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Wintertime and navigation...



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 12th 20, 06:38 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
BobW
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 477
Default Wintertime and navigation...

So it's wintertime in the northern hemisphere (short days/long nights), and on
a recent thread it's (yet again) been implied out how crucial GPS is to
routine navigation (you're doomed without it), and part of
increasingly-geezeristic me gazes back fondly upon those forever-vanished days
when soaring was more about 'simply having fun' (i.e. XC soaring 'just
because') than obsessing about
electronics/batteries/the-latest-gee-whiz-bang-bit-of-kit/etc. So here's a bit
of historically-based rumination about the good ol' days to help us (me,
anyway, ha ha) through winter...

Way back in the early 1970s, I was a born-n-raised member of our eastern
coastal elite living near D.C. and recently launched upon the adult world, wet
behind my soaring ears, and still absorbing "Soaring" mag cover-to-cover...and
therefrom being exposed to all sorts of stuff, ranging from
immediately-soaring-centric to arguably-only-peripherally-so.

I remember a write-up of the 1-26 'nats' held from the old Black Forest, and
various competitors allegedly (and likely humorously) whining about how
difficult it was to find some place by name of Punkin Center (which was and
remains a great name for a rock band).

Some years later I'd transplanted myself to that part of flyover country,
flown my first 'real contest' from the old Black Forest...and used Punkin
Center as a turn point for my first 300K triangle (Black Forest Gliderport's
sadistic contest dogs declared it as a turnpoint - *again* !!!).

*MY* confusion was in convincing myself that the crossroads (and its 3
apparently-abandoned buildings) the correct distance/heading from the
gliderport *had* to be Punkin Center, because there was nothing else for
tens-of-miles around that could be it...that is if the hand of man had any
relationship to identifiers on VFR sectional maps. IOW, navigation over the
vast, lightly-populated/more-or-less-road-free, high plains, was pretty much
duck soup...if Joe Glider Pilot had any faith in his ability to 'contact fly'
while retaining faith in his 'critical mental faculties.'

Never since seen any reason to change that opinion.

And yet...apparently 'my take' is far from universal. Humor is where a person
finds it.

I'll be leaving now; my work here is done! :-)

Bob W.
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  #2  
Old January 12th 20, 07:09 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Martin Gregorie[_6_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 332
Default Wintertime and navigation...

On Sun, 12 Jan 2020 10:38:42 -0700, BobW wrote:

Some years later I'd transplanted myself to that part of flyover
country, flown my first 'real contest' from the old Black Forest...and
used Punkin Center as a turn point for my first 300K triangle (Black
Forest Gliderport's sadistic contest dogs declared it as a turnpoint -
*again* !!!).


For giggles, I asked Google Earth to show me Punkin Center.
Turns out it knows about two Punkin Centers, one in AZ and the other in
CO. Since the CO one has three sets of farm buildings around the junction
of two N-S / E-W blacktop roads, out on the middle of nowhere. I guess
that must be it.



--
Martin | martin at
Gregorie | gregorie dot org

  #3  
Old January 12th 20, 08:16 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Scott Williams[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 20
Default Wintertime and navigation...

On Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 11:38:46 AM UTC-6, BobW wrote:
So it's wintertime in the northern hemisphere (short days/long nights), and on
a recent thread it's (yet again) been implied out how crucial GPS is to
routine navigation (you're doomed without it), and part of
increasingly-geezeristic me gazes back fondly upon those forever-vanished days
when soaring was more about 'simply having fun' (i.e. XC soaring 'just
because') than obsessing about
electronics/batteries/the-latest-gee-whiz-bang-bit-of-kit/etc. So here's a bit
of historically-based rumination about the good ol' days to help us (me,
anyway, ha ha) through winter...

Way back in the early 1970s, I was a born-n-raised member of our eastern
coastal elite living near D.C. and recently launched upon the adult world, wet
behind my soaring ears, and still absorbing "Soaring" mag cover-to-cover...and
therefrom being exposed to all sorts of stuff, ranging from
immediately-soaring-centric to arguably-only-peripherally-so.

I remember a write-up of the 1-26 'nats' held from the old Black Forest, and
various competitors allegedly (and likely humorously) whining about how
difficult it was to find some place by name of Punkin Center (which was and
remains a great name for a rock band).

Some years later I'd transplanted myself to that part of flyover country,
flown my first 'real contest' from the old Black Forest...and used Punkin
Center as a turn point for my first 300K triangle (Black Forest Gliderport's
sadistic contest dogs declared it as a turnpoint - *again* !!!).

