Visual Navigation
Pilots follow rivers, roads, railway lines and other identifiable land features. Visual navigation is mainly used by light aircraft pilots.

Locations on our planet are broken down into North/South and East/West for use in navigating planes and ships. The Equator is well known as the centre latitude, by convention zero meridian of longitude passes through Greenwich, London, UK.. Under the menu item "Time and Seasons" (Enviroment Menu) you can learn about GMT..... Greenwich Mean Time. It is vital to navigating.


Airliner Navigation

Airline pilots use a combination of radio beacons and onboard navigation equipment such as IRS, INS or GPS. The IRS (Inertial Reference System) or INS (Inertial Navigation System) are spin-offs from the Space industry using accelerometers or laser gyros to seek movement. GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) use satellites in orbit to track position.
Airplane navigation systems must be told exactly where they are before they move. The aircraft's parked position must be loaded into the navigation computer. It is so accurate that each parked position at a terminal is different. A typical gate position is: N21210 W 157552 This is somewhere on Honolulu airport. Please note that N represents North, as in North of the Equator, W represents West, as in West of the Greenwich meridian.

After the parked position is loaded the route to be taken needs to be loaded with positions enroute entered in a similar manner to the co-ordinates shown for Honolulu. These enroute positions can be loaded manually, via a card system, via a computer database retrieval system or, on my plane, via a satellite datalink to my company.





Charts and Maps

The small section of an aircraft navigation chart is shown here for an area near Chicago, USA. The long black lines indicate the airways that pilots fly, not unlike a car highway system. The navigational aids shown are shown in boxes such as Northbrook in the top left. The radio frequency of the aid is displayed along with the morse code identification and the position of the aid. The tracks are shown in degrees relative to North. The track out of Northbrook 092 degrees would take you to Onbar. Click here to see Google Map test

  Professional Web Solutions and Training

Home |How a plane flies | Flying General | Watch an approach | Weather | Turbulence | Engines
Plane noises | Navigation | Intsrument Flight | Instrument approach | Holding | Delays | Exercises
Time | When things go wrong | B747-400 details | Aviation websites | FAQ | Security | Contact
©Tallships Computing Sevices 2003. All rights reserved.