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Thread: Magnetic compass

  1. #41
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    I believe that the point of the compass is, 'when all else fails . . .' Neat phone apps. Cool screens. Even the ones that have a backup battery. But electrical systems fail. And most people are NOT on top of the replacement schedule for their backup batteries (yes! You!).

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    100% correct there. As nice as having a phone with Foreflight is, I can't count the number of times my phone has died because it was too cold out and the battery froze or it was too hot and it overheated. I would absolutely NOT, NOT EVER rely on a phone as a backup compass or any nav aid for that matter.

    I'm just as guilty as anyone else of writing off my mag compass as a relic but after a couple incidents where my GPS lost signal and I was forced to use dead reckoning, it's definitely a skill that needs to be honed and with a good whiskey compass on board.

    Doesn't matter how cool or nice your garmin G3xyz is, equipment fails and more complex equipment fails more often.
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  2. #42
    JimParker256's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Magnetic compasses make about as much sense as 121.5 ELTs. Worthless weight. There are better alternatives. My Cub uses a magnetometer. In my 180 I set my DG by the GPS. In both cases I have an iPhone as a backup. Welcome to 21st century living using 20th century regulations. Only in aviation.
    Isn't a magnetometer a "magnetic direction indicator" when paired with a display (EFIS, MFD, whatever)? I've always assumed it was, since I've seen at least one certified plane with a magnetometer, but no compass...
    Jim Parker
    2007 Rans S-6ES

  3. #43
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    CAR 3 specifically calls out a magnetic direction indicator. It does not state 'compass'. I'd go with that, but remember that it needs to be a 'primary' instrument as it's required to be installed.

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    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

  4. #44
    n40ff's Avatar
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    A compass is a magnetometer.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimParker256 View Post
    Isn't a magnetometer a "magnetic direction indicator" when paired with a display (EFIS, MFD, whatever)? I've always assumed it was, since I've seen at least one certified plane with a magnetometer, but no compass...
    Absolutely it is. A far better one than a whiskey compass. Of course the information is fed into a computer and integrated into moving maps, attitude indicators, chart overlays, etc, all electronic and apparently unpopular with the faithful here, but I like living on the edge.

    My Cessna still has the requisite installed compass. Just because I have it doesn't mean I use it, and I don't. I have better options available. That anyone argues in opposition is hard to believe. The statistical chance of my electronics failing me is much smaller than the chance that my whiskey compass will magically become something useful.

  6. #46
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    What I recall from my partial panel training is a feeling of confidence that if everything else might fail, simple things like a compass, clock and turn/bank can get my fat out of the fire. I appauld the modern aids that make flying easier than playing a video game. I'm certainly not opposed to better options, but if I was still flying like I did years ago I would still want that old whiskey compass even if I never hopefully had to actually look at it, except for a little pause of conformation just before I shove the throttle forward.
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