There’s something oddly appealing about seeing where you’ve been. And since my sister was GPS wrangling while I flew it was an interesting reflection on my flying! As a familiar route I hadn’t loaded the flightplan into the PocketFMS and was loosely following the line on my paper chart and working on the vague principle that “Wales is to the west, I can hardly miss it.” Nevertheless, I’m slightly dismayed by my ability to hold a steady heading — you can see exactly the way my track “bows” as I drift with the wind and the point at Cwbran when recognise it, realise I’m off track a bit and turn southwards.
Alarming at first glance was the fact Id appeared to have clipped the restricted area around the power stations at the edge of the Severn, but reflection and a look at the altitude “map” soon reminded me that by that point I was comfy at 3000 in preparation for arriving back in Wales and over the tall hills between us and home.
Self-critique aside I was amused and delighted by being able to see the little “burble” in the track where we detour to go and look at Caerphilly!
Even better was being being able to convert the tracks into KML files to bring into Google Earth! With the higher level of detail there, you can even see us taxying up the field, taking off, (the fact I need more right rudder!), and the small wobbles in the track. The ability to add “placemarks” over the top on that makes it a lovely way to create a log of the trips for passengers.
The resulting tracks and KMZ are below for the interested.
Or Google Earth KMZ (You’ll have to download from the linked Box.Net page — WordPress doesn’t allow the filetype…)