Operational Navigation Flight Training Instruction
Flying the Route
Remember that 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 which will maintain the corrected cruise mach number or TAS. If speed
deviations occur, make the correction the same magnitude as the error. For example: if airspeed is 20 kt
slow, add power appropriately. When the desired airspeed 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 and while maneuvering 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 pilots best asset should he become temporarily disoriented. Follow these procedures:
1. 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.
2. 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, remember that 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
3. Check your fuel state. Compare your available fuel with the MFR (minimum fuel required to complete
the route) and bingo fuel. The disorientation may have caused more problems than just navigation. If
lost, remember the Five Cs: confess, climb, conserve, communicate, and comply. Take action
before your fuel state becomes a significant factor.
4. Do not complicate matters. Immediately upon realizing that a problem exists, decide on a plan. Avoid
wandering aimlessly while planning what to do next. Stick with what you know - time, distance, and
heading. Normally, continue flying preplanned headings and times while climbing to a higher altitude
to increase visibility. Be aware of the top of the route structure. If you must go higher, be sure to slow
to 250 KIAS.
5. Reorient. You must find landmarks and identify them on the chart. Take care to avoid following a
hunch or making a decision based on uncertain information. Comply with FAA speed restrictions (250
KIAS) if you suspect that you have exceeded the applicable route widths described in FLIP AP/1B.