Merry Christmas. Oh wait it’s August….. Oh well.

August 20th, 2016


All joking aside these are some necessary/nice to have tools. The electronic E6B flight computer, upper left, does precise aviation calculations with a higher degree of percision than the manual one. On the right is a plotter with rotating protractor which I like so much better than the fixed half circular one where you have to determine the scale and the lines are hard to match up with your chart.

The remaining items from left to right are simply huge timesaver’s when you are calculating everything for dozens of legs on a given trip. 

Bottom left is a dual sided computer. One side is a pocket sized E6B time,fuel, distance, etc computer. The side shown calculates the degrees for entry into the traffic pattern, downwind leg heading, paralleling runway, and base leg. You simply turn it so the runway number is in the window in the black box and then look on either left or right pattern and read the degree headings. Though these are simple calculations again it is a huge timesaver when all of a sudden you’re assigned an unexpected runway or using an unfamiliar airport where you do not have the visual landmarks to guide your pattern and you’re flying the airplane at low altitude in traffic.

Bottom row center is a protractor with integrated nautical mile rule. Used in flight when you need to make a diversion. You lay it on the chart and rotate the rule to your diversion location. You can quickly read the heading required and distance. You then quickly determine time and fuel required for the diversion.

Bottom right corner is another very handy tool used in flight just before arrival. Rotate black stripes so runway numbers are in the viewfinder windows at the ends. Rotate blue stripe so reported wind heading is in window on end. This allows you to visually see your preferred runway based on wind direction. The arrow on the short side of the blue strip points to the crosswind component given the settings you have entered. You can then quickly use the table on the back to read wind speed on one side and wind component on the other to determine the actual miles per hours of crosswind.

Again cockpit automation and electronic charting such as the ForeFlight on my iPad instantly does all of this for me. However you must be able to do everything manually and there is always a chance electronic sources will be unavailable or obviously inaccurate.

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