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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2012, 9:18 pm Thread Starter
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Strange question - using GPS in a plane...

I fly in commercial planes a lot and always get window seats to look at the country below. I would love to be able to get an accurate fix on where we are at any given time, for instance today as I flew Philly to Houston and on to LA.

Have any of you tried your bike's GPS in a plane and if so, what help was it to pinpointing your location?

TIA

Ralph

Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 2012, 4:08 am
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I have TomTom on an old HP PDA running WINCE. It uses a remote bluetooth credit card GPS receiver/antenna.

It may work up against the window.

Roads can flash past at the realtime speed of the plane as indicated and your route takes you across roads fields and over bridges very quickly!

Don't expect it to show you accurate route planning, distances to towns and the nearest MacDonalds, because the mapping you see is 'as the crow flies' not along roads. Sea and lake areas will show. Garmin do laptop mapping software and their 'Topo' topographical maps which show landscape features would be interesting.

However, I don't think in CAA terms that a satnav has what they call 'flight safe' mode - Which is their way of saying only devices that don't interfere with cockpit avionics can be used.



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Last edited by voxmagna; Feb 27th, 2012 at 4:15 am.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 2012, 1:20 pm
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I have a Garmin 276c (discontinued) that I've used once or twice for amusement on a commercial flight. I put it in marine mode and it tells me where I'm at and how fast I'm flying. Not sure if it'll raise the hackles of the flight attendants as a radio device that will cause all the vital instruments in the cockpit to reboot or die.



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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 2012, 2:03 pm
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Gps

QANTAS has a booklet which includes a map. I like to navigate using my watch, and once a GPS, Cabin crew were not bothered when they realised it was not a mobile phone. I like to know exactly where I am on the planet, part of my marine training. Cabin crew never know and do not care much.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 2012, 8:33 pm
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I used to fly weekly when I was an AMA pro racing mechanic. I normally carried my old Garmin GPS 5 to keep me informed on our spot on this earth. Worked well and never had any problem except a few times the stewardess ladies would ask me to turn it off IF they noticed.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 2012, 10:54 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone... looks like its a goer then. I just want to get a general location. I see some great area and it would be nice to know the general location so I can research further for riding.

Ralph

Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2012, 6:25 am
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If I'm up at 40,000 feet, It's hard to make out much ground detail even on a clear day, unless the clouds base is high.

If you are on one of the smaller city jets or turbo props flying below cloud, you could get a decent birds eye view.



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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2012, 7:58 am
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Your MAX speed readout would make for some good bragging rights.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2012, 11:59 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
If I'm up at 40,000 feet, It's hard to make out much ground detail even on a clear day, unless the clouds base is high.

If you are on one of the smaller city jets or turbo props flying below cloud, you could get a decent birds eye view.
Maybe your experience, but I have flown across/around the US several hundred times and on many, many occasions have had excellent views with plenty of detail of some/all of the flightpath. Even on flights across the Pacific I don't feel they get to 40k very often (never in my experience - start at about 30k then gradually rise as they burn off fuel), short jumps to about 25k, longer flights yes, above 30k. Height does tend to flatten and reduce detail agreed, Clouds can be a factor, but I don't think as persistent as in Europe.

A clear flight Philadelphia to San Francisco (say) is a joy in terms of the variety and staggering scale of the country you pass over - this is a 5+ hour flight, most of the country is accessible on a touring bike to a determined rider whatever their base location. For instance, flying over canyon country in Utah/Nevada or the Rockies etc was very motivating/inspirational for me and resulted in some memorable trips even though I was based on the east coast for many years.

Ralph

Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2012, 4:41 pm
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That's the thing about sharing our international experiences. We learn a lot about the different parts where we each live. Weather in Europe our side of the pond is mostly pretty dull and wet so when the short hauls manage to get above the cloud base, we get the sunshine but don't see much below.



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