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Lamenting LORAN

Posted By:
Joe Norris
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
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#1 Posted: 1/14/2010 10:07:38

The discontinuation of LORAN has been announced (see this article).  Does anyone (besides me) still have a LORAN in their aircraft?  If so, do you plan to replace it, and with what?

I've used my faithful Apollo FlyBuddy LORAN as a compliment and backup to my GPS for all the years I've owned the 180, and I'm sorry to see it go away.  I'm trying to figure out what (if anything) to do with that piece of panel real estate now that the FlyBuddy will be rendered useless.

Thoughts?

Joe



Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate
Adam Smith
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
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#2 Posted: 1/14/2010 17:58:27

I'm casting my mind back here but isn't there a GPS unit out there that slides right into the Apollo FlyBuddy rack?



Rae Willis
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#3 Posted: 1/14/2010 18:40:00

I have a Northstar LORAN in my Mooney that is connected to my autopilot and fuel totalizer. I am very disappointed that it has been decided to decomission the LORAN-C system. I always thought it would be economical to decomission the VOR system, replace VORs with GPS waypoints and keep LORAN as a ground based backup for GPS. I am now looking to see if I can hook my fuel totalizer to my Garmin 530W. As for the space occupied by the Northstar, I think I will have to look for another GPS as there is no support for the Northstar GPS which is a slide-in replacement for the LORAN.

Rae



Malcolm McLeod
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#4 Posted: 1/14/2010 19:24:49

I can't believe GA sat around and let this happen.  11 months ago the Director of DHS issued a public statement saying LORAN would be developed as a backup to GPS.  Now DHS has "certified" that it is unnecessary.   Whay the flip-flop?

This leaves GPS as the only area-nav system.   So what happens when a solar flare makes the ionosphere opaque to GPS signals (hint: the satellites are on the wrong side)

 

How to kill a good and useful navigation system:  Tell people you are shutting it down for ten years so nobody puts any money into it.   Then you get to shut it down because nobody uses it 

As for my LORAN, well I guess I have a map compartment now.

What a shame.

 



Robert Dingley
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#5 Posted: 1/14/2010 20:15:22

I won't miss it. Not a big loss when used units sell for fifty bucks or less with no mfg support. I used a 9 wpt Telledyne TDL 711 for IFR in the Gulf of Mexico. Top of the line in its day. They were called "rain detectors" for good reason. Instant P static when the first raindrop fell, then you can say goodby LORAN. Also the phase shift right around sun rise could displace you 10 miles. Then came GPS good as LORAN without its issues. I was lost as last years Easter egg until moving maps arrived.



Bill McCandless
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
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#6 Posted: 1/15/2010 06:20:16

Here's a copy of what I sent to my Senators & rep.

sorry about the double spacing - copy/paste artifact.

Dear Senator,

 

I am concerned about the shutdown of the LORAN system.  Loran is run by the Coast Guard, reporting toDHS.  The FAA, reporting to DOT, has counted on Loran as a backup to the GPS system fornavigation.  The GPS satellite constellation requires 24 operational satellites to achieve95% availability. They are failing and the Air Force is having trouble launching timely replacements.

 

The FAA is counting on GPS increasingly, as they promote the Nextgen system.  The FAA is also de-commissioning other ground systems like NDB, VOR and ILS instrument approaches.The Coast Guard has a very focused opinion - is Loran a necessary backup to GPS for marine use?  Please don't let that be the justification for Loran shutoff, as the FAA has explicitly counted on Loran as backup.

 

GPS reliability can be affected by various issues eg: satellite failure, malicious attack, or ground station uplink failure.  Arguments that the recent Chinese missiles cannot hit the height of a GPS orbit are specious, for that is not the only failure mode.

 

Please contact the DOT and DHS to prevent the decommision of the Loran system. Please don't let Loran die due to an interdepartmental budget spat.

 

I don't personally fly with a Loran receiver. However, if I were on an oceanic airline flight, I surely hope that has one.

