Hmm, has my flight planning gotten worse?

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by NoBShere, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. NoBShere

    NoBShere Pre-Flight

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    So I was taking about 200nm roundtrip flight out to an airport that I had been a few times to get some beer (for after the return flight) at a micro brewery because, well because I can. The plane I rent is equipped with GPS so I use it but, I always do flight planning with the chart and weather brief info like i did as student because its kind of fun/interesting to me. I adjust my heading after first waypoint according to my plan and it doesn't line up with the gps. I think well that's weird, gps must be wrong, because I couldn't be (I'm a pilot afterall, Ha!). I pull out the chart and start to realize that the landmarks I can see out the window, the chart and the gps all align but, my plan does not. This hasn't really happened to me before, sure winds have been different than forecasted so I have made minor adjustments on other trips. At that point, there were a plethora of landmarks but fewer as I continued. I honestly thought about returning home because I was puzzled how I was so "off". After a minute or two of "what should I do", I decided that since I have the paper chart, its a familiar flight, I am confident that I know exactly where I am, rough/quick in flight replan with paper chart aligns with gps, and I have enough fuel to complete the roundtrip twice, I am continuing on. I landed, got some growlers filled, consulted the chart again for return flight and was really no drama. Beer was good.

    I guess this was the first time (admitted low time pilot) I thought to myself, don't let one mistake turn into another and another, etc. Btw, I was on flight following so that was a resource too. And now I understand why I always put the old school stuff (chart, etc) in a reachable place before takeoff. If I wasn't able to consult that chart in mid flight, i think I would have returned home, with out beer!!!! While I admittedly screwed the pooch, I also felt like I did well recognizing an issue before it became a problem and adjusting appropriately. I shared this story with non-pilots while consuming said growlers, they didn't seem to get it, so here we are...
     
  2. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don Pattern Altitude

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    What is this 'paper chart' you speak of? Does it have a magenta line printed on it? ;)
     
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  3. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Was there a question?
     
  4. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    I don't understand what wasn't "lining up"
     
  5. danhagan

    danhagan Cleared for Takeoff

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    His Nav Log with the magenta line ....
     
  6. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The last time I flew someplace I hadn't been before I wanted to use pilotage and not the GPS. I had put together a nav log and had all the wind correction angles figured out. I landed, taxied back, then took off to head home, but didn't realize my DG had lost its mind while I was on the ground. I had forgotten to verify the DG. I flew back, following the DG, and kept having to correct because I was always drifting away from my landmarks. And my landmark was a highway that was headed to the same place I was. Kinda felt dumb when I found out what had happened and finally reset the DG to the compass.
     
  7. retpd2001

    retpd2001 Line Up and Wait

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    I am not sure if he is saying the GPS wasn't working. If so, Maybe they were doing GPS testing in the area and he missed the NOTAM. Other than that, it has always been my experience that the GPS never lies, even though there were several times flying night HEMS that I swore it was.
     
  8. NoBShere

    NoBShere Pre-Flight

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    The GPS was correct, my planning was not.
     
  9. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    Maybe you've become dyslexic without realizing it. Drank the beer, then flew home then back to the other airport.

    Are you home now?
    If you think so, you may not be because you've become dyslexic
     
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  10. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My first ever student (fellow controller) did that in 1978. Happened on the return flight except he didn't follow his checkpoints, didn't reset the DG, and kept flying the heading. Slowly he became way off course, realized it, saw an airport and landed at a small country airport, one hangar on the field. No one there but he saw a phone booth (remember those?) and called the operator. He asked her where he was, she replied Carthage (MS). Getting late in the day so he called the flight school and told me where he was. I told him to stay put and we'd come get him. So we flew down, I got in the 152 with him, and we flew home as it was getting dark.

    We both worked in the tower at Columbus AFB and word got around fast what he had done. Caught flak for awhile from the boys, all in fun.
     
  11. NoBShere

    NoBShere Pre-Flight

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    Home? I'm still flying, or am I?
     
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  12. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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    I think you did good!
     
  13. simtech

    simtech Pattern Altitude

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    Had to be DG! Though I know he is scared to fly because of the pilot Yahoo's out there. Hehe
     
  14. TylerSC

    TylerSC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Do you mean that the magnetic headings you wrote down were different from the desired track given by the GPS? How far off were they?
     
