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Old 06-19-2014, 12:15 PM   #21
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I wasn't suggesting ultralights follow the rules for other aircraft and have no idea what rules they fly by or could really care...

Being a guy who flew most of his career in the "dead man's zone" and lived by the "big sky theory "...I suggest that any pilot of anything better know what part of the sky has the densest "not following any rule" traffic.

Or follow the more predictable traffic flow set up by a set of rules that if deviated from have other consequences than just dying....
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:20 PM   #22
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Maybe havin' an autopilot without a "brain" is a good thing, as I am always correcting for set and drift. Runnin' up the southern California coast, I add ten degrees to port as the set is usually from the northwest. Commin' south, I add ten degrees to starboard for the same reason.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:21 PM   #23
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I wasn't suggesting ultralights follow the rules for other aircraft and have no idea what rules they fly by or could really care...

Being a guy who flew most of his career in the "dead man's zone" and lived by the "big sky theory "...I suggest that any pilot of anything better know what part of the sky has the densest "not following any rule" traffic.

Or follow the more predictable traffic flow set up by a set of rules that if deviated from have other consequences than just dying....
Thanks for the clarification I thought perhaps you felt the previous post about flying Ultralights was wrong?
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:26 PM   #24
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Maybe havin' an autopilot without a "brain" is a good thing, as I am always correcting for set and drift. Runnin' up the southern California coast, I add ten degrees to port as the set is usually from the northwest. Commin' south, I add ten degrees to starboard for the same reason.
When a box can correct for set and drift WAYYYYYYY better than a human (as it's constantly updated rather than whenever you want to take a "guess" or make a more positive calculation...AND it helps with leeway)....I just don't get peoples aversion to fully integrated autopilots.

Lot's of things can go wrong on the water...a setup that with absolute minimum understanding and so little attention or input that can do SO much for you....it's just inconceivable to me why people are "anti- auto pilot in all it's forms. yes you have to pay a little attention...big deal.

I wonder if all the people that distrust marine electronic integration also avoid fling commercial airliners that are certified to auto land in worse conditions than if the pilot was at the controls?
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:30 PM   #25
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Thanks for the clarification I thought perhaps you felt the previous post about flying Ultralights was wrong?
Bill
Not wrong...but obviously not portraying the "big" picture of scooting around in uncontrolled airspace.

Something that was driven home time and time again at our annual simulator course.

You could be in completely safe and radar controlled airspace...break out of the clouds at some smaller airport and crash into some ultralight who was perfectly legal yet oblivious to the "big" airspace picture.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:42 PM   #26
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Well my idea is rarely your idea but flying at an altitude that other pilots rarely fly at seems the safest and smartest thing to do.

However flying an ultralight at all is questionable ... at least. But I did it for many years and never broke a bone. Those cracked ribs sure did hurt though.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:56 PM   #27
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Well my idea is rarely your idea but flying at an altitude that other pilots rarely fly at seems the safest and smartest thing to do.

However flying an ultralight at all is questionable ... at least. But I did it for many years and never broke a bone. Those cracked ribs sure did hurt though.
I think you have to be half baked to fly an Ultralight but some people love the rush it gives them! Then again piloting a boat in a pop up thunderstorm can be an adventure. Me I prefer to stay put if there's even a remote chance of T-Storms they can have significant power behind them.
I was caught off guard 3 years ago and the cloud to water strikes were within 100 yards or so as we came down a narrow fairway through Little Egg from the Holgate ICW to Tuckerton Creek. We call it the sticks.
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:08 PM   #28
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Being a guy who flew most of his career in the "dead man's zone" and lived by the "big sky theory "...I suggest that any pilot of anything better know what part of the sky has the densest "not following any rule" traffic.
Yup. . .I agree. A lot of good comparisons there. You would think with the advances in aircraft navigation avionics systems more non-commercial pilots, outside of controlled air space, would venture off the beaten path and plot straight line, shortest route flight paths. But many pilots, both rotary and fixed wing, still prefer to follow the road systems here. On your toes anytime you're near or crossing the main North -South or East - West highway systems.
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:27 PM   #29
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I don't distrust electronic nav instruments, I just hesitate on spendin' money on something I use once a year on our annual trip to Catalina Island. Got other boat stuff that needs the bucks.
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:31 PM   #30
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Yup. . .I agree. A lot of good comparisons there. You would think with the advances in aircraft navigation avionics systems more non-commercial pilots, outside of controlled air space, would venture off the beaten path and plot straight line, shortest route flight paths. But many pilots, both rotary and fixed wing, still prefer to follow the road systems here. On your toes anytime you're near or crossing the main North -South or East - West highway systems.
Thanks...the real story is that from 0-3000 feet is a free for all...especially around coasts, non-controlled airports, places of interest....etc...

It's where the vast majority of inexperience is and there's no control and barely any rules...the diff at being off a few hundred feet is negligible in the big scheme of things as the class of pilots that fly there can barely aintain a steady altitude if they WANTED to...but they don't as they are just out having fun, sightseeing, banner towing, etc...etc... or looking for a missing something or other...

Same as boating to the degree that everyone has to go in the inlet...or wants to run along the beach, etc...thinking you are coming in on a safe approach because you are travelling where the big boys or comms aren't...just means you are probably where all the other non-pro boaters are headed.
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:59 PM   #31
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Tell me about it. . . We were crossing over the Cascade Mtns at Stampede Pass a few weeks ago and had a little red Champ pop up through a thin overcast at our 11 o'clock. At 180 knots we covered that 100 yards in a flash.
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:08 PM   #32
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Fly'in where others usually don't bought me some safety but flying over farm fields or other places where one could land safely was 95% of the safety I did have and good maintenance of my airframe was also top priority. I frequently flew 50 to 75 miles and I spent a lot of time aloft evaluating potential landing fields. Farm fields basically gave me license to fly. Without farm fields I never would'a flown ultralights. Wind and weather was the biggie for hang gliding. I flew literally by my armpits like Lilienthal the aviation pioneer but that was only several feet off the ground.

