I’m plodding along, getting to grips with learning to use celestial navigation. I did a test flight last night where I was too tired to complete it, so I went to bed leaving the sim running…
The route was from Adak Island in the Aleutians down to Midway Island. That is over 1500nm of nothing but ocean. I ran a SkyVector plan and set off in daylight. I had traveled over 550nm by the time it was dark enough to see stars for a position fix. When I took the fix, I estimated I was about 19nm to the right of course, but because it was a slow process to crunch the numbers, I estimated I was about 100nm farther on by the time I had completed the plotting, so I extended the course line another 100nm, measured the distance from the planned track, which was now 23nm off course. I then applied the 1 in 60 rule to figure out a course correction, which turned out to be only 4 degrees. I made the heading change, and went to bed… When I woke up, I had flown well beyond Midway, but the track shown on the Goodway map shows I flew right over the runway! I’d rather be lucky than good!
Planned route is the green line. The yellow line shows a direct line from Adak to the position fix, which was then extended by another 100nm to account for the time it took to work out the fix and plot it.
Some hours later, the airplane passed directly over the field.
The orange line is the track flown. The blue line is point to point from Adak to Midway, but unlike Google Earth, Goodway uses a flat map, which means a great circle route ends up being drawn as a curve.
Anyway, I thought it was neat… lots of luck involved when it comes to actually flying over the island. I would have been happy to have been within visible range of it.
My ride for the exercise…