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Episode #126 "That Didn't Mute?"

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:39 pm
by falcon124
It was interesting to hear the backup options for GPS based navigation if LORAN is taken away (GLONASS, etc). To me, they're not true backups as they're still satellite based systems. Ask anyone who reads the RISKS forum (Risks to the Public in Computers & Related Systems - and they'll quickly tell you that a true "mission critical" backup system shouldn't use the same infrastructure as the primary system.

There are many classic examples of primary failures immediately occurring in the backup system as well, including backup network connections running through the same conduit as the primary (so both go out when the conduit is cut/waterlogged/etc) and backup equipment that uses the same application/firmware/etc (so it also experiences the same defect and fails along with the primary).

To take this into the GPS world, a true backup system shouldn't be using satellite, shouldn't use the same radios/cabling/display panels/etc and, if taken to the extreme, shouldn't even use radio (if something can block your access to GPS, could it also block your access to LORAN?)

So now we're proposing around the world to go to a 100% satellite based system for critical navigation. What's our backup in case we can't talk to the satellites? What am I missing here?

Re: Episode #126 "That Didn't Mute?"

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:00 pm
by Pilot_MKN
Here Jack, check these out; two propeller-driven cars from the Lane Auto Museum in Nashville, TN



Re: Episode #126 "That Didn't Mute?"

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:14 am
by champguy
When it comes to backup systems, does anyone really want to face reality.
When sailing 35 years ago, we used celestrial with a Casio for time/longitude, short wave for WWV time checks.
Backup for that was a transistor radio with a ferrite rod antenna for RDF.
Back up for that was DR.
Then to the "Last Refugue of the Navigator" sitting on the foredeck.
Why would anyone fly a plane that they can't land safely with just what they see out the cockpit window?
Oh, you say you want to go fast, Oh, and carry a bunch of people, Oh, and fly when the weather is less than VFR.
Y'all be carefull out there.

Re: Episode #126 "That Didn't Mute?"

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:56 pm
by PilotBillFromTexas
Many moons ago when I was in a college economics class we were talking about the economic theory of substitution. The idea is that if you can't get strawberries that a rational consumer would just substitute blueberries, for example. Being the wise guy kid I knew that there had to be something that people would just not be able to do without. So, I said that toothpaste is something that people NEED and would not substitute if for some reason the price went too high. Evidently plenty of people still use baking soda in place of toothpaste. The point is that we all can get locked into a train of thought and miss the obvious and maybe simple.

I flew a C-172 last week and discovered a loose alternator fan belt. I brought it to the attention of a mega hour ex-heavy iron driver I was flying with. We decided that we would take off and just keep an eye on the electric. It was a perfectly clear day. Sure enough the low voltage light came on and we shut down non-essential equipment, messed with the rpm setting on taxi, debated a bit, etc...

The problem was solved when I turned the alternator side of the alt/batt switch on. DUH! The point is that we got so focused on the track of the loose alternator belt that we both missed the obvious simple solution.

Re: Episode #126 "That Didn't Mute?"

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:47 pm
by champguy
Ya, getting focused on one thing and miss another. Been there, rather not talk about it.
The most likely failure mode on GPS is not the erant satilite, the global meltdown, or the neutron bomb terrorist attack. It is a loose nut on the cable that supplies power to the entire pannel shutting down the GPS, the radio, and the overhead fan that keeps the pilot cool. Whenever I get into trouble it is always the loose nut that did it.

Re: Episode #126 "That Didn't Mute?"

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:56 pm
by BRU25L

Just been listening to 126 whilst driving home from a weekend in the Belgian Ardennes. (Internet jetlag means I don't listen until a few days after publication!)

I do believe that I should claim the prizeless prize. The 6 engined bird you were referring to is the Giant Antonov An-225 Mirya - quite a sight. There is only one but I have managed to see it a couple of times over the years. If you are into these big birds Antonov's other offering the An-22 with 4 contra rotating props was the world's largest aircraft until the C-5 knocked it off the podium. Not only a visual treat but unsurpassed on airways - damn near shakes the tiles off my roof.

You also metioned the mighty B-52 with it plethora of engines. A fovourite apochryphal story about the 52 used to be told in Britain in the 70's when the annual US-UK bombing competions were held. It is said the only prize a B-52 would win was the one for the aircraft with the most engines!!! (Ducks behind the sofa to void ex bomber crew reaction)

Good show as always guys - keep up the good work. Keeps me informed as to what goes on your side of the water. Just one thing, Jack - anyway doesn't have a plural. At least not where I learnt English (England) :lol:

Re: Episode #126 "That Didn't Mute?"

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 1:06 pm
by Dave Higdon

Our first-ever priceless prize goes to BRU25L for knowing that our mystery six-engine bird is, indeed, the mighty An-225...amazing machine! Have been fortunate to see in person the An-124, An-224 and An-225 fly...each more amazing than the one before...

Congrats BRU25L!

We'll try to have another quiz next month!


Re: Episode #126 "That Didn't Mute?"

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:28 pm
by BRU25L
Well thank you, Dave - much appeciated. I shall pour myself a Chimay. Not quitte a Lineies but some Belgian beers are OK.

I told my missus that I was a winner and she told me that perhaps I should buy a lottery ticket this week

Re: Episode #126 "That Didn't Mute?"

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:12 am
by lucaberta
BRU25L wrote:I shall pour myself a Chimay. Not quitte a Lineies but some Belgian beers are OK.

some Belgian beers are OK??? Just OK??? Man, that's one of things I miss the most! In my 6 years in Brussels (working just close to the west side of 25L, in Diegem, incidentally...) I have rediscovered beer, and it was a very nice rediscovery!

Go to the Delirium Cafe' in downtown Brussels, they have the widest selection of world beers you can think of... I found some that I did not know were ever exported:

Some pics here will make you appreciate the ambience there... just check how many different kegs they have!


More pics and some more details are here:

Quick blurb from this website:

The Delirium Tremens Café has a selection of 2000 different beers which makes the menu handed out by the waiter seem even thicker than your yellow pages phone book directory. Not surprisingly then that under these circumstances on the 9 January 2004 it has won the very prestigious Guinness book of world records for being the establishment with the most commercially available beers with a total count of 2004.

Now, as I said, that's one of things I really miss about Belgium...

Ciao, Luca

Re: Episode #126 "That Didn't Mute?"

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:16 am
by BRU25L

Not sure if this is the right place to discuss beer, although the guys seem to imbibe on a regular basis and Dave's "that didn't mute?" moment may well have had a brewery link? ( Nice one Dave. Good tone, depth and volume. One to be proud of)

When I said some Belgian beers are OK I was using my British talent for understatement. I don't often get to the Delirium but my 18 year old son spends his time, and my money there on a fairly regular basis. My favourite tipple here in B is "bolleke" by De Koninck - an Antwerp brew but being from UK I like my beers warm, brown and flat - could murder a pint of Boddington's right now.

I live at the approach end of 25L at Brussels/Zaventem, almost in the countryside and I get to visit most days. I know Jack likes to see busy mixed ramps so here is a taster from the GA ramp today: a couple of Challengers (1 Finnish and 1 German reg'd), 2 Gulfstreams (1 US and 1 Swiss), a Swiss Legacy and a Bulgarian Goverment Falcon 2000, plus some of the local Lears and Citations. One thing we do get in Europe is variety.