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    Re: A-10 Sextant Manual
    From: Christian Scheele
    Date: 2009 Jun 11, 22:07 +0200

    I didn't misunderstand you.
    "Pointing out his
    plane's engine problems you say he was reckless."
    I then went on to discuss Chichester's navigation method on my own account:
    "I don't really think I'm
    qualified enough to judge his decision to navigate using a (his?) method iof
    ....precomputed D.R. ...I mean, his sun shot of course gave him only a
    position line, or rather, an assumed position line"
    I was, however, really unclear. Gary's response alerted me to this. I did
    not intend to argue against the concept of using LOPs, but it sure looks
    like it, so my apologies. In my next email, therefore, I rephrased my
    comment, which, in fact, concerned LOPs which are so long that they are
    really lines with changing gradients for plotting purposes. (Assuming nobody
    would bother to plot curves themselves on a Mercator chart.) If you then fly
    along one course because you assume from D.R. that you know which gradient
    or bearing applies to the part of the LOP you are on, when in fact you are
    on a part of  the LOP that has another bearing, then would you not fly off
    the LOP? If so, the real question becomes: Would you be able to use a sort
    of running fix to work out your position and thus rectify the problem of
    determining which part of the LOP you are on? I think so, what do you think?
    That must be quite a manoeuvre for one flying single-handed. It demonstrates
    how important good D.R. is.
    Perusing "The Lonely Sea and the Sky", I confirmed that Chichester estimated
    his wind speed on his flight, rather than use on a device. He also didn't
    want to check his compass before the flight "except against Norfolk Island".
    Ignoring the problem concerning long LOPs for a moment, it would seem that
    these navigational decisions of Chichester compounded the risk already posed
    by the questionable state of his plane.
    Christian Scheele
    ----- Original Message -----
    Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2009 12:17 PM
    Subject: [NavList 8615] Re: A-10 Sextant Manual
    Regarding  Sir Francis Chichester:
    Dr. Kolbe has it right.
    I was referring not his astonishing navigation for which I have the very
    highest regard indeed, but to the fact he was willing to put his life on the
    line with an aeroplane that he describes in his book already had various
    problems such as having fitting floats without checking if they leaked or
    not, and an engine that had already given him problems, and in the run-up
    check before leaving for Norfolk Island he says:-
    "I could only get 1780 revs, forty less than I expected, and my spirits
    sank. I should never get off with a full load with a motor like that, but
    said nothing to the CO about it.  The seaplane was launched. I faced her
    into the wind, and opened the throttle; to my surprise she left the water as
    easily as a sea bird..... ".
    The man must have been mad or very determined, or both.
    To cross the Tasman Sea - a nasty stretch of water notorious for bad
    weather, two thirds the width of the Atlantic, in a single engined float
    plane with engine in dubious condition is more than reckless.   But got away
    with it.
    My impression from reading his books is he was what we would call a "loose
    cannon" and contemptuous of any advice or authority.  From reading about him
    it seems he must have been a truly remarkable person but not very
    Douglas Denny.
    Chichester. England.
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