The subject of patrol plane navigation is still in its infancy. A few people know something, but no one knows everything about it. Pensacola, with its crowded schedule, can give only a faint idea to the student. It does not claim to do more. The proverb, “Experience is the best teacher,” comes true in this case, but experience in small plane navigation is of no value at all. Some day the tremendous difference in the problems of seamanship, engineering, actual control, and navigation should force the adoption of a new system, in which small plane and patrol plane pilots will be divided into separate categories. At present, when a pilot comes to a patrol plane squadron after 3 years in small planes he must start at the bottom.
In a patrol plane squadron, scarcely a week passes without some new idea or instrument being submitted for trial. Most of them are rejected, it is true, but enough of them stand the test so that patrol plane navigation is a constantly changing picture.