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I think most of those flight disaster TV shows are depicting accidents that have occurred years ago. In some cases decades ago. After each of those accidents there were supposedly corrective measures and new policies & procedures instituted. Hopefully, flying has gotten safer for all of us since then.
I was meaning to mention something that I read on an Internet post awhile back. Somebody posted on a flying forum that there was a flight simulator that pilots could use. It was the usual mock-up of an airplane cockpit but this one was under a planetarium dome. As I understood it, There was a bubble octant or sextant setup as part of the simulator. I assume that the device was the mounted periscope type. The person that had used it said it was great practice, and that he learned a lot about celestial navigation from his simulator sessions. I am sorry, I can’t remember much of the details, it has been too long ago. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of this kind of simulator before. But if you haven’t, it might be worth doing an Internet search for it?
I think you should look into the Gary LaPook postings if you haven’t already. He is an Amelia Earhart buff, but otherwise, he is right in there with what you’re trying to do with you’re your A-12. He is not some kind of A.E. nut… he is just interested in the celestial navigation part of it. As far as I know LaPook is still alive. I’ve tried to contact him before, but I didn’t try very hard. You might try going to the Stratus Project site of which he is / or was a contributor.: http://www.stratusproject.com/
Also, I can’t imagine that you don’t already know about the Stellarium astronomy site. But if somehow you don’t, It’s a great tool for locating astral bodies and then being able to find them in the real night sky. It’s free. Stellarium