A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Don Seltzer
Date: 2017 Feb 1, 11:14 -0500
The lost pilot was instructed by the airline pilot to use his hand like a Kamal to meaure the height of the sun while the airline pilot did the same thing and determined where that little guy was in relation to the airliner. It worked, so the lengths of the two pilots' arms and the thicknesses of their fingers must have been about the same.
Actually, the ratio of the eye-to-hand distance to the width of the fingers is fairly consistent from person to person. It's what allows the Army to teach soldiers to estimate apparent angular distance in mils using the same method. A useful trick when guiding artillery fire onto the target without a compass. (See attached diagram.)