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View Full Version : Skydemon as a possible life saver.



Unregistered
23-02-15, 23:22 PM
Thanks Vince for posting your honest account of your near death experience and looking at The Google Earth images really bring it home – frightening, and a warning to all of us.
I hope the following may be of interest to Skydemon and similar GPS users who fly flexwing’s.
I recently acquired an Ipad and installed Skydemon. After a few flights of getting used to it and amazed at the info it showed I thought I would try an experiment.
Late one evening (with a passenger as a lookout) I was just a few miles from my airfield and at 2500ft I imagined I flew into cloud but knew the airfield was clear at 1500ft. By just looking at the Ipad (but obviously still giving a good look out every few seconds) I used Skydemon to fly by.
By watching the track, altimeter and speed on the Skydemon screen I found that by little adjustments of throttle and small bar inputs I could descend gradually and stay on track to the desired 1500ft.
Following this success we did a second test but this time flying away from the airfield but then having to turn back away from the ‘imagined’ cloud. We did the same as the previous night and found I was able to turn and return to the airfield as before.
I know I had spatial awareness because of my frequent lookouts and I was never in cloud, I also had a passenger as an extra lookout so I was never frightened etc., etc. but I believe that because a flexwing will naturally want to fly level the above experiment could help as a last resort to possibly save someone’s life.

VinceG
24-02-15, 15:29 PM
Oh nameless one

I had skydemon on my knee the whole way through the episode. Everything happens so fast when you are in cloud you've no idea.

Try it in cloud next time. I guarantee you'll kill yourself!

Unregistered
24-02-15, 18:34 PM
I am quite enjoying reading all the different dialogues about Vince's flight into cloud.

I am of the opinion that other than Vince himself & flyingboy ( and maybe a few others ) the rest of you are just opining on what you think will happen !

The Original poster of this thread is really naive if he/she believes that Skydemon is going to save your life in a ' White Out ' or ' Black Out ' situation whilst flying a Flexwing.

As Vince says... He has Skydemon himself and without knowing your actual flying background I doubt you would survive too many of your Skydemon derived approach procedures in IMC CONDITIONS.

Firstly you need to understand that Skydemon is not failsafe and has still got a long way to go before being anywhere near perfect.
The procedure you describe has been around since GPS became popular and any GPS with VNAV functionality & mapping does the job better.

The fact that you can achieve results in your pseudo IMC environment is not the same as achieving the same result when you are seriously under pressure, I am quite happy to walk on a Tightrope at 10ft above the ground but raise that tightrope to 50ft above the ground and I'm seriously under pressure.
The same can be said about doing a mock bad weather procedure and then doing it for real.

I wouldn't rely too much on Skydemon over & above it being a supplement to your flightplanning, it certainly isn't reliable enough to shoot an 'unofficial ' approach or descent with.

VinceG
25-02-15, 00:21 AM
Please "guest posters" at least give us some indication of "who you are"

Sorry, I'll re-phrase that. Please give us some indication of your qualifications to justify your comments.

For example, Flexwing pilot, 20 years experience, caught out myself on 2 occasions, and lived to tell the tale
.... Flexwing pilot, just qualified
.... new to flying trikes...

Whatever! Otherwise, it could simply be anyone, about anything, and there's no point, nobody will take any notice.

Frank Thorne
25-02-15, 08:27 AM
Oh nameless one

I had skydemon on my knee the whole way through the episode. Everything happens so fast when you are in cloud you've no idea.

Try it in cloud next time. I guarantee you'll kill yourself!


I think you missed the point there Vince.. If you spiral down into cloud it doesnt matter what instruments you have they are not going to help you as your no longer in a controlled descent. A spiral dive requires visual references to complete not instruments.

Quote "The Original poster of this thread is really naive if he/she believes that Skydemon is going to save your life in a ' White Out ' or ' Black Out ' situation whilst flying a Flexwing."

Again I think you are missing the point... Descent through cloud IS THE LAST RESORT. If you get to that point then you use everything available to you to make a controlled descent. If you have a better idea please share it.

VinceG
25-02-15, 09:25 AM
I never mentioned spiralling down. Re-read the thread.

Unregistered
25-02-15, 12:05 PM
In my previous post I said "Firstly you need to understand that Skydemon is not failsafe and has still got a long way to go before being anywhere near perfect "

The misconceptions of Skydemon could quite easily kill you. Here is a scenario for anyone interested to ponder.

