll at Lowes for around $7.

    Finally, I prefer to use a stylus with my tablet running SkyDeamon. I make less mistakes that way. These buggers are way overpriced but I found that Staples sells a set of two that have a pen on the end and they expand and contract in length. Cost was $8 for the pair and they are very nice.

    I drilled two holes in some stiff foam and set that into the ash tray on my door. Now the pens/stylus are always at the ready.

    [​IMG]

    Ok. That's all I have for now. Go fly!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
  2. Gone Flyin

    Gone Flyin Pre-Flight

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    Here is the label for the "lap box" thingy from Staples.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. sarangan

    sarangan Cleared for Takeoff

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    I am not sure if this was meant to be a nostalgic thing for the good old days, or a serious endeavor. I don't remember carrying an E6B in the cockpit for 25 years, that wind protractor thing, or paper clips. I also haven't seen a paper chart for some 12+ years. It does bring back memories, though.
     
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  4. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Instead of the $7.00 roll of non skid tape, see if you have some scraps of that knobby cabinet shelf material somewhere.

    that an a bit of spray adhesive borrowed from someone and you have a cushy non slip surface
     
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  5. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    It is sorta like when we all were sub-100 hour fledglings. We wanted high, fast, complicated, and all the gadgets.

    Now all these years and logbooks of hours later, we just want to fly low, slow, and with the doors off.
     
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  6. Gone Flyin

    Gone Flyin Pre-Flight

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    Pretty sure I stated at the top, this was meant for new students.
     
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  7. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I was kind of afraid this was going to be a “how small a course can I fly laps around to fulfill the cross country requirements” thread. ;)

    @Gone Flyin , cockpit organization is something we all have to work at and/or struggle with at various times. That’s why it’s part of the ACS.

    This looks like a good solution, and if it works for you, it IS a good solution. Thanks for sharing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
  8. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I remember the student days. Bag with 32 pockets and 26 pens in it. E6B (mine was metal), plotter, charts, some runway figure-outter-thingy, mini clipboard, rubber bands, mini bungees, binder clips, 3 flashlights, preprinted cross country sheets with fuel burns for each segment etc... You pass your check ride and all you need is a pad of paper and a pen. Then you start instrument, and do it all again until you pass the IR check ride and you're back to a single pad of paper...

    :D
     
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  9. jbDC9

    jbDC9 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was thinking the same thing; it's a flashback to being a student pilot in the '80s...
     
  10. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks for sharing.
     
  11. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I never carried any of that when I was working on either my sport pilot or private, except I carried a paper sectional. Was it just me? I plotted all the cross country stuff on the sectional on the ground, and carried that along with me, but really I flew both of them pilotage. I still have a plastic E6 type wheel, the Navy version, and I used it on both my written tests, and I do carry it in my flight bag because it doesn't weigh anything, but can't remember the last time I used it. My training was that any math you needed to do VFR you could do in your head, and that drawing lines on a map with a ruler while hand flying was a bad plan. Has anyone ever needed a calculator or e6 on a sport or private checkride?

    I did make up my own set of "cheat sheets" for the different planes, though, and likewise airports in the area to quickly have the info I need. I still carry those, even though I fly with a tablet.
     
  12. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I love the foam ashtray conversion.
     
  13. Gone Flyin

    Gone Flyin Pre-Flight

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    I cannot grasp how anyone can think of this being something nostalgic or from the 1980's.

    If students today are not being trained how to use the sectional, do pilotage and dead reckoning to get their certificate... private, sport or recreational... CFI's are doing them a grave disservice, IMHO.

    You need to be trained how to perform diversion... direction, distance, time and fuel.... based on the paper map.

    When the power goes out in your plane or the tablet starts acting up or loses GPS, what will you do then?

    If that's considered old fashion, GA is in big trouble.
     
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  14. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Dear Mr. Flyin

    You can't give me a straight line like that and expect me to let it slide...

    If driving instructors are not teaching students how to hitch a team of mules to their car to get it out of the mud, they are doing them a grave disservice.

    :)

    Serious note:
    Situational awareness. Where are we and where are we going? Does the magenta line make sense? I think that still has value.
     
