Air navigation is mastered by a range of methods. The method the pilot uses for navigation will rely on the type of flight that is occurring, which navigation systems are accessible in the area and which system is installed in the aircraft.
The global positioning system (GPS) has become a valuable way of navigation in the modern aviation world. GPS systems have proven to be extremely reliable and accurate and is probably the most commonly used in today’s aircrafts.
The GPS has become a favoured method of navigation because of the ease of use and accuracy. Though there are mistakes associated with global positioning systems, they are uncommon. GPS systems are used anywhere in the world, even in gigantic rocky terrain, and are not susceptible to errors of radio systems, such as electrical interference.
Aircrafts that are equipped with radio navigation systems allow pilots to accurately navigate than with dead reckoning. Radio navigation is useful in low visibility and act as a backup for general aviation pilots that favour dead reckoning. Radio navigation is also more precise.
Rather than flying from one point to another, pilots are able to fly in a straight line to an airport. Certain radio systems require visual flight rule operations.
Dead Reckoning & Pilotage
At the simplest level, navigation is mastered through ideas such as dead reckoning and pilotage. Pilotage is an expression that refers to the single use of visual ground references. The pilot spots landmarks such as buildings, rivers, airports and navigates around them. The issue with pilotage is that often, these references aren’t simply seen and can’t be identified in low visibility conditions. This is why the concept of dead reckoning was initiated.
Dead reckoning includes the use of distance calculations and checkpoints. Pilots choose checkpoints that they are able to see from the air and identifies on the map, calculating how long it will take to fly from one point to another on wind, distance and airspeed calculations.
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