that leg...but is it the right one? A common error made by students (and even some experienced
aviators) is using ground features without reference to the clock. Remember, the clock verifies
the point on the ground is the same point annotated on your chart!
With an intermediate checkpoint in sight, the next question is "What is it telling me?"
Unfortunately, not all intermediate checkpoints give the same information. Ideally, a point tells
us if we are early or late, and if we are left or right of planned track. Such a point might be a
specific bridge or a water tower located in a small town. However, if the checkpoint is a road
perpendicular to our track, it gives us only timing information; we compare our actual time of
arrival to our updated ETA to determine how many seconds off of planned. Likewise, if the
intermediate checkpoint was a railroad running parallel to our track, we could easily determine
our distance from planned track, but we would not know if we were early or late. A road
crossing our track diagonally gives us little if any information since being left or right also would
affect our timing across the road. As a minimum, a good intermediate checkpoint will give you
an idea of whether you are left, right, or on course. Regardless of whether you do something
with this information or not (such as initiating a correction), it can help you "cage" your eyes to
where subsequent turnpoints are located. For example, a tower might be used to determine that
you are left of course one mile. With this information, you now know to look to the right for the
turnpoint. Although you are required to scan all sectors for hazards, you can concentrate on the
right, as this is the direction of the turnpoint. This reduces your workload significantly.
THE PILOT CARD
Except for fuels, your low-level chart is nearly complete. For T-6A Navigation flights, you will
provide your instructor with a pilot card outlining the turnpoints, intermediate checkpoints,
course lines, planned altitudes, estimated times of arrival and estimated fuels remaining. Figure
3-5 is an example of a completed pilot card.
The information on the Pilot Card comes directly from your chart. Fuels, discussed in Chapter
Four, are also included on the Pilot Card. Note intermediate checkpoints are listed above the
destination point for that leg.
VISUAL FIXING 3-7