Operational Navigation Flight Training Instruction
Flying the Route
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 airwork 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. If you maintain proper airspeed and heading control using a disciplined instrument scan,
the elapsed-time clock will provide the precise information required for locating checkpoints throughout the
route. Use your elapsed-time clock. If timing corrections are needed use intermediate checkpoints along
1. 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 it.
2. 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.
3. You measured and plotted exact headings 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.
Cross check 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 heading accordingly.
4. 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
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.
FLYING TO LANDMARKS
Funneling is simply following some linear landmark (valley, river) until it intercepts the planned landmark
along or on your route of flight, or purposely selecting a heading which will lead to a positive landmark. If
you intercept such a linear landmark and know where it leads, use it to guide you to your next checkpoint.