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  15. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    They then pull out their phone with a different GPS on a different OS. Paper charts are going the way of the dodo. I like the old school way too, but the fact is pretty much every student has a tablet or phone that's capable of running some sort of eChart software. Some have multiples. In the plane I fly I have up to 5 different GPS receivers on 4 different software platforms (GNS430W, the L3 even shows airports if you zoom in, iFly in the panel, Avare on at least my phone, and if I have it with me, my tablet) iFly has a 30 minute battery backup, and my phone and tablet (if I carry it) a few hours of battery. If the GPS system goes out for some reason, I still have the charts in electronic form even if it won't give me a GPS position, I can read it like an old school chart and do pilotage - and sometimes I fly that way just for kicks. I also have 4 hours of battery life on the G5's and if I needed I could shut one off and push that to 8 hours. But I hope by that time I have landed.
     
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  16. Racerx

    Racerx Line Up and Wait

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    Had my first ipad overheat on the last flight. Pulled out the ipad mini
     
  17. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Why do I see so many anecdotes of iPads overheating? My android tablet sits in the sun on the seat next to me and has yet to overheat. Now, I did let my phone bake in the plane while it was on the ramp while I was fueling and BSing and it gave me an overheat warning, but the whole cabin was quite toasty when I got back in. A little bit of taxiing with the kool scoop cooled it right off and it was operating normally. But I've never had that happen when I've had air movement in the cabin or I get up where the OAT is not 100 degrees.
     
  18. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Because so few people are willing to admit that they use Android compared to the number of people who will admit to iCrap? ;)
     
  19. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    To me, while the OP's system is certainly convenient and appears useful, there's no "market" for it anymore. It's a "system" with long-term benefits as you keep everything organized. However, today there is very unlikely to be long-term "use" of it.

    A student pilot, even if using paper charts, does what, a total of only 4-5 XC flights, maybe? And two of these are with a CFI (generally a day and a night one). Some may do more, of course, but that's pretty much the minimum, only 2-3 solo XC flights. And even if they're using paper, they will likely transition to EFBs the day after their checkride. As a result, it's important for the CFI to train them on EFB use too. So maybe they only do one solo XC flight with paper.

    That just isn't enough use (to me anyway) to really bother coming up with and getting used to a "system" that I'm not going to use after the checkride. The side pocket or whatever else you have, works well enough for short-term use.

    I'm not disparaging the OP's system. If it works for him or anybody else, great. But I, like others, definitely noticed that its time has all but passed for most people.
     
  20. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    I wonder how many of those overheated iPads were plugged into a charger at the time. Charging generates a fair bit of internal heat.
     
  21. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    If the power goes out in my plane, I’ll spend the 5 seconds it takes and go to the nearest page on my 430, or shut everything down and look at my iPad or iPhone with FF…. Hell of a lot more efficient than pulling out a paper sectional and doing the math in my head. The sectional on FF still works without GPS anyway
     
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  22. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Your 430 runs without power? I'm impressed. Mine shuts off right away.
     
  23. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

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    True. Though mine can also overheat when it isn't charging. I have it on a kneeboard, so it lacks air circulation behind it. Stuffing a pencil or two behind it hasn't been enough to make a difference.

    What I noticed on a recent flight was that when running Foreflight, and charging from either plane power or an external battery pack, the charge level of the iPad continues to go down. Much slower, but I wasn't able to increase the charge level while it was in use, only slow the decline. That surprised me.
     
  24. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    Where’s the metal Landing Calculator?


    (OP - don’t fret, this is a joke from the halcyon days of POA. Anyone remember?)
     
  25. Gone Flyin

    Gone Flyin Pre-Flight

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  26. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Are you using the iPad's internal GPS or are you connecting to a Status, Stratux, etc.?

    I'm running an iPad mini 4 with no internal GPS, connected via wifi to a Stratux. So far it's never thermaled, even in the Florida heat, but I've never plugged it into a charger during flight.
     
  27. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

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    I’m using the internal GPS on a full size iPad. If I can’t keep it out of the sun I have problems.
     
  28. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    I wonder if that model generates more internal heat. Those not only have a gps, they also have a cellular xcvr.
     
  29. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

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    It’s possible. I don’t have it on a cellular plan, but the circuitry is there.
     
  30. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    What do you guys do when there's no cell service? Or do you ever go anywhere far from all the conveniences? Do your cellphones have the national map database already installed, not relying on cell service for it?

    Judging by the number of POA stories of alternator failures, which are almost always due to a lack of alternator maintenance, maps and a whiz wheel should be kept handy. And an airport directory.
     
  31. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I have Avare on my phone and my tablet. GPS chip in both. All charts for and chart supplements for the US are installed and on the phone/tablet. I'll run them in airplane mode so they don't keep searching for towers. Where I do go ATVing and don't get cell service, I download the maps for that area to my phone if I think I might be exploring trails I haven't been on.
     
