What’s your on course heading?

Discussion in 'Change to my Frequency...' started by flybill, Sep 13, 2021.

  1. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    GCA would be interesting with track assignment. One turn to final, nail the track, done.
     
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  2. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    Ah, yes, that's the phrase I was looking for, thanks. I was probably also confused why he was saying 'on navigation' and with a funny accent as well! :)
     
  3. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Of course we all did. But if you are saying you can give you a heading, as opposed to course, right now which will take you all the way to the destination 100nm away with no change. it sounds to me like you are assuming the wind direction and strength will stay constant for that 100 miles so the heading you use in mile 1 will be the same as the heading you will need at mile 99.
     
  4. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Would a track guarantee that you arrive at one point in varying conditions? I'm not seeing it. Navigating to a way point or a vor would, but a track, I'm doubting it, which is why I don't thing it's much better than a heading.
     
  5. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You are right. I'm thinking of course of course.

    "What's your on course heading?" If we really want to drill down, I guess it comes down to, "what heading now, while you are here in my airspace, will put you on course to...?" Thats pretty much all I think they really care about. They don't know the destination and they want to make sure you are not going to cause separation issues when they clear you direct to that waypoint. Most of us will just answer with the course and it will be fine. With a 30 KT direct crosswind, we might give a calculated or guesstimated heading. Then, of course, we will fly the course.
     
  6. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    To any reasonable standard, yes it would. If I determine that direct to my destination is a DTK of 275, I could just fly a track of 275 and I’ll get there within a reasonable tolerance that only depends on how precise I am. The wind could change from a crosswind one way to the other way, increase or decrease, a headwind to tailwind, whatever, it doesn’t matter. As long as I maintain 275 I’ll end up there. Remember that DTK, or course, is exactly the ground track we’re trying to follow, like it was plotted on a map. It is exactly what we try to accomplish in private pilot training with wind triangles and such, just we’re skipping right to the answer.
     
  7. luvflyin

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  8. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    But then you are flying to a waypoint, just enter that in and be done with it. No need to call out a 275 degree track. That is effectively what happens now, if ATC wants you to turn, they tell you, turn 20 left, you turn, fly that heading, once you are where or have gone by what they want you by, they tell you to fly direct to the next convenient fix, or they give you a heading to reintercept your original course.

    I have never used a GPS just to steer a track, so I'm having a little trouble with how this would work, but what you just described is kind of pointless IMO, just enter the destination and fly to it, nothing more precise than that.

    I started flying before GPS, so I've flown courses using ded reckoning, correcting headings for magnetic deviation and applying wind correction. The more this is explained to me, the more useless I think it is.
     
  9. wilkersk

    wilkersk Pattern Altitude

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    (Final controller leans back in his chair and mutters, "Yeah, that'll work!")........ ;-)
     
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  10. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    For me, it's less "flying a track" than the difference between track and desired track. The DTK is the direction you want to go. Yeah, it's ultimately the course but,unlike a course, it does not need a destination. The track is the direction you are actually flying. Match them up and you are on course.

    Winds blowing from the side? The heading which keeps TRK equal to DTK includes your WCA. I think ultimately it is a digital numerical highly accurate CDI. I don't use it that much, but on approaches, it can allow one to obain their reference heading almost immediately and make even smaller more timely corrections. It can make partial panel turns much easier than figuring out how many degrees to turn and divide by 3. It can serve as the GPS equivalent of flying a radial outbound something GPS navigators are not particularly good at (unknown in Avidyne; funky in Garmin).

    Just another tool among the many our advanced ststems provide. Useful to understand what they are and what they do. And, like all computers, they may just represent different ways to accomplish the same goal. Then we all have our preferences about which we choose to use.
     
  11. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    I agree, but I was just responding to your question about whether a ground track would always take you where you wanted to go (it will).

    Here's a couple more examples.

    First, I get this situation all the time around here. Like once or twice a week. I am flying SW. ATC needs to turn me to avoid the active MOA. They assign me a heading 250 to clear it. But depending on the wind, this may not actually clear it, or may clear it by way more than necessary. If it's not going to clear, then once that becomes apparent, either they or I suggest a different heading, adjusting as we go. If, instead, they said "Track 250" that would clear it every single time, regardless of wind. There's no guesswork on either the controller's part or my part. Once clear of it, a "direct destination" and we're done.

    upload_2021-9-15_6-44-48.png

    Second situation can also happen any time you're getting vectors for an approach. The approach course is 174. ATC is required in most cases to give you no greater than a 30 degree intercept. So they assign heading 150 here pretty routinely. However, depending on the wind, heading 150 could either cause greater than a 30 degree intercept (not really that big a deal in small airplanes), or could cause the intercept to happen too close to the FAF or even PAST the FAF (could be a very big deal). I have had both of these situations happen regularly. If the controller just said "Track 150" it would be repeatable and spot-on every single time.

    upload_2021-9-15_6-44-56.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
  12. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    When you're VFR and ATC asks you for your intended heading on course, they just want to know the (approximate) heading you will follow for a few miles until you exit their class B/C/D airspace, not the heading you'll be on 100 nm later.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
  13. Doug Reid

    Doug Reid Line Up and Wait

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    Can you just imagine how long it would take a group of POA pilots to order food at a nice restaurant ? The poor waitress would probably walk away and go home after all the discussion...can I substitute...on the side...free range....medium rare, no well done....good grief Charlie Brown :)
     
  14. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    How do you enter "track 250" into your system.
     
  15. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    If you're hand flying, there is no entering into the system to be done. It's a simple matter of steering to that track.

    If using an autopilot, that's the problem I previously identified. At least in most modern light GA GPS and autopilot units, there's no easy way to do that. It's not a function of technological capability - I can't imagine it would very difficult to update the software to allow this. It's just that that capability does not exist because it's not a thing we currently do. "Chicken or the egg" scenario.
     
  16. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ok, that's what was messing me up. I don't see headings as a problem. I'm rarely concerned with what they are trying to steer me around unless I'm about to hit it. Usually I'll get a heading change, an altitude change and a frequency change in the same breath from a controller, so the simpler the better as far as I'm concerned. YMMV.
     
  17. Daleandee

    Daleandee Pattern Altitude

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    Best comment so far! :happydance:
     
  18. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Of course.
     
  19. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Been there done that. No problem at all.
     
  20. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Lol, yet you keep coming back.
     
  21. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, but POA got no corner on that. Lemme tell ya bout some non pilots I know. If the waitress shot them I would testify that they pulled a knife on her first:fingerwag:
     
  22. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    Perhaps less of a pipe dream, because Canada is already actively lobbying the ICAO about switching to true north.

    Slide deck: https://www.navcanada.ca/en/magnetic-north-vs-true-north.pdf

    Working paper: https://www.navcanada.ca/en/true-north-reference-system.pdf

    We don't get any extra say because the ICAO is headquartered in Montreal, but we can at least afford to send more people there more often to bug them about it. :)
     
  23. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

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    Seems to me some people have forgot PPL basic flight planning.
     
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  24. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    I will admit that when I picked up an E6B or the first time in 17 years a couple of years ago, I had to review how to use it — it had completely left my head.