Pilots training to become instrument rated must learn to intercept and track VOR and LOC courses. What are the basic rules of thumb all pilots should learn regarding picking a course for intercept and making corrections to maintain the course? How do they vary between VOR and LOC courses?
the rule of thumb for IFR flying, including intercepting VOR and LOC courses, is the 5Ts:
- Throttle: turn the throttle to initiate a climb or descent
- Turn: to the new inbound or outbound heading
- Time: reset the timer to time the new leg
- Twist: the OBS to the new course you're intercepting
- Talk: if you are at a reporting point, you should now use the radio
- To track to a station track a radial with a To indication
- To track from a station track a radial with a from indication
- To track outbound turn your vor obs to a radial with a from indication and intercept where the needle is (left or right) within 90* (otherwise you will start tracking towards the station)
- To track inbound turn your vor obs to the reciprocal heading and intercept within the 90deg* of the direction the needle is. ( the reciprocal in crucial)
Basic vor intercepts will call for 90 * intercept to avoid crossing the station however this is amateur but ensures the task cannot be failed
They will call for 45* intercept outbound since you have no worry of cross the station.
Proficient pilots will intercept as required when tracking vor becomes second nature.
The radial your a/c is on can be found always by centering the needle with a from indication. This will give the radial from the station that your aircraft is on.
Remember aircraft heading is not relevant , just the position of the aircraft I relation to the vor
Vor reception 1.23 x sqrt ALT Vor is line of sight so the greater the ALT, the greater the reception distance.
I may have worded the first 4 rules wrong but they are fundamental!