Snark’s ‘Chuck’s Guide’ to the CIVA Delco Carrousel IV-A for Chuck
Welcome to flying with INS! Ever flown with a FMC/FMS computer in a modern jet? Well this is the daddy of those systems! And many still have something much like this build in! Dedicated to @Chuck_Owl, The Man, The Myth, The Legend, The time saver of many of our simulator efforts!
Let’s go over what is what. The top row has the mode selector
OFF - INS unit inactive
STBY - INS is ready for input of waypoints and current position(same method). Not ready for navigation
ALIGN - starts the process of accurately reading the current position based on input.
NAV - INS in navigation mode. I’ve more then once forgot to put it in NAV from ALIGN after taxi…
Right of this is the NAV READY light. this will be lit green when the unit is aligned. the BAT light will tell you its draining the battery. important to keep in mind during ground ops but not extremely relevant for our simulation purposes
Below this is the North/South and East/West coordinate displays. Quite important to the functioning of this unit.
The button HOLD, well the manual doesn’t tell me what it does except “HOLD KEY”, I presume a holding pattern over either the current position or upcoming waypoint. Next to that you can load pre-made flightplans. I’ve never done that before.
Keep in mind that the unit can only store 9 waypoints at a time. So if you fly longer legs make sure to update it halfway in between!
ALERT/BAT/WARN are general warnings, I’ve triggered them at one point or another but wouldn’t know the exact conditions. Frankly, I haven’t gone deep enough to call this Chuck’s Guide’s level of detail .
The next row has the waypoint selector. Rotate it left or right to select waypoint 0 through 9. 0 is always your current position and 1-9 can be programmed with any coordinate. just right of that you will see the FROM TO display. It has 2 seven-segment display’s that tell you the waypoint FROM on the left, and the waypoint TO on the right. In the above image it is navigating from the current position to waypoint 1. To the right of that is a keypad used for entering waypoints.
The big rotating knob below that is perhaps my favourite feature. It allows you to monitor a whole load of things that you would not expect and also shows you why it became such a staple of airliners in its day!
TK/GS - Ground TracK related to the true north to the nearest tenth of a degree, GroundSpeed in KTS.
HDG/DA - Current HeaDinG related to the true north to the nearest tenth of a degree and the Drift Angle relative to the wind from 0-180, Left or Right
XTK/TKE - X(cross)****Track Error in tenths of a nautical mile, left or right. TracK Angle Error 0-180, Left or Right
POS - Surprise surprise, current position!
WAYPT - Coordinates of selected waypoint(in the rotary window just above the Data Selector).
DIS/TIME - Distance in tenth of a nautical mile, time in minutes, to active waypoint.
WIND - Wind direction in degrees relative to the true north
DSRTK/STS - Desired Track Angle to the selected waypoint and the status codes of the INS(more on this later).
The CIVA INS uses the DMS(Decimal Minute Seconds) system to determine location. X-plane 10 gives you the Decimal Degrees. So if we want to find our position at the gate we would have to use a official chart that has coordinates for a range of gates. That is all fine and dandy but if you are at an airport without that you are straight out of luck. So we shall convert the X-plane coordinate to DMS.
I use this website: https://www.directionsmag.com/site/latlong-converter/
but, pick anything you would like. The formula remains the same.
In X-plane go to Settings > Data Input & Output then selection the 4th checkbox in option 20.
Now you should see your coordinates at the top left
Put the X-plane coordinates in the Decimal Degrees box and it should spit out a DMS when you click convert.
we only need the first 5 of the 6 numbers that are given as output. Do this for the lat/long of your start position and note it down. Fortunately SkyVector gives us the DMS coordinates of any place when you right click on the map.
Tonight’s Christmas flight will bring us from Turkey into Cyprus.
wpt CIVA FPL
init N40584 E28491
1 N40596 E28485 IST(112.50) VOR
2 N39474 E29092 OVACI
3 N39238 E29160 DEDIM
4 N38400 E29281 TUMER
5 N37474 E29422 CRD(112.00) VOR
6 N36552 E30475 AYT(114.00) VOR
7 N35371 E30510 DASNI
8 N34557 E33260 OTESA
This is how I format my flightplans, if a waypoint is a NDB or VOR I usually note them down too. So far I’ve never had to update the INS(you can regain accuracy mid flight with 2 DME equipped beacons), but that is something you would probably want to know add to your flightplan too. INIT is initial waypoint, or position 0 on the waypoint rotary.
