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AlaskanFlyboy

Simple Compass

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Anybody use a compass while flying in real life to get the heading of the aircraft?Thanks.Abe

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Yup, in me Cub. No vaccum system and precious little electrical system to speak of :)

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Yes,both in older /newer planes.The OLE whiskey glass .Simple,reliable,trustworthy,may be the most important gauge ya got.Will keep the others honest.It do have some peculiarities how ever.Northern turning error,variations, magnetic/true north,dip error,acceleration error,but no real problem. Always use it in the air. Check it out in any Pvt. Pilot Course manual for basic info. Regards Abe. VIN

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I did all that UNOS, ONUS, ANDS and SAND stuff regarding compass turning and acceleration errors in my ATPL. If you ask me, the questions were written by a compass designer who had never flown. Unless you are wings level they cannot even be classed as an averagometer, they pretty useless unless S&L. Instrument training requires that you time the turns against a rate one turn on the turn coordinator. This is a piece of cake. In the Cub, it is all VFR an not an issue, if you are 10 deg off heading, you simply look 10 deg left/right and point it thataway and then check the compass once you are S&L again. If you can see the features then its a no brainer.

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Thanks, guys!!I am sorry I did not make myself clear.I am talking about a small - very small - compass that you can put on your wrist or on your keychain, and use it in a commercial flight. I just want to know the heading I am flying on - specially on approach so that I can tell which runway I am landing on.Thanks again.Abe

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I imagine it will have all the same errors if you used it. In your case, if you're in the US, the TSA may or may not have issue with it. Depends on the particular screener's level or power-trip.----------------------------------------------------------------John MorganReal World: KGEG, UND Aerospace Spokane Satillite, Private ASEL 141.2 hrs, 314 landings, 46 inst. apprs.Virtual: MSFS 2004"There is a feeling about an airport that no other piece of ground can have. No matter what the name of the country on whose land it lies, an airport is a place you can see and touch that leads to a reality that can only be thought and felt." - The Bridge Across Forever: A Love Story by Richard Bach

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No, it will be totally unreliable. Aircraft compasses are placed where there is least interferance from the airframe and electrics whilst still being visible...usually near the roof. The compass is adjusted for the individual aircraft in its operational state (engines running and all electrics on) Each individual aircraft is swung, this means the compass reading for all cardinal points is taken and where the compass differs the error is called devation and it is recorded on card that is easily visible to the pilot in the cockpit.When you next have the opportunity, note the compass reading when you get into the aircraft, then note it when the electrics are swtiched on, and then note the reading with the engine running. You may well see a large difference in the readings.On large aircraft like a 737, even a hard landing can alter the disturbance the aircraft causes in the magnetic field and significantly alter the compass reading, requiring the aircraft to be swung again.

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Thanks again guys.I think I'll just follow the sun or the stars.Abe

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as an interesting side note...the compass is the only direction seeking instrument on an aircraft, that is why we find one on ALL aircraft (including the big boys)

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I understand all that, I just told him it should have all the same errors as an aircraft compass. Deviation errors right with it. :-hah----------------------------------------------------------------John MorganReal World: KGEG, UND Aerospace Spokane Satillite, Private ASEL 141.2 hrs, 314 landings, 46 inst. apprs.Virtual: MSFS 2004"There is a feeling about an airport that no other piece of ground can have. No matter what the name of the country on whose land it lies, an airport is a place you can see and touch that leads to a reality that can only be thought and felt." - The Bridge Across Forever: A Love Story by Richard Bach

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