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Estimating Distance

>From this morning's email...any ideas?

Hey Clint,
VE4WMK/handheld called ME last night during a 32-degree pass! I was flabbergasted. We made the contact, and the QSL is on its way to Winnipeg. I am soooo hooked!!!!!\
Do you know of a formula I can use to get a "ballpark" estimate of the distance my signal travelled to AO-51? When we made the contact, the satellite was no more than 20 degrees, at a heading of about 320 degrees. I was simply amazed to make that contact, given those numbers, from handheld to handheld. I know my coordinates, and I'm sure I can find AO-51's orbital data from the AMSAT site. I'm just wondering if there is a way to get some kind of estimate on that line-of-sight distance.
Any thoughts?


Clint Bradford, K6LCS / KAF3359
909-241-7666 - cell
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