Safely operating our boats is in many ways like flying. Both have extremely fear filled moments and long hours of relative boredom. Both move via engines and propellers and both live in a liquid environment and crash onto hard ground on occasion. But I have no problem w close passing as long as if the boat makes a wake I'll want to turn into I'll have more room.

Edelweiss,
It seems pilots have a fondness for Californians.
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:04 PM   #33
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Edelweiss,
It seems pilots have a fondness for Californians.
1. Pilots are cheap. Don't know why, but every pilot I know can't pass up a free anything! Californians are also relatively cheap...a good pilot match up!

2. Most Californians have twin engines. Pilots like redundancy.

3. Californians are stout hulls that, with enough power, can be made to plane. Pilots like strong things going fast. (my boat is an exception....but it was cheap!)

That's my theory and I'm sticking to it!
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:58 PM   #34
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looking out the windows helps...
That's what I try to drill into my wife. What you see trumps everything else.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:19 PM   #35
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:20 PM   #36
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With all the gear I had in my last vessel the best nav aide I had was my wife. She is fantastic at reading the water, spotting navigation aides and vessels that were unlit at night.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:39 PM   #37
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I have to admit that I use my plotter and autopilot constantly. I am solo much of the time and it frees me to post a proper watch, navigate and communicate without the drudgery of minding the wheel. With 5 turns lock to lock, that equates to a lot of hand steering in my boat.

For convenience, I have laid out routes to my common destinations. When plotting these routes, I center them in any channels that form a part of the route. I use a Garmin GPSMAP 740S that allows you to select an offset when selecting and following a route. I set the offset according to the width of the channel, and where I would like to be in relation to the center when following the route. I then hand steer the boat (both directions) using the GPS steering mode and make adjustments for any un-charted objects or GPS plotting anomalies.

Next, I engage the autopilot, a Simrad AP20 with latest firmware, upgraded rate compass and new pump. I again carefully follow the progress and make further adjustments to the route. Cross-track error with the autopilot engaged is typically no more than 30' worst case, normally less than 6' or so. After a few passes, I have a high degree of confidence that I can rely upon these verified routes when the going gets bad.

No matter how convenient this gear is is though, I am always mindful to keep my head on 'full swivel' and look around for other traffic, situations and conditions. The GPS and autopilot while helpful and reliable, are completely blind, and human eyes are the only thing that will prevent them from steering you right into another boat, a freighter, the rocks . . . . . you get it.

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Old 06-19-2014, 11:00 PM   #38
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Thanks...the real story is that from 0-3000 feet is a free for all...especially around coasts, non-controlled airports, places of interest....etc...
Roger that!! Fly high. . . fly long

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1. Pilots are cheap. Don't know why, but every pilot I know can't pass up a free anything! Californians are also relatively cheap...a good pilot match up!
2. Most Californians have twin engines. Pilots like redundancy.
3. Californians are stout hulls that, with enough power, can be made to plane. Pilots like strong things going fast. (my boat is an exception....but it was cheap!)
Now that's hurtful !!

But that's the reason I own the boat and my cousin owns the plane. I've got him convinced that cost verses miles traveled makes the boat much more expensive. He's an engineer so that make sense to him!! Now is that being cheap? Works for me!
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:14 AM   #39
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I have to admit that I use my plotter and autopilot constantly. I am solo much of the time and it frees me to post a proper watch, navigate and communicate without the drudgery of minding the wheel. With 5 turns lock to lock, that equates to a lot of hand steering in my boat.

For convenience, I have laid out routes to my common destinations. When plotting these routes, I center them in any channels that form a part of the route. I use a Garmin GPSMAP 740S that allows you to select an offset when selecting and following a route. I set the offset according to the width of the channel, and where I would like to be in relation to the center when following the route. I then hand steer the boat (both directions) using the GPS steering mode and make adjustments for any un-charted objects or GPS plotting anomalies.

Next, I engage the autopilot, a Simrad AP20 with latest firmware, upgraded rate compass and new pump. I again carefully follow the progress and make further adjustments to the route. Cross-track error with the autopilot engaged is typically no more than 30' worst case, normally less than 6' or so. After a few passes, I have a high degree of confidence that I can rely upon these verified routes when the going gets bad.

No matter how convenient this gear is is though, I am always mindful to keep my head on 'full swivel' and look around for other traffic, situations and conditions. The GPS and autopilot while helpful and reliable, are completely blind, and human eyes are the only thing that will prevent them from steering you right into another boat, a freighter, the rocks . . . . . you get it.

Larry
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Sound like what a lot of experienced operators do with slight variations.

I also set a very narrow pie wedge guard zone on my RADAR for right in front of me just in case (off set to compensate for COG versus heading)...sometimes buoys are off station or another temp structure that's hard to see may be in my offset and the RADAR warns me a fair bit out.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:26 AM   #40
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Sound like what a lot of experienced operators do with slight variations.

I also set a very narrow pie wedge guard zone on my RADAR for right in front of me just in case (off set to compensate for COG versus heading)...sometimes buoys are off station or another temp structure that's hard to see may be in my offset and the RADAR warns me a fair bit out.
Updating my SOP immediately with that one. Brilliant, yet so obvious!

Larry
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