 

Bill McCandless, private pilot

 

 

References -

 

DHS justification for shutdown (note DOT not mentioned)

 

http://www.aopa.org/advocacy/articles/2010/100112loran.html

 

2006 FAA white paper- backup needed

  

http://www.loran.org/news/GPS-Backup-Released.pdf

 

2009 GAO report - launch difficulties

 http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09670t.pdf

 

2007 Loran preserved -

 http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1207/121807bb1.htm

 

GAO comments on shutdown

 http://www.crossrate.com/news/35/81/NextGov-Debate-heats-up-over-cancellation-of-GPS-backup-system

 

Delays in launch of new satellites

 http://www.aopa.org/flightplanning/articles/2009/090520gpsout.html

 

 

 



Bill McCandless , CTSW N248CT @ 6B6
Joe Norris
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
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#7 Posted: 1/15/2010 09:41:53
Adam Smith wrote:

 

I'm casting my mind back here but isn't there a GPS unit out there that slides right into the Apollo FlyBuddy rack?

 

Adam,

Yeah, the Apollo GX55 was the "slide in" replacement.  II Morrow (and the Apollo line) was bought out by Garmin and discontinued.  So even though there are a few of these units on the market (used of course) there isn't any support for them so I'm having trouble convincing myself that it would be a good use of my $2000.  I'm thinking a hand-held GPS like the King Aviator Ace or maybe even spring for a Garmin 696 would be a better investment.

But that doesn't answer the question of what to do with the piece of panel real estate currently occupied by the FlyBuddy.  Maybe I'll just leave it in there as a reminder of times gone by.

Cheers!

Joe



Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate
Andy Gamache
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#8 Posted: 1/15/2010 19:00:24
Joe Norris wrote:

 


But that doesn't answer the question of what to do with the piece of panel real estate currently occupied by the FlyBuddy.  Maybe I'll just leave it in there as a reminder of times gone by.

Cheers!

Joe

I think Malcom has the most economical answer. I bet it's the perfect size to slide in a few sectionals.



Joe Norris
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
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#9 Posted: 1/16/2010 10:57:19 Modified: 1/16/2010 10:57:55

Andy,

You (and Malcolm) are probably right!  That just might be the answer!

Cheers!

Joe

 



Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate
Paul LaPoint
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#10 Posted: 1/18/2010 20:28:12

I am still using a KLN88. Guess I will have to throw it away and buy a GPS.



Reggie Smalls
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#11 Posted: 1/18/2010 21:13:15

There's a lot of cheap LORANs for sale on ebay this week!



Ardeth Eastvold
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#12 Posted: 3/19/2010 12:18:50

I'm so glad to know that others have Loran.... Yes, I'm MOST disappointed and can't believe that somehow this went thru with no fuss and as a surprise to me.

 My Loran was hooked up with my autopilot and my HSI. I could switch the HSI from either the VOR or the Loran. It was most easy to use with less punching of buttons. One switch of the knob and I had the closet runway. I have to admit GPS and me are having a hard time getting aquainted, too many buttons to push and remember what to push to get what you want. Something you don't feel like doing when in bumpy IFR weather.

 I don't have a GPS in my plane and can't afford one at the moment. Just completed an engine overhaul over the winter and the first flight, low and behold I have no Loran... always something!!! I had a handheld GPS and never could get the hang of the thing... so it ended up in a closet somewhere....and it ate up batteries something fierce on cross countries..{My cig. lighter outlet is inop. in the plane}another thing that needs fixing, but low on the list of nonessential items.

I guess it's back to VOR, ADF, and DME's. I'll sure miss the Loran something fierce, not only was it reliable and easy to use... it read out my speed and distance from where I was. My DME doesn't always do that.. depending on the VOR's...

 

Hey, has anyone heard the scoop on eLoran's whether those will be shut down? and are they compatable to Loran-C units???