Plan a trip between LGRP to LGKJ ( OK I know we are mainly UK pilots but some of the Adventurous ones amongst us venture far from home )

Plan it on your PC and look what is to the North of LGKJ ?
Now plan it on whatever gizmo you use whilst flying...... what is to the North of LGKJ ?

The scenario is : You have got into cloud and you are now 20nm North of LGKJ so you decide to descend to get below cloud, on what you see on your screen you may just descend lower than is safe.


Qualified Pilot with lots of hours who has had more than his fair share of frights, the above is one such example.

Mick_Sanderson
25-02-15, 13:17 PM
Vince just a quick question, if you had a ballistic chute would you have deployed it in that situation?

VinceG
25-02-15, 13:42 PM
Vince just a quick question, if you had a ballistic chute would you have deployed it in that situation?

No. Although it was scary, and we were going pretty quick, at no time did I experience negative G.

woodysr2
25-02-15, 19:39 PM
Why would you descend 20 nm north of the airfield you intend to land at when you could fly to said airport(possibly with clear air) and descend out over the water with no obstruction to worry about also no one as far as I have seen has said that it could or should be used to fly a course in anything other than vfr conditions.
It is merely a tool that should the proverbial hit the big spinney thing that you can get to somewhere above the cloud knowing the base and terrain below at least have a chance of making it through the cloud layer into clear air before meeting terra firma

Unregistered
25-02-15, 20:10 PM
Woodysr,

The original poster said

" Late one evening (with a passenger as a lookout) I was just a few miles from my airfield and at 2500ft I imagined I flew into cloud but knew the airfield was clear at 1500ft. By just looking at the Ipad (but obviously still giving a good look out every few seconds) I used Skydemon to fly by.*
By watching the track, altimeter and speed on the Skydemon screen I found that by little adjustments of throttle and small bar inputs I could descend gradually and stay on track to the desired 1500ft.
Following this success we did a second test but this time flying away from the airfield but then having to turn back away from the ‘imagined’ cloud. We did the same as the previous night and found I was able to turn and return to the airfield as before.
I know I had spatial awareness because of my frequent lookouts and I was never in cloud, I also had a passenger as an extra lookout so I was never frightened etc., etc. but I believe that because a flexwing will naturally want to fly level the above experiment could help as a last resort to possibly save someone’s life."

The point I am making is this flyer has quite clearly said " He would rely on his Skydemon as his Guardian Angel "
If the said pilot was stuck in cloud 20nm North of LGKJ and bearing in mind that the desire to be clear of cloud outweighs everything else and 9 times out of ten the pilot's are panicking, the Skydemon screen would show up that what's beneath those horrid clouds as water when it really is Cumulus Granite.

In a non frantic state the pilot might just realise that the terrain is missing, but in a state of panic the sea picture might just look like it makes sense.

The rest of the scenario is not that good for the freaked out pilot.

woodysr2
25-02-15, 21:16 PM
unregistered you are missing my point namely said pilot would not be in cloud 20 miles away from his destination and has already stated that base was 1500 so why on earth would he wish to descend over terrain when he could safely do so over water in 20 miles if it was required and as was also said this was a test never in actual cloud.
As for the missing terrain? If I was flying in a new area I think I would have checked local charts and spoken to local pilots before the flight therefore the terrain issue would not be an issue.
I wont go into the panic issue either as I must be wired differently to most pilots because I would have weighed up all options before actually committing to the descent through the cloud and therefore there would be no panic possibly a bit anxious but never panic or freaked out? and I would like to think that most pilots would be the same.
I would also be using any help at my disposal ie. skydemon/gps, AH compass, vsi, asi,
I would like to know how you managed to get yourself into the situation you are talking about and what/who's aircraft you were flying?

Unregistered
26-02-15, 00:06 AM
The scenario is an example, not an actual incident but the missing terrain was noted on a trip from LGRP to LCPH & that concerned me that if I was looking for a diversion LGKJ was the only visible on Skydemon option & that the terrain of Turkey was missing.

Missing Terrain is a dangerous omission on the mapping side of Skydemon.

That isn't to say Jeppesen haven't missed out terrain on their basemaps before.