Flying The Route
NOTE: Ground speed (GS) corrections are discussed in the Systems section of this FTI.
Course corrections may be rapid or gradual, depending on the situation. If you see your checkpoint
straight off to one side when it should be directly underneath, you have to maneuver to get on course
after the checkpoint. If you see your turnpoint ahead and a bit to one side, just fly to it and turn "on
top" to pick up your outbound heading. If you have enough room prior to the checkpoint, you can
make an S-turn to cross the point on planned inbound heading. You can also apply a calculated
correction: 10 degrees for one minute for each mile off course (360 knots). You have to estimate
accurately how far off course you are, but you can do that by reference to such items as section
lines, known landmarks, and experience.
Be careful of large changes; like timing corrections, smaller corrections are usually better. A large
heading change of 30 degrees for one minute will move the track three miles, but changes the view
that you planned to have. Do you know what to look for? You can become disoriented easier. Use
10 degrees for three minutes instead, provided you have sufficient leg time. As always, turn on time.
Course corrections take time because they decrease your forward travel. Any course correction will
make you lose time, though perhaps not enough to matter if small. Check time as soon as possible
after a course correction, especially a large one, and apply any necessary time correction.
Adjust power to planned settings that will maintain the corrected cruise Mach number, TAS or GS. If
speed deviations occur, make the correction the same magnitude as the error. For example: if
airspeed is 20 knots slow, add power appropriately. When the desired is attained, reduce power to a
setting higher than before. Do not jockey the throttle while flying straight and level--make precise
adjustment to preplanned settings. Power must be adjusted to maintain a constant airspeed while
negotiating altitude changes to maneuver over or around terrain features. Fly precise airspeed by
referencing fuel flow and/or RPM. Make small corrections around a "base" setting.
A cool head is a pilot's best asset should he become temporarily disoriented. Follow these
Determine what is wrong. "Anxiety" disorientation can occur even with the pilot exactly on
course if he fails to identify an anticipated landmark and misconstrues it as proof of being lost.
Be sure that you are off course. Do not immediately break down your scan and go "ground to
chart." Review your progress from your last known position and determine the cause and
extent of any error. Possible causes include errors in heading, airspeed control, timing or
planning; malfunction of instruments or navigation aids; and wind. Deviations around weather
can place you in unfamiliar territory; in combat situations, deviations around enemy defenses
can have the same effect.
Check the clock immediately. Timing will be a factor in determining the extent of disorientation
and the correction required. Where should you be at the present elapsed time? If you have
been slow and behind, you must look back on the course line. Look ahead of the present time
from the present time to see the terrain you are now over if you have been fast/ahead on the