My usual procedure is to power up the CIVA, input the aircraft position, start alignment, input all the waypoints and start the engine. I usually have some time left for other preparations whilst the INS is aligning.
Let’s go through the procedures to align the INS and fly a few waypoints in it. I will presume that you have powered up your aircraft in your favourite fashion for this tutorial(Ground Power, APU, engines, etc).
- Put the Mode Selector in STBY
- put the Data Selector in POS
- put the WPT selector in 0
In this case I will put in the initial position from the flightplan above, N40584 and E28491.
Firs you need to select the cardinal direction(E/W/N/S), do this by clicking on the button corresponding to that direction. In my case I need to put in a North coordinate so I press 2. At this point the INSERT button will light up, you can now type in the coordinate 40584. Once you have typed this in press INSERT.
Repeat this procedure for the East coordinate. Once done change the Mode Selector from STBY to ALIGN. Rotate the Data Selector to DSRTK/STS.
The Desired Track functions is now inactive, but the status window on the left is what is off interest to us. From left to right it shows Status Code(0 < not in NAV), Performance Index(9, Booo, we want 0!) and Desired Performance Index(5, okay’ish… but meh?). Performance index deteriorates over time, I’ve never have flown long enough for realignment but it’s a build in function. If you wait a few minutes you will see that it changes to 0 ____ 05 and that the green READY NAV light will light up.
Waypoint entry works the same as how you would enter the initial position. Although now you need to turn the waypoint rotary to the desired index. The CIVA auto navigates from 0 to 1, 1 to 2, etc. So I would recommend entering waypoints consecutively. But hey, I’m not the boss and you can go crazy with it if you want to!
- Mode Selector(STBY/ALIGN/NAV)
- Data Selector WAYPT
- Waypoint Selector 1-9
- Enter longtitude/latitude quadrant(N/E/S/W)
- Enter Decimal Minute Second waypoint.
- Press Insert
Repeat until all waypoints are added. I would recommend double checking all the waypoints when you are done adding them.
Here I’ve added the first waypoint and activated keyboard mode. If you click in the top-left of the 2D CIVA you will see a small orange K. This allows you to use the numpad on your keyboard as input. Quite useful.
Once you are done with inserting waypoints, aligning and feel like you want to give this a go, then feel free to change the Mode Selector to NAV. Go back to the status menu(Data Selector DSRTK/STS) and see if it changes the first 0 to 1. That means it’s now navigating.
On the FJS727 you need to put the Auto Pilot into AUX NAV, it’s the little console just infront of the fuel cut-off switches.
On the FJS737-200 you need to flip from NAV to GPS. I’ve marked the switch:
The CIVA will just continue with the waypoints until it has none. So if you only input 2 it will fly those and then continue on the last heading. In theory you could fly a STAR or SID with it… If you are fast enough .
There’s a few other neat things you can do with the CIVA that I’ve never really tried. I hope this is a useful primer into how the CIVA works! Let me know if you have any questions!
Note in this screenshot that I’ve activated the AP channels, it has jumped to VOR LOC(it follows what you see on your HSI) and GPS(where it get’s it info from). As you can see, the INS already has lost some accuracy simply by being in an operational state. I could wax and wane a little on about how that works but it’s way out the scope of this manual
Departing Istanbul, X-plane is gorgeous at night!
Climbing out, I already passed WPT 1 at take-off so it already put it into FROM 12 TO as you can see.
And now, we say onwards noble steed! To this trusty horse that has served me so well in the past flightsim year! It’s the aircraft I feel extremely comfortable in and definitely a favourite.
For everyone else, I hope this isn’t too bothersome in this thread, it is still a Christmas flight afterall!
EDIT: Another shot, showing my flying between WPT 2 and 3, with the wind coming from 257 with 36 knots.
If you are 2 minutes out from a WPT change the ALERT button will light up. The manual doesn’t exactly say under which conditions it lights up but so far I’ve been changing my IAS 6 minutes out from a WPT change and it lights every time at 2.0 until the change.