Use VOR much anymore IRL?

  • I am not a real world pilot, but was wondering with the use of GPS and all the apps available, do GA pilots really use VOR much anymore? I can't see the point unless GPS signal is lost I guess.


    Would it be more common IRL (and therefore more realistic in sim) to plan and follow a route with FS Widgets, than to use VORs?


    Thanks.

  • I also am not a real world pilot but when I use VOR I do it for fun: it's a challenge using only VOR triangulation to get somewhere. But I can't imagine a real world pilot using VOR when he or she has access to a GPS. I do know VOR stations are being removed at a high rate. In the last decade 20% of all VORs have been shut down or removed and this won't stop anytime soon.


    I don't know how realistic FSWidgets is though... it's not based on real world hardware like the Garmin stuff you can find for FSX/P3D: using those would be 99% realistic! Unfortunately those addons don't work with AFS2. But well, using GPS is indeed the more realistic way to go, I think. But you won't be able to use it realistically due to the current limitations of AFS2. In that regard VOR can be used very realistically!


    So it all depends on what kind of realism you are looking for. ;)

  • GPS is not reliable, it can malfunction at any point and therefor any airliner still has other means of estimating a position.

    If you are flying through a narrow valley you don't want to depend on receiving all satellites and there could also be issues with one of the satellites which could cause very inaccurate positions.


    And of course lots of airways are still defined as VOR radials, so in case of total loss of GPS or some other electrical malfunction you can still navigate around pretty well just using VORs.

  • True, but don't most pilots plan and perform their flights using GPS anyway? Obviously you will always need backup instruments but the GPS is the way to go nowadays. And that's what Raging Beard wants to know.


    BTW In a narrow valley you also don't want to depend on a VOR far away behind a few mountains, I guess.

  • 99% of my real world flying is GPS based, however, I still practice using VORs. All of my primary flight training back in 1998 was in Cessna 172s with VOR and ADF receivers and no autopilot. GPS was in it's infancy and none of the flight school's aircraft were equipped. I didn't use GPS until after getting my certificate (I bought a Magellan EC-20X portable GPS). Didn't see an autopilot equipped plane either until several years later.


    I hindsight, I'm glad I learned how to fly without those luxuries, because it gave me a solid foundation and a greater appreciation for them when I did start using them. Which was after a ten year hiatus from flying.


    The Garmin G1000 is a real beauty! :)  

    Redtail

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    Edited 2 times, last by Redtail ().

  • I must be getting old, I still track & fly NDB approaches 👍

    NDB, I think that's the thing my instructor used to tune into the Yankee's baseball game at Shea Stadium LOL.^^

    Redtail

    KFRG, KTEB, KEWR, KLGA

    ~Straighten up and fly right~


    DESKTOP: i7-7700k @5GHz (water cooled), Nvidia GTX 1080Ti FTW3, 32GB DDR4, 500GB SSD, Oculus Rift CV1, Windows 10 Home 64 bit,

    TM HOTAS Warthog (large spring removed), Saitek PRO Flight Combat Rudder Pedals, YOKO yoke!

    Laptop (gaming): Acer Predator Helios 500- Intel Core i7-8750H @4.1GHz, Nvidia GTX 1070, 32GB DDR4, 256GB SSD/1TB HDD.

    Gametrix JetSeat FSE (Flight Sim Edition)-USB Vibrating pad. Nextlevel V3 Motion Platform / Sim cockpit.

  • I quite often instruct in a 737 simulator ( and a vulcan simulator, no mod cons in there) where its program the fmc and follow the magenta line, well that's their plan, by the time the Gremlin gets to work they mostly fly VOR for the majority of the route, by hand of course. I would guess 90% find it a challenge and all thank me for making it an interesting and hard work flight.


    The way i see things is, if you know the basics inside out any luxuries are a bonus


    Steve aka Gremlin

  • I quite often instruct in a 737 simulator ( and a vulcan simulator, no mod cons in there) where its program the fmc and follow the magenta line, well that's their plan, by the time the Gremlin gets to work they mostly fly VOR for the majority of the route, by hand of course. I would guess 90% find it a challenge and all thank me for making it an interesting and hard work flight.


    The way i see things is, if you know the basics inside out any luxuries are a bonus


    Steve aka Gremlin

    I'm glad its still commonplace. I find GPS pretty boring and enjoyed the research into how VOR and NDB works. I've never been very good at hobbies that involve just observing and experiencing anyway. I'd rather be working things out and have my brain switched on.


    It also seems to me that if pilots forgot how to do anything but GPS we'd have lots of the kind of incidents we get when people rely on SatNav and end up in the wrong county and no clue where they are.

  • Those of us of a certain age remember the Low Frequency Range. Nothing but A's, N's, a volume control and the cone of silence. It actually got you there. On my instrument check ride in '69, I was required to make an audio only approach to the Anchorage LFR - what a scream, I passed.

  • It was still very much part of the IRL Private Pilot Exam I took Monday, lol! They get you lost and tell you to point me to this VOR. It is nice to know in case your batteries die in your phone or tablet.

  • Those of us of a certain age remember the Low Frequency Range. Nothing but A's, N's, a volume control and the cone of silence. It actually got you there. On my instrument check ride in '69, I was required to make an audio only approach to the Anchorage LFR - what a scream, I passed.

    Ever see the old 1950s movie "Cone of Silence"? Best thing was radio range worked off any old VHF radio! Omega and Decca were on the way out when I did the ATPL radio theory back in the last millenium. NDB seems rare in the U.S. now.