Tuesday, October 29, 2013

DCS Mi-8MTV2 Magnificent 8 - Basic Doppler Navigation - Flight and Landing

After taking off from Beslan airport and starting our doppler navigation system over the initial point, we start a climb towards the Caucasus Mountains.

The view from the pilot's seat. The co-pilot's place and his dashboard are visible in the foreground. Note the transition from flat terrain to the mountain range.
To reach our second waypoint, we needed to fly with a course of 210 degrees. Our doppler readings should be  58.11 Km south and 33.8 Km west when we get there.

The doppler system console now reads 58 Km south (second row) and ~33.5 Km west. At this point we are very close to the first waypoint. Note the drift indicator (circular display on the left) and its relatively high reading (30 degrees). This indicates that the aircraft is drifting 30 degrees to the right, likely because I had to do some zig zags to hit the waypoint coordinates.

A top-down view at the doppler coordinates corresponding to the second waypoint. The terrain landmark corresponding to that waypoint is the bridge south of Buron (* marker). Pretty close.
After passing waypoint 2, we change course to 147 degrees (insert to the left is the compass) and start our second leg. Our barometric altitude is now 4,500 m and the aircraft is a bit oversensitive to pitch and roll corrections. 
The terrain is almost surreal.
After a couple of aircraft control miscarriages (excessive corrections to achieve heading), I end up with the aircraft 6 km west of the waypoint (top readout in the doppler system should be 19.05 Km instead of 24.80 Km). I was on target for the south readout, which should be 82.5 Km). Note my drifting indicator (circular highlight) ... I'm crabbing like mad.

After a few maneuvers, we arrive near waypoint 3 (82.50 Km south, 19.05 Km west). The hefty maneuvering required is difficult at an altitude of 4 Km so we start a descent in order to achieve better control. Note the drift indicator ... My, oh my!
A top-down view of the closest we got to waypoint 3 (bridge near Kveno, * marker). Given all the issues I had controlling the aircraft during turns, it is no surprise that we are off by a kilometer or so.
The last leg finds us in better shape, with plenty of visual references. After the bumpy ride over the range, this is a piece of cake.
The view from the pilot's seat during the last leg of our flight. The descent has gained us some decent airspeed, but because we are at a barometric altitude of 2.1 Km or so, maneuvers are sharper and more controlled.
The visual reference for our waypoint 4 (crossroads marked with a *). The insert is the reading from our doppler system, which should read (28.5 Km west and 105.4 Km south). We have accumulated some navigational error over time, but we are more or less near where we were supposed to be.

It is time now to turn our ADF on to find out where the fellow peacekeepers are located. They should be near Tskhinvali, which is in the far background of this image.

The routine-use ADF is not actually implemented in DCS Mi-8, so for this mission I used the emergency system (the ARK-UD). The selection panel for using such system is the one where the caption is displayed. The emergency system operates in the 121.5 MHz AM frequency.
When the radio receiver is turned on, the inner needle (* mark) points towards the direction of the transmitter. The switch below the compass needs to be moved to the right to select the emergency ARK-UD system.

Approaching the radio transmission source.

Right after landing in a road north of Tskhinvali. The radio transmitter was the truck in the foreground. In the far background, the mountains we just crossed.


Unknown said...

A good read. I might give this a try soon.

Filippo said...

fashinating sim, so bad all the dashboards are in cyrillic -.-''

Anonymous said...

I think there are several english cockpit mods out there by now. I'm using one as I am cyrillic-challenged.

Here's an example:

GregP said...

Great job with this and the previous Mi-8 navigation post! Very helpful for those of us who have read all the same forum posts you have but for one reason or another have yet to actually try this out 'for real' in the sim. Thanks!