Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The battle wages on…

The battle planning continues, last night was a VOR theory ground brief and simulator session with Bob. I suspect the former was more for my benefit than RTH’s, I’m fairly certain he actually understands more about this VOR stuff than I do.

Theoretically we could just have read some books, maybe a few YouTube videos and tried to figure it out ourselves but I was more interested in the actual practicalities. Where is the VOR equipment actually located in the plane? What buttons do you press? When do you press them? And so on.
This is where Bob really helps. He’s flown cross country flights, with his wife. He not only understands how to manage the flying part but he understands and has tips for managing the person in the other seat.  We went through our planned route from VOR beacon to VOR beacon, he was able to talk us through it; “Ok WMAP at this point you’d have this beacon on NAV1 and this on NAV 2. RTH you’re going to be looking for the point when the needle centres, then WMAP you’re going to switch to this beacon.”

He also suggested that I have a “recipe sheet” done up in advance, so for each leg of the trip I know exactly what beacon I should have on each radio. This sounds like an excellent idea to me, as well as making life easier for RTH it also makes me feel useful. A useful part of the trip rather than baggage in the front seat.
Over to the simulator next; RTH in the left seat, Bob in the right and me standing at the back offering helpful comments like “which button launches the missiles then?” The beauty of a simulator is that you can freeze it while you talk over what is going on, that was my actual role. I had my finger on the pause button.

RTH did some basic locate your position by getting a bearing from two VOR beacons. That seemed easy enough and lets me add another trick to my “what if I get lost” basket. Then he moved onto intercepting various radials from a local VOR.
To me it seemed simple enough. RTH seemed to be having a moment about some of it though. More about that in another post.  Although it had been a long day and I will admit I had a headache by the end of it (it was my first day back at work after an extended break and I’d flown a reasonably challenging crosswind flight beforehand as well) it was incredibly useful and has left me feeling a whole lot better about our plan to navigate this way.



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