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Dead Reckoning and Pilotage.
In an attempt to keep this page as accurate as possible I'd like share the following information from a person who has done Air-Sea Resuce work in Lake Michigan, another place where planes and boats have vanished without a trace! Dead Reckoning is a navigation technique of the form: "If I fly due west for an hour, then turn around and fly due east at the same speed for an hour, I will be back where I started." Meaning that winds (or currents, if you're navigating a boat) cancel each other out. Obviously this is not very reliable unless you backit up with other navigational techniques. Unfortunately a lot of novice boaters and flyers, do just that.
Or as the Oxford English Dictionary defined dead reckoning as "estimation of the position of a ship, aeroplane, etc. by log, compass, etc,. when observations are impossible." This is not only the dictionary definition, but it is also the way the term is used in aviation today.
Pilotage is the using known landmarks in an attempt to navigate. This also is very dangerous unless other navigational tools are employed. Mainly because occasionally a suspect known land mark might not be correct.
In the case of Lt Taylor, he mistook the Bahamas as the Florida Keys. Thus he started at the wrong landmark using pilotage, and then began to dead-reckon his way to Florida only to fly off in the Atlantic because of his initial mistake.