Wednesday, 27 August 2008


Colonel Don Blakeslee - He led the 4th Fighter Group across Germany and Eastern Europe using only a map on his kneee and a watch. (See the Daily Telegraph report below.)

These are the main pointers:
  • Plan the route meticulously.

  • Check for gross errors.

  • Keep the markings on your route to a sensible minimum (K.I.S.).

  • 6 minute marks, or ½ and ¼ and ¾ marks, or time marks at major features.

  • Possibly mark the Track and Distance at the start point of each leg.

  • Consider marking the wind direction and speed in green.

  • Mentally note the major geographical features on the route.

  • Mentally note the ATZs, MATZs, CTRs, CTZs, AIAAs, Restricted Areas and Danger Areas on your route – or make notes on your Navigation Log + Radio Frequencies.

  • Brakes OFF – Airborne – Landed – Brakes ON spaces are useful on the Nav Log.
BUT KEEP IT SIMPLE! The normal priorities always apply and this includes Pilot Navigation. Aviate – Navigate – Communicate.
Make every effort to be organised in the cockpit. Do not spend more time than is absolutely necessary looking at your chart. LOOKOUT is absolutely important and the rule Lookout – Attitude – Instruments applies here as it does in all regimes of flight.

Accurate Pilot Navigation is dependent on two main factors:
These are:
Have faith in your meticulous planning. Have faith in the met winds and temperature. Clock and Heading will get you there.
(About a hundred years ago I used to fly twin-piston aircraft over the South African bush. Clock and Heading over large distances always worked.)
CHRONO: At TAKE-OFF start the CHRONO and anticipate each TURNING POINT. ZERO the Chrono a few seconds before the T.P. and START the Chrono exactly overhead the TURNING POINT.
HEADING: Concentrate on maintaining the HEADING accurately. This is best achieved by utilising a ground feature in the ‘far’ distance as an aiming point which lines up with your heading. Lookout – Attitude – Instruments. DO NOT FLY WITH YOUR EYES ‘INSIDE’.
Part of the Daily Telegraph obituary of Colonel Don Blakeslee - printed Saturday 27th September 2008

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