Wan­der­ing ‘off-piste’

Pilot - - AIRMAIL -

Read­ing the ILAFFT in Novem­ber I could not help but note that had James Tay­lor had a sat nav in the cock­pit he would have known where he was in an in­stant.

What is it about de­cry­ing new tech­nol­ogy? What is ‘new’ any­way? Where do we draw the line? Early air­craft had no ra­dios. I won­der whether these were also re­garded as a dis­trac­tion at the time when they were a ‘new fan­gled’ tech­nol­ogy. Would any­body in their right mind fly with­out one now? Yes, I know it is busier now but there are also a lot more re­stricted ar­eas – which I can’t help but note are not clearly marked as such on the ground for our con­ve­nience.

Yes, sat nav can be a dis­trac­tion, but so can any other num­ber of things. Such as try­ing to read a 1:500,000 map against in­dis­tinct ground fea­tures whilst try­ing to work out where the heck you are and wor­ry­ing about whether there is a com­mer­cial air­liner bear­ing down on you.

I have sat nav (and a backup and a map) which I have with me at all times – even for flights in the lo­cal area. Surely any­thing that can as­sist in avoid­ing re­stricted airspace or fly­ing into ter­rain (Sky­de­mon, and I as­sume all their com­peti­tors, is­sues a warn­ing if you are head­ing into trou­ble) is a good thing? But then, I fly a PA-28 spam­can… Clive Tay­lor by email

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