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Tim McCormack wrote:Bob, that last statement is true if you're sure the barometric pressure hasn't changed since you last set it. It doesn't take much change to make a 2 foot difference.
I have a watch that shows the barometric pressure. I have found it to be very accurate and it works well to set the altimeter by when I am flying off airport. Only time I lost all visual clues was a night landing on a remote lake. That was the highest pucker factor I think I have ever had in a plane.
A fluctuating temperature correction often needs to be calculated to the watch baro to give the most accurate attempt at actual altitude. With a safety pilot, I've used only the watch altimeter and its magnetic compass to shoot practice VOR approaches with a handheld NAV/COM -it's not pretty but doable.
I enjoyed reading that. My dad navigated flying the Pacific during WWII with a sextant and I wish I had listened and learned more from him when I was younger. I should know my isogonic line angles and ratio better
I've done a few dark glassy water landings when I got distracted and got back to my 3000' long pond. J4 no electrical system, no lights. I start getting my eyes used to the dark about 30 min out. Don't look ant ANY light and your eyes will start to adjust and you will be able to see objects. Be carful because you won't have any depth perception. Landing towards the brighter sky will give you a reflection of the water. I have 50' trees around the pond so I come in high and slip till the trees on the other end start to block the reflection on the water. At that point I'm about 8' up and have about 6 or 7 seconds to get it on the water before the pond ends. Not pretty some nights but an hour or 2 after sunset you take what you get. The Amish fisherman have learned to get out of the way when they hear me coming
I made three many years ago on our mile long lake. 2 had moonlight and a breeze and I new exactly where the water was. One was pitch black and when I saw leaves floating on the surface with the landing light, I went around. Next try I landed by using less power and making sure I was at treetop height when I came to the lake.