assessing what has happened to you and what to expect in the future. So as you fly any route,
constantly FIX, CORRECT, and ASSESS. As stated above, this process is done
CONSTANTLY, not just at the turnpoints. The continual use of intermediate checkpoints along
the route is essential.
Fixing your position
When fixing your position, identify ground references and determine your position in relation to
mission course line and mission timing. Every modification to the course comes from this
critical step. Therefore concentrate your attention outside the aircraft. In this manner you will
keep your situational awareness up and subsequent points will be that much easier to find. In
general, use the method of Clock, Chart, Ground to identify your location (Refer to Chapter 3).
Correct back to mission course and timing
If you are off course or time, do something about it before it gets any worse. Use the methods
outlined previously during the turnpoint procedures. Standard course corrections (Figure 5-6) are
preferable but use BDHI corrections as well. If you already have corrections in, continue to
modify them based on the new information. Speed corrections can be initiated or extended as
long as an appropriate "time out" is given.
Assess the situation
Determine why you are off course and timing. If you need to modify your crab or base airspeed,
then do so. Remember, there are a tremendous number of reasons that you might be off
course/time. Pilot error, systems error, turbulence, errors while fixing position (due to altitude,
visual angle, etc.), and chart errors must all be considered before reaching this decision. Note
trends and then act on them.
WIND ESTIMATION TECHNIQUES
There are two methods of wind estimation: visual estimation and forecast wind manipulation.
Both forms give wind in terms of a total vector. In general, you will take deviations from course
as well as visual cues and determine a total wind vector. With that new vector, you can
determine appropriate headings and airspeeds to compensate to for subsequent legs. Round your
total winds to the nearest 5-knot increment and adjust headings 2° per 5 knots of lateral wind
component. These two estimation techniques allow for quicker calculations as well as allowing
the pilot some deviations for heading/airspeed control.
Visual analysis has the advantage of being quick, though typically less accurate. The process is
quite simple: observe the effects of wind on smoke, waves, trees, etc and determine the total
wind from your observations.