I was trying to figure out what the issues are that causes that method to not be implemented and discovered that a very simple implementation seems to basically work the way I expect it to, so I wondered what the hidden complications were that I was missing.
I know I'm not normalizing or preventing collisions with the globe or clipping plane, but works as a workaround for now.
public void setAltitude(double newAltitude)
this.altitude = newAltitude;
this.eyeDist = altitude;