Flying The Route
Mentally flying a route almost to the point of memorization will significantly reduce the visual
navigation in-flight workload. You must spend time flying the route while studying the chart. The
more premission study the smoother your visual navigation flight will be.
DEAD RECKONING NAVIGATION AND PILOTAGE
Dead Reckoning Navigation is the sole use of time, distance and heading to get from one fix to
another fix. Pilotage is the use of charts and landmarks for navigation. To successfully fly a
low-level route, the combination of dead reckoning and pilotage must be used. Obviously, basic air-
work is of prime importance in low-level navigation. Precise control of heading and airspeed is
mandatory in order to stay on course and on time. Go from clock to chart to ground, in that order, to
check your location against the terrain features. Maintain proper airspeed and heading control using
a disciplined instrument scan throughout the route. Use your elapsed-time clock. If timing correc-
tions are needed, use intermediate checkpoints along the route.
The elapsed-time clock consists of a regular clock with a stopwatch feature. Use the stopwatch
feature in conjunction with the tick marks on your chart for monitoring total elapsed time. Set it
to zero prior to the first checkpoint. Start it when you cross the first checkpoint and do not reset
The regular clock in the aircraft may be used as a backup for the stopwatch. In the event of an
inoperative stopwatch, set the minute hand at 12:00 when passing the first checkpoint. It's a
good idea to have a digital wristwatch with a stopwatch function as a backup.
You measured and plotted exact heading on your chart so fly those exact headings. Any
course deviations then, will likely be the result of wind; be alert for surface winds where you will
be flying. Crosscheck the heading on your HUD against your magnetic compass. When you
make a correction at a checkpoint, apply that correction after you turn. Use such things as
smoke, waving grass or trees, or the waves on water to help estimate winds and correct your
Perform all actions required over/immediately after checkpoint: turn, check time, check
estimated fuel left, minimum fuel required and bingo fuel against actual fuel left at each
checkpoint. Initiate corrections.
TECHNIQUES FOR FLYING
You have planned a route from checkpoint to checkpoint. Now, here are some hints and clues that
will help you as you fly your planned route.
CLOCK TO CHART TO GROUND
"Clock-to-chart-to-ground" is a scan that you must develop. You do not have time to locate a
landmark and then search your chart for something that looks like it. If you have controlled your
airspeed and heading properly, your clock will correspond to the time ticks on your chart. If you
know that you should cross a railroad track at an elapsed time of 12 + 36, then look for a railroad
track beginning early--you must look ahead for terrain features. If you do not locate your
checkpoint, turn on time. If you disregard your timing and continue straight ahead, you will become
disoriented and perhaps even lost.