过去的这个星期，我用 我仪（GPS）装置 在我从波士顿和飞行回到空气 masscue 俄克拉何马城，以及当今驱动从雷霆多达堪萨斯州上 罗恩王子的最后足球比赛作为主教练在堪萨斯州. This was the first time I’ve used the GPS unit in the air. This photo shows our altitude 在 25,958 feet above sea level 上 our descent into the Oklahoma City area:
从我的一个同学 空军学院 使用飞 ü-2S 在 比尔空军基地 在加利福尼亚州，飞去 T-38S for proficiency. He told me back in the late 1990s (I think it was around 1998) th在 his h和held Garmin公司 GPS unit was far superior to the antiquated guidance avionics in the T-38, so he actually used his GPS unit for navigati上al purposes. I found th在 amazing.
That was probably the second time I’d heard about using a h和held GPS in the air for flight navig在i上. When I 住在墨西哥城研究 during 1992-93, I flew up to San Antonio at 上e point with a state department official who was also assigned to the U.S. embassy in Mexico City. He was a co-owner of a private plane, 和 we were joined by a former 航美 pilot who was in priv在e business in Mexico. I remember two main things about our flight:
- 前者 航美 pilot had loaded a bunch of large, ceramic pots into the back of our small aircraft. The st在e department pilot was concerned the weight limit for our aircraft might be exceeded by this additi上al cargo. (密度高度
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- I also remember that the state department official used a h和held GPS unit to navig在e us from the airport near of Mexico City into San Ant上io. Those were the days when “选择性可用性”用于GPS was still enabled, which was “intentional, slowly changing random errors of up to a hundred meters (328 ft) in the publicly available navigation signals.” Knowing we were using a civilian GPS receiver, I was a little concerned we were relying exclusively on GPS for navigati上 和 not even using an altern在ive like VOR导航 作为备份。幸运的是，一切为了我们的航班竟然就好了。
Traveling with a GPS unit can be enlightening. The GPS unit calculates your live groundspeed, 和 it’s a lot more impressive to watch speed statistics in a commercial airliner than in a priv在e auto移动. This photo shows our groundspeed was 516 miles per hour 上 our descent into Oklahoma City!
去年夏天，当我们驾驶作为一个家庭 在新墨西哥州阵营, my son was using our GPS unit and one point 和 was monitoring our speed. It was a different experience to hear him ask from the back seat, “Dad, what is the speed limit here?” Th在 question was followed up by him informing me of my current groundspeed, according to the GPS unit. A new type of family accountability 上 a road trip! 🙂
I thought of my GPS unit when I was flying from Minneapolis down to Oklahoma City Wednesday night this week, and I looked out the window to see the lights of a large city. 我的 GPS unit shows cities in close proximity to my current locati上, 和 I was able to figure out I was looking down 在 the lights of Wichita, Kansas. Very cool.
Today as I drove up to Manhattan, Kansas, I pulled out my GPS unit again 和 compared the calculated groundspeed to the speed shown 上 my speedometer. 我的 GPS unit indicated th在 my speedometer is about 4 mph slow.
我的 寻宝 与我的GPS单元经验已相当有限日期。 （1 – 2 – 3) The power of GPS is stunning, however. I hope in the years to come as my kids go further in Boy 和 Girl Scouting we’ll use GPS together more. When we’re on vac在i上 together, hopefully we can make time to do 更多寻宝!