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Discussion Starter #1
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
 

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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
voxmagna said:
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.
 

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At times I'll bring a Garmin eTrex Legend HCx on flights. Sometimes it doesn't get a good satellite lock even on a window seat. I think some of it has to do with the plane itself. I almost always have a window seat and it's hit or miss with a satellite lock. Maybe it's just an older unit that isn't as sensitive.

Flying from Minneapolis to Anchorage over Canada was interesting, got to see where we were. Granted it was February and EVERYTHING was white... most of my flights nowadays are between Austin, TX and San Diego, CA so a lot of desert.
 

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I've used my Zumo a few times while in the air... Set it to OFF ROAD and there aren't any issues. It does need to be near a window. I generally wait until they say that it's okay to use portable electronics before I pull it out.
 

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GPS reception has everything to do with the GPS receiver/Antenna specification standard.

I have some older nav units about and they are as deaf as anything, only working well in open sky and outdoors.

Then I bought a credit card GPS receiver antenna which speaks blutooth and I was knocked out it because it works indoors and can give my a changed fix even when I walk into another room. When I am riding it slips in my shirt pocket.

If your Satnav is newish, it will most likely have the latest SIRF III spec. receiver and work fine near a plane window. If it is over 3 or 4 years old, it may not have this super dupa chip set and may be too insensitive to work in a plane.



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