  32. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    Yes, pretty much. I suspect most people have their state and at least other surrounding states downloaded, and then use the "Pack" feature on FF if they're traveling someplace not within that area. As for me, I do have the entire U.S. downloaded, so I don't need to worry about cell phone connectivity anywhere I go.
     
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  33. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Cell service doesn’t work too well a few thousand feet up anyway, so yes, whatever maps and other info I need are downloaded to the device. And it won’t matter if the plane loses the alternator as far as my iPad goes since the pad will run for hours on its own battery.
     
  34. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    Until both the alternator and iPad quit on the same flight.

    Electrical factors represent 90% of engine performance hassles. Electrical hassles are similarly significant in airframe hassles, maybe 70% or more. Short version: Electrical stuff fails easily. Paper maps, pencils, whiz wheels and magnetic compasses don't.

    The restart Cessnas with the G1000 suites all have a standby battery in case the rest of the electrical system fails. That battery is supposed to be capacity-checked annually. If we're relying so heavily on electronic navigation, with literally no physical backups, perhaps standby power should be installed in non-glass panel airplanes, too.
     
  35. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    I use something similar for IFR, but mine is aluminum. Inside are sticky notes, spare pencils, instrument covers, and scrap paper. The clipboard on top holds my checklists in sheet protectors. I used to use flight logs but they are nearly useless when you get re-routed, which is like always. Scrap paper is fine for keeping track of fuel changes and clearances. The nav box or EFB keeps me updated on ETAs and distance to go for monitoring fuel status. Lesser used checklists and cheat sheets are inside the lap desk. I put two straps of peel and stick felt on the bottom to keep it from sliding. My alternate is an old fashioned legal size clipboard with two felt strips on the bottom. I use this if I have a passenger who can access the spare pencils, stickies, etc. If needed. My phone will serve as a calculator and spare EFB. The longer I fly the less and less crap I carry in flight. Flight planning and monitoring is pretty simple, even simpler with the tools we have now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2021
  36. sarangan

    sarangan Cleared for Takeoff

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    The comment was not about the techniques but about the tools. Learning how to use the E6B, paper charts and plotters is complete nonsense in today's environment. Even back in the 90's it made no sense. Everyone should learn the concepts, but the mechanics of spinning the E6B, putting that pencil dot and spinning it again teaches nothing of value. It is bad enough to do that on the ground, but it is downright stupid to be doing that in the cockpit while flying. Paper charts are great for mounting on a wall and admiring the artwork, but electronic charts are far more practical in the cockpit. None of this means you punch in the destination and follow the magenta line. Those are two very different things. Pilots can learn wind correction without spinning the E6B. In fact, I would argue that they can learn it better because now their brain is free to think instead of following some rote action. The probability of all power going out simultaneously including portable electronics is as remote as an alien invasion. Even if that happens, you just hold your heading until you get to your destination. Now, if the aliens intercept your flight and insist that you divert somewhere using nothing but pilotage, I supposed you will be screwed.

    There was a booth at OSH in 2018 that was selling these whizwheels. I felt bad for those guys because I don't think anyone bought a single item from them.


    IMG_20180728_112826092.jpg
     
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  37. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    For the alternator, the battery on a tablet, the battery on the phone, the battery on both G5s, and the battery on the other GPS to all fail at the same time is going to be the result of a massive EMP pulse, which is also going to fry the magnetos and any backup handheld.

    Digging out a paper chart and E6B isnt going to help.
     
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  38. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    So what? I fly with two pads in the plane, plus a phone with Avare. You really think I’m going to lose all that and the alternator and the airplane battery simultaneously?




    The pads and phones all have internal batteries to provide that standby power for hours if the airplane power dies. Plus I carry a charging battery pack.

    How much more do you think is needed?
     
  39. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    So I have in the cockpit a panel WAAS GPS, a portable GPS with XM WX wired to ship's power, a tablet EFB, and a phone that can run the EFB also. So it will be a very bad day indeed when the alternator, battery, panel GPS, battery powered Portable GPS, EFB, and phone all die at once. I think that's enough redundancy. Plus the G5s will operate on their own as well for up to 4 hours if the electric system crumps. I think I'm covered for electric failure in terms of navigation.
     
  40. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    An EMP pulse isn't going to fry magnetos unless they're the electronic versions.