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    Re: Pilot avoids collision with Venus
    From: Tom Sult
    Date: 2012 May 05, 10:03 -0500
    Yes but... Those two glass panels have more redundancy and reliability than your "steam gauges" ever did. I am waiting and hoping (tho not in IMC) for my Attitude gyro to go so I can replace it with an aspen panel. It has a self contained back up battery and internal gps. So if everything else goes dark it will live another 30 min or so. 

    In the event it all goes... Pilot skills. No instruments in the situation you describe will most likely be fatal. That is essential what happens to Kennedy while trying to get to Martha's vineyard. He had instruments but must not have use or trusted them. 

    Thomas A. Sult, MD
    Sent from iPhone

    On May 5, 2012, at 3:35, Gary LaPook <garylapook@pacbell.net> wrote:

    Recently I have been flying the new Cessna Skycatcher and I really like it. It has two glass panels and NO other instruments in the plane, no airspeed indicator, no altimeter, no attitude indicator, no tachometer, no directional gyro, no oil pressure gauge, and even no compass. The manual says that in the event of a complete loss of the "glass cockpit" that the pilot should just use his experience to establish a safe approach and landing. If fact, that is not at all difficult to do but if flying over featureless terrain or water no matter how much experience I have I can't tell directions. I can't believe that a plane can be licensed without a compass! So an astro-compass is a good idea in one of these new planes. I also just bought a car compass at Pep Boys for $2.99 and I am going to mount it in the plane the next time I go flying and leave it for the next guy.


    --- On Sun, 4/29/12, Gary LaPook <glapook@pacbell.net> wrote:

    From: Gary LaPook <glapook@pacbell.net>
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Pilot avoids collision with Venus
    To: NavList@fer3.com
    Date: Sunday, April 29, 2012, 3:09 AM

    Here you go, an astro-compass on the instrument panel today.


    --- On Wed, 4/18/12, Robert Eno <enoid@northwestel.net> wrote:

    From: Robert Eno <enoid@northwestel.net>
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Pilot avoids collision with Venus
    To: NavList@freelists.com
    Cc: NavList@fer3.com
    Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 8:02 AM

    In the early 1990s, I was returning home on a Hawker Siddley 748, carrying about 15 drums of hazardous materials that we had cleaned up from an old military site. Because it was a freigher, I was seated in the cock pit just behind the pilot and co-pilot. 
    Being winter, it started to get dark at around 1400hrs as we were en-route home. A very very bright light was visible on the SE horizon and this precipitated an interesting exchange between the pilot and co-pilot about the identity of the light. They were confounded and trying to figure out what community it was. None of it made sense to them because the nearest community was still a few hundred miles distant. This went on for about 5 minutes and I finally piped up over the microphone: "it's Venus". 
    A few days after the flight, I sent to the pilot and co-pilot, a little blurb on how to use the astro-compass and how to identify stars and planets for purposes of maintaining a heading in the absence of electronic aids. I also strongly advised them that it was in their best interest to learn a few of the old tricks which held their predecessors in good stead for decades. I perhaps came off sounding pedantic and this probably explains why I never received an acknowledgement from the pilots. Perhaps they too offense at some know-nothing puke telling them how to do their jobs.
    At one time in the north, mastering the use of an astro-compass and having a basic knowledge of celestial bodies was required of all pilots. I don't believe that this is the case anymore. I am not a pilot so I am not privy to what is and what is not mandatory for flying in the Arctic. I travel a lot by plane as a part of my job and I can tell you at least, that it has been quite some time since I have seen an astro-compass mounted on the dash of small aircraft.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Geoffrey Kolbe <geoffreykolbe@compuserve.com>
    Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 2:23 am
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Pilot avoids collision with Venus
    To: NavList@fer3.com

    > At 06:32 18/04/2012, Bill B wrote:
    > >I do not know if cel nav is a requirement for a commercial
    > pilots license these days, but I would think a fundamental
    > knowledge of the position of heavenly bodies might come in handy
    > for the pilot of any craft.
    > Hmm. There is a lot of hype about this, mainly centred on a
    > "disoriented and groggy" pilot who has just woken up, making a
    > call about what looked like the lights of an oncoming plane, and
    > considered that there was no time to make further checks about
    > what else it might be before taking avoiding action.
    > Let us change the scenario a bit. Let us suppose the plane had
    > been on autopilot and the human pilot had been on a walk-about
    > amongst the passengers (as used to happen once upon a time) and
    > came back into the cockpit to see a bright light dead ahead.
    > Now, we have a pilot who is awake and alert, being confronted
    > with what he thinks is a plane on collision course within
    > seconds of impact. What is he to do...?
    > I would be interested to hear what Gary would think about this one.
    > Geoffrey
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