Finally got my E6-B today

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Daniel L, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. Rory

    Rory Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have Foreflight on an iMac, an iPad and an iPhone. This means that I have no need for a manual flight computer in a plane. I can also do grade school arithmetic and can probably bring myself back up to speed (it's been awhile) on the elementary trigonometry needed for wind diagrams. This means that I also don't need a flight computer - manual, electronic or incorporated into exam software - to pass an exam. Indeed, neither the FAA nor any other flight regulatory authority sets exams that can't be passed unless one owns a flight computer. The decision to buy one, manual or electronic, is completely voluntary.

    As an ocean sailor, I have no time for people who say that one has to own a marine sextant in case the satellites fall out of the sky, but nevertheless I own, and know how to use, a sextant. I'm just interested in navigation and the history of navigation. For the same reason, I've spent some time reading about Philip Dalton, I own an E6B manual flight computer, and I have just ordered a second manual computer that uses a different approach from an E6B on the wind side.

    Do these things have any practical use? They do in cases where it is useful to see a range of values in front of you that in electronic applications would require individual calculations. It's also demonstrably faster to use a manual computer in some cases - for example, to do a Fahrenheit to Celsius conversion (a requirement on an FAA question that I've seen) - than to do it in your head, and probably faster than using an electronic calculator.

    Which brings me to electronic flight computers like ASA's new CX-3. For people who use ForeFlight or similar apps, I think that these things are a complete waste of money. They are expensive, they will do no better than a manual computer at an exam, and they are wholly uninteresting unless one has a fascination for calculators made in 2017 that have 1980s functionality.

    What I don't get is the hostility to manual flight computers. Nobody is forcing anybody to use one.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  2. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The front side of the slide rule was easy enough to figure out. The back side (wind triangle) was always slow and cumbersome to use but it did help me visualize the effect of wind on heading and ground speed. For that matter alone it's probably a good teaching aid vs. punching in numbers to get the info.
     
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  3. Rory

    Rory Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As someone who is planning to get back up to speed on the trigonometry, this is one of the reasons why I purchased an E6B and why I've now ordered a second manual computer that approaches wind problems differently. I'm quite interested in seeing how the manual computers work vis a vis pencil and paper solutions, and in the process perhaps come to a better understanding of what Philip Dalton did and why his "computer" gained such swift and widespread acceptance.
     
  4. Stephen Shore

    Stephen Shore Pre-Flight

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    I still have my Cessna Pilot Center whole KIT - everything from 1980. I still use the original E6B that came with it. I did, however, purchase the Sportys electronic E6B a few months ago. It works great and is a little easier to use for calculating density altitude and true airspeed - only because the Cessna E6B windows for that are a little harder to precisely use for those calculations.

    I in actuality have no issue with old mechanical E6B's going away. I mean, in college we learned Fortran and Basic - I don't see many technology programs still teaching those ancient programs anymore.

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    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  5. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach

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    No GPS, no VOR's, radio aids of any kind somewhere between scarce and non-existant. Ded-reckoning being the only way you got from point A to point B - particularly over water or in/over the clouds. You actually had to do things like correct for winds and calculate things like true air speeds to stand a chance to come somewhere close to where you wanted to go.
     
  6. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Line Up and Wait

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    I read his book a while back, "Spirit of St. Louis" which was an amazing read. I hadn't gotten to Navigation yet in my ground school studies. I do recall him having to figure out different angles to each meridian, and somehow figure out what angle, how to check it, etc.
    He was attempting something that he was not schooled in, or maybe there was little schooling. He was doing this, if I recall correctly, while working on building the Spirit, in California in the factory there. He was asked if he would give a lecture to the (again...memory, might be wrong on a detail) the Naval Air academy or something, and wrote how intimidated he was to stand up and "lecture" students who he was sure had way more navigational skills and knowledge.

    That is a truly well written book too.