*MY* confusion was in convincing myself that the crossroads (and its 3
apparently-abandoned buildings) the correct distance/heading from the
gliderport *had* to be Punkin Center, because there was nothing else for
tens-of-miles around that could be it...that is if the hand of man had any
relationship to identifiers on VFR sectional maps. IOW, navigation over the
vast, lightly-populated/more-or-less-road-free, high plains, was pretty much
duck soup...if Joe Glider Pilot had any faith in his ability to 'contact fly'
while retaining faith in his 'critical mental faculties.'

Never since seen any reason to change that opinion.

And yet...apparently 'my take' is far from universal. Humor is where a person
finds it.

I'll be leaving now; my work here is done! :-)

Bob W.


Thanks Bob, I enjoyed your tale,
I have often found myself in Bumpkis center after attempting to turn into a thermal, only to find sink.
Cheers,
Scott
  #4  
Old January 13th 20, 12:20 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Charlie M. (UH & 002 owner/pilot)
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,261
Default Wintertime and navigation...

I feel for ya....

I remembered the "start board roulette" at a nationals in Elmira....a top dude picked a start time....everyone else picked right after that.

Sigh....

I have also had issues "way back when" with cameras, barografs, etc. (sp) had a "gold distance/diamond gold" denied because first place developed film in a color automatic machine...second place developed B&W, but cut the negative mid flight between multiple shots of second turnpoint.....I could "prove" the flight, but rules stated..."single uncut negative for the duration of the flight.."...appeal failed....I did a valid flight a few years later.....same airport/flight, thermals only....

Yes.....part of the challenge....

I spent decades using a paper map, compass, look outside...."glide computer" was a ring on the vario or, "5 miles/1000'" in a -20 not allowing for wind....

Yes, I screwed myself decades ago using an AOPA yellow scale (part of your member renewal) to measure map distance....on a long (for eastern US) final glide, I looked down a few times, looked at map, twisted "wind knob" on Cambridge....late in glide, thought "going to lightspeed", rechecked ground a bit later, found I had flipped AOPA scale to a different scale...oopppsss......blanked them out on newer AOPA scales...sigh...yes, I made it home, but rather low, not fast....rolleyes....
  #5  
Old January 13th 20, 02:59 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Dan Marotta
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,868
Default Wintertime and navigation...

Ahhhh...* The good old days.* Way back then, before I even knew about
soaring, I was flying all over the Arctic with nothing more than a
single VOR and TACAN.* Oh, and the magnetic variation was 28 degrees
east.* Somehow I always managed to find my way home.

On 1/12/2020 10:38 AM, BobW wrote:
So it's wintertime in the northern hemisphere (short days/long
nights), and on a recent thread it's (yet again) been implied out how
crucial GPS is to routine navigation (you're doomed without it), and
part of increasingly-geezeristic me gazes back fondly upon those
forever-vanished days when soaring was more about 'simply having fun'
(i.e. XC soaring 'just because') than obsessing about
electronics/batteries/the-latest-gee-whiz-bang-bit-of-kit/etc. So
here's a bit of historically-based rumination about the good ol' days
to help us (me, anyway, ha ha) through winter...

Way back in the early 1970s, I was a born-n-raised member of our
eastern coastal elite living near D.C. and recently launched upon the
adult world, wet behind my soaring ears, and still absorbing "Soaring"
mag cover-to-cover...and therefrom being exposed to all sorts of
stuff, ranging from immediately-soaring-centric to
arguably-only-peripherally-so.

I remember a write-up of the 1-26 'nats' held from the old Black
Forest, and various competitors allegedly (and likely humorously)
whining about how difficult it was to find some place by name of
Punkin Center (which was and remains a great name for a rock band).

Some years later I'd transplanted myself to that part of flyover
country, flown my first 'real contest' from the old Black Forest...and
used Punkin Center as a turn point for my first 300K triangle (Black
Forest Gliderport's sadistic contest dogs declared it as a turnpoint -
*again* !!!).

*MY* confusion was in convincing myself that the crossroads (and its 3
apparently-abandoned buildings) the correct distance/heading from the
gliderport *had* to be Punkin Center, because there was nothing else
for tens-of-miles around that could be it...that is if the hand of man
had any relationship to identifiers on VFR sectional maps. IOW,
navigation over the vast, lightly-populated/more-or-less-road-free,
high plains, was pretty much duck soup...if Joe Glider Pilot had any
faith in his ability to 'contact fly' while retaining faith in his
'critical mental faculties.'

Never since seen any reason to change that opinion.

And yet...apparently 'my take' is far from universal. Humor is where a
person finds it.

I'll be leaving now; my work here is done! :-)

Bob W.


--
Dan, 5J
 




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