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    Re: Azimuth Circle compass error.
    From: Joe Schultz
    Date: 2009 Nov 20, 14:42 -0800

    Well, in my limited experience in destroyers there were two kinds of naval 
    officers: sailors and ticket-punchers.  Two of the three commanding officers 
    and three of the four executive officers (two were titled as Navigator) were 
    of the latter flavor.
    
    The commanding officer of the former flavor had a reputation with the pilots.  
    He wouldn't talk to the pilot until the Officer of the Deck had briefed him 
    on the ship characteristics.  Then it'd go something like this: "Hi, I'm John 
    Doe.  How many screws do I have and what's my gyrocompass error?"  And he'd 
    better have an advance/transfer sheet in his hand.  Woe to the Officer of the 
    Deck if the pilot wasn't prepared.
    
    The executive officer of the former flavor had us range at every opportunity 
    (even ranging on a cross or beam bearing) then call out "observed gyro error 
    is XXX Y."  Didn't matter to him if they were billboards or a building and a 
    tower.  He wasn't the titled Navigator on that ship; he was just a Mustang 
    and a former commanding officer of a minesweeper, the best driver I saw in 
    the Navy.  Those cross bearing ranges weren't official, but us pointy headed 
    officers were expected to be good at it - plotting wasn't a "quartermasters 
    only" job with that executive officer.
    
    Even the ticket-punchers checked gyrocompass error before getting underway and 
    with "normal" ranges while underway.  Gyro error was expected, not a 
    surprise.
    
    Grease pencils are alive and well.  Gone in perhaps 10 years or so, as the older ships are retired.
    
    Joe
    
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