Ha, when I first learnt to fly 50 years ago we of course used dead-reckoning to navigate - meaning flying to a checkpoint on a map and confirming the landmark. These days, the GPS flies to the coordinates and checks upwards with the satellites, not by looking downwards out of the window.

One day a storm was coming in the distance, and it dawned on me that I was not going to be able to safely continue onwards. But worse, I already didn’t know exactly where I was. 1971, no mobile phones.

I followed the highway and came across a town with a small airfield. Jumping on to the area frequency I put out a broadcast asking if anyone on the ground could see an aircraft orbiting overhead at 2,000 feet?

"Yes, see you", said a voice. He told me where I was and I checked the map to where I had to go. "What are these local storms like at this time of the afternoon, will I get through?", I asked.

"No worries, they're just a shower, skirt around the edge a bit and you'll get through ok", came the response.

Which I did, and got to my destination. That's dead-reckoning. I used to fly gliders as well, but then I'd pay a lot more attention to the map!! It's embarrassing to land in a paddock and not know where you are - but a matter quickly solved by the local farmer when you asked to use their house phone!

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