How do you fly without GPS between intersections where you are a long distance from the reference VOR you are flying on track with? For instance, the J151/J233/J45 between VOR's DSM and STL, with intersections JAVAS, CHASY, SKBOZ and COLIE. It seems that when you get so far from the VOR station the radial's 'acceptable' vectors gets so wide that you can stray very far off the GPS course.
It also seems that on longer flights it gets harder for my flightplan course to stay on target. Should I be adjusting the amount of declination as I fly? How do you do this in FS2002/2004? I fly mainly N/S courses so I'm not sure why I would have so much variance, it just seems that my compass and flightplan get out of whack after awhile.
Anyone know of some good resources on flight navigation, either real world or sim? Or places to ask more navigation oriented I'm new around here and not sure if many real world pilots frequent these forums.
Yes we have quite a few IRL pilots here and they are very generous with their knowledge.
I just read this yesterday and thought you would enjoy it as much as a compass hugging taildragger like me did.
Very good article. I've always been interested in flying but never had the attention span to sit down in MSFS without crashing into things instead of actually flying, until now. It's a lot of fun flying to and from airports I've visited countless times a year for awhile now. But I find myself glued to the GPS and FSNavigator. At the same time though anytime I stray too far off course and ATC slaps me with a vector I feel I failed at navigating. 🙂
Thanks for the article reference.
Do you know of any place online that sells out-dated VFR sectionals or other charts? I'm thinking, since they go out of date so quickly (relatively speaking) there must be some market for resale to simmers of the outdated material. Would be nice since they would likely be less expensive than current charts (not that sectionals are all that expensive, but penny saved right?). I can get approac/departure charts from airnav.com but haven't found a good source for VFR/IFR charts yet.
Boy! are you guys spoiled. When I trained for my certificate, I always used VORs for navigation------ as well as the stop watch and a sectional. One thing to note, as you travel east or west you have to deal with changing magnetic errors. This has to do with the magnetic north pole not being in the same place as the true north pole. You must always add or subtract the error from your true heading or you will wind up significantly off course. If you are on the east coast, you add the error to true heading, as much as 8 deg. or more, if you are on the west coast, you subtract. 14 deg. at Los Angeles. Look for the isogonic lines on the sectionals where you are flying. The GPS units take this into consideration when plotting courses. Also the GPS is not dependent on the magnetic poles.
Ya, I was aware of the magnetic declination, I just didn't realize it would be that pronounced on my route. I was flying from KSTL to KMSP on a route that took me over O'Hare.
Anyway, I found a great site that seems to answer all my navigation questions. http://www.navfltsm.addr.com has some really nice articles that go through everything from the history to ILS. Seems well written, maybe it's just the first thing I've read that was written in a way I understood it well enough. I like the fact that it doesn't just describe how to do it, it takes you all through the why.
If you want to get them free, the best bet is to stop at a local small airport, school, and see if they'll give you some out of date ones.
Meanwhile I'll do it this way.