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    4 basic rules for accurate Low Level Airborne Visual Navigation
    From: Antoine Couëtte
    Date: 2010 Apr 23, 01:05 -0700

    Just for the information of the few Aircraft Pilots among us - I know there are some - ...


    My last post in reply to Byron Franklin QMCS USN Ret. :

    [NavList 12889] Re: 3 Navaid Visual Fix WAS : Compass Error Correction
    From: antoine.m.couette---fr
    Date: 23 Apr 2010 00:23

    ... just gives me here the opportunity of indicating 4 basic rules we are taught in the French Naval Aviation when getting trained for "Low Level Aiborne Visual Navigation".

    I am sure these very same rules are taught all over in the World, including in "Airclubs / Aeroclubs" lightweight aviation communities.

    1 - Set/orient the Chart in the direction of your track (NOT North up, except when you fly a north track), and

    2 - Proceed from the Chart to the ground (and not the other way) to identify ground features, and

    3 - Proceed from "big to small" (and not the other way) to pinpoint locations on the ground, and

    4 - Always fly "ahead up to abeam", i.e. identify and position yourself with ground features ahead of you and not behind you. Interestingly enough, this is the exact same rule taught for Visual Navigation at sea.

    ... this works extremely well. I know of no other better method. And with regular training, you can follow an intended ground track with less than 20/30 ft lateral error when flying 150'/200' Above Ground Level at 420/480 kts Ground Speed without the help of any Navigation System (whether inertial or GPS or other). This is a HARD REQUIREMENT requirement for taking airborne pictures of unfriendly installations.

    Best Regards to you all

    Antoine M. "Kermit" Couëtte

    PS : The French Naval Aviation was officially established in 1910, and by the end of WW I in 1918 its force reached 11,000 Sailors who manned 36 Naval Air Stations / Naval Air Facilities along our coasts in France and in our "Colonies". They were in charge of close to 950 Aircraft then.

    Since a good number of our NavList Members lives within the USA, may I just wish to recall that the French Navy and the US Navy (with a MUCH MUCH BIGGER size, you lucky men ...) are the only two Navies in the World to routinely conduct Day and Night "Blue Water" Operations with conventional supersonic jet Fighter/Attack Aircraft off Aircraft Carriers.

    In June 2010, the French Naval Aviation will celebrate its First Century of existence.

    I have to admit (and confess..) that I am proud ... especially since I had the extreme luck of flying Carrier Naval Aviation Operations in both Navies. :-))

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