  15. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In my case I was trying hard to maintain a stead heading, so I was checking my course against the DG to keep it dead on. But I also knew my landmarks kept moving farther north. I figured a stronger winds aloft was the culprit and I needed a better wind correction angle. But it still didn't feel right, though, I knew the winds aloft were coming from a different angle. Still felt dumb for not catching it sooner. Lesson learned.
     
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  16. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Close but it was another guy from that same time. And DG led the harassment charge lol. We called him BL, doubt you know him.
     
  17. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    One of my pals got violently sick during his solo cross country trip. Ate the wrong chicken salad sandwich, I guess. Never could figure out how you make chicken salad, stick the lettuce up its bum? Anyhow, he got smart and pulled his aircraft up to about 10K feet, and then puked into his flight bag. Once he was done with that he was OK, but totally lost. He figured our home town was on a southernly heading and huge, it wouldn't be easily missed. He pointed the little airplane south, and a short time later saw the northern suburbs.
     
  18. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    One of the nice things about flying around in Northern California is that it's pretty hard to get lost around here. You have to really work at it.
     
  19. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Same thing flying in Florida.
     
  20. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    My GPS took a dump over Florida. I flew from Amelia Island to Ft. Lauderdale without. Total breeze.
     
  21. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I did my flight training in Florida. All VFR flights were dead reckoning and pilotage. I really enjoyed the airports that had their name on the runway.
     
  22. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    I really feel old. I have never flown with GPS.
     
  23. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    Total Stud Bush Pilot
    Had to go old school a few times in my flying life.

    First time was on an IFR flight plan. Total electric failure (alternator took a dump) while flying at night between Andrews AFB and Washington National. Fortunately, I had learned to fly in that area, it was VFR to the moon, and I wasn't all that far way from my destination. I managed to pick out a few landmarks and navigated to my destination at College Park. The FBO guy was heads up. When he heard a plane in the pattern but saw no lights, he clicked the runway lights on for me.

    Got the battery charged and for the trip back, I kept the radio going long enough for me to get through the Class B airspace since the alternator was still bad. Then I turned everything off and did pilotage all the way back to Fernandina Beach, FL.

    A little more recent incident happened shortly after taking off from Ft Pierce, FL on my way to my hangar in North Carolina. Turns out I had an antenna cable for my GPS with a bad crimp. The cable shorted out and I had no GPS to feed my fancy EFIS. I knew that if I stayed over the water on the west side of the river that I would be able to thread my way between the Canaveral restricted airspace and Orlando Class B. Then I stayed just off the coast to Savannah. At that point I picked up a VOR radial that I knew would keep me from going through the restricted areas north of Savannah. That got me far enough that I could pick up I-95 along and see Florence, SC, which I typically flew directly over as I started my decent into Laurinburg, NC. After I landed I realized it might have been a tad easier if I had consulted a sectional during the trip.
     
  24. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    @Anymouse, you live in Laurinburg? I tried to take flight lessons when I first moved there, nearly wrecked driving to the airport when I saw a 747 over the trees. They had no instructors . . . .
     
  25. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    My Tango used to be based there. It's a serious sleepy hollow, which is one of the reasons I liked it. If you want to take instruction there, you have to provide your own instructor and plane. Good folks there though. I bought my T-Craft from the guy in the hangar next to me and got my endorsement from the airport manager.
     
  26. comanchepilot

    comanchepilot En-Route

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    Joe Farrell, yeah, him
    Just because you are not creating charts with wind correction angles and stated landmarks every 10 minutes or whatever, doesn't mean that you are aren't doing it.

    There are few well worn paths around Southern California along with a big blue ocean and mountains and valleys which delineate where you are and where you are going. If i'm going to Camarillo for tri-tip I am going to see El Monte, And Burbank and Van Nuys pass by under me and I should be descending when I get to the hills near Thousand oaks. I've got the landmarks and everything else- and its takes about 30 min in my Comanche - what else do I need?

    Flight planning is look for things that can kill you or ground you. There is a point to developing the experience.

    Ask an airline pilot - same thing. look for what can kill you, and make sure you understand the legal environment [NOTAMS / TFRS/ etc] that can ground you.