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    Re: How likely is a GPS shutdown?
    From: David F. McCune
    Date: 2000 Jan 23, 6:38 PM

    Well, those are the VERY long-term FAA plans.  At the moment, GPS navigation
    is barely taught to instrument pilots.  I think it is fair to say that every
    current instrument-rated pilot in every current instrument-equipped plane
    (whether commercial or private) could comfortably find his way home without
    GPS.  Non-GPS navigation will be standard in aviation for at least several
    more years, and perhaps throughout the current decade.  That's not so much
    because of doubts about the reliability of GPS, rather that is because
    proper navigation and approach procedures for GPS approaches haven't been
    worked out for many airports.
    All that being said, I don't think it's at all likely that the GPS system
    will be shut down for any length of time.  If it did go down, pilots would
    just shrug and keep on navigating.  I know lots of sailors who would be
    I read an article in the New York Times a year or two ago about the
    increasing number of offshore rescue operations conducted by the Coast
    Guard.  A coastie hypothesized that the increase was due to GPS.  In the old
    days, before a yachtie ventured offshore, he had to learn celestial
    navigation.  That took time, effort and desire.  During the learning
    process -- which often took a year or two -- the yachtie also learned how to
    sail offshore.  Now, all you need is a boat and a $150 GPS and you can
    strike out into the deep blue sea.  So lots of ill-trained newbies are
    setting off for places like Bermuda.  They know exactly where they are, of
    course, but when the wind hits Force 9 and the seas are 25 feet or so, they
    don't know what to do.  So they get scared and call the Coast Guard.  The
    good news is that the coasties know exactly where to find these folks.  The
    bad news is that they still have to risk their lives saving folks who don't
    belong offshore.
    One Coast Guard SAR guy I talked to said he hated all the recent cases of
    "INS."  I had to ask him what that meant.  "Interfering with natural
    selection," he said.
    Smooth sailing and good navigating.
    - David
    -----Original Message-----
    From  Navigation Mailing List
    [mailto:NAVIGATION-L{at}LISTSERV.WEBKAHUNA.COM]On Behalf Of Roger M. Derby
    Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2000 14:58
    Subject: Re: How likely is a GPS shutdown?
    Bob Clark wrote:
    > How likely do you think it is that the GPS system would
    > be shut down for any length of time?
    Since the Federal Aviation Agency has based their long term plans on using
    it as
    the sole means of avigation, I really don't think it's likely.

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