Ground School – Navigation (9 June, 2009)

Navigation, the second most important ground school. Why do I say second this time? Well my instructor keeps telling me to do things in order. Aviate. Navigate. Communicate. Make sure you fly the airplane, then figure out you’re headed the right direction and are keeping safe, then speak to ATC if needed.

So, navigation. New ground school instructor for this one. Younger instructor than the rest but with a scary level of experience. Thousands of hours, airline rated, can fly an Airbus, has every add on rating you can think of; night, float, instrument, multi-engine and the rest. But he’s so young, early 20s. Still he has information I need, so lets go with it. Turns out he’s very good at his job, a great instructor, clear and good at explaining everything so no complaints.

Navigation ends up as three lessons of charts and plots, determining distances and direction. Just determining what direction to fly is trickier than it may seem. We’re in light aircraft, if we just point in a straight line towards our target then it’s fine if there is no wind or the wind is right along our path, however if it’s off then we’re not going to be over our destination when we get there. As a result we have to fly into the wind. This results in us having two headings; the aircraft heading and the track heading. The way we’re pointing and the way we’re actually travelling. Obviously this adds a level of complication.

We also learn how to use our E6B computers (which I showed before.) These are used to make our in air, and pre-flight, calculations. Wonderful pieces of card (or metal if you have a higher class one) that can tell you how much fuel you’re burning, speeds and distances, atmospheric densities, pressure readings and timings. I think there’s an option to work out how to travel back in time, but I could have been using it wrong.

Also information on flight plans; when to fill them out, how to fill them out, how to alter them and everything else related to long distance flying.

Three very involved lessons, but absolutely fascinating.

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One Response to “Ground School – Navigation (9 June, 2009)”

  1. Brit' Gal Sarah Says:

    Well I tracked you back from my visitor stats and then found I am on your blogroll – thank you! I have always had a fear of flying but also a fascination of it too. So I will be popping back from time to time to see how it’s going and I wish you the best of British with it.


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