I wanted to confirm my understanding of VFR Flight Planning/Dead Reckoning with relation to heading and course calculation. Is the below correct?

  1. Using a plotter, draw a line from departure airport to arrival airport
  2. Using the same plotter, get the true course (TC)
  3. Using an E6B or similar calculator, calculate the Wind Correction Angle (WCA) which is based on Wind Direction and Speed
  4. + or - the WCA to/from the TC and the result will be True Heading (TH)
  5. Using the chart, see what the Magnetic Declination is and + or - the value (West is Best [add], East is Least [subtract])
  6. The result will be Magnetic Heading (MH)
  7. On the day of flight, check the Compass Deviation Card to + or - the deviation from the Magnetic Heading and this will give us the Compass Heading (CH)

2 Answers 2


Yep, that's how it's done!

(If you fly the same airplane all the time, one other thing you could do is take a photo of the compass card. That way, you have the deviation already handled and you save a step at the airport.)

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @steve-v. I do have a question about the compass deviation though. Given the following deviation card, is there are formula to calculate the deviation for a given heading if that heading is not exclusively listed? E.g. our MH is 153, do we just go to the closest number on the card which is 'for 150, steer 148'. What if our MH is 165? Do we go to the deviation of 150 or 180? $\endgroup$
    – Dan
    Dec 19, 2017 at 3:56
  • $\begingroup$ FYI, I asked the above comment on Reddit as well $\endgroup$
    – Dan
    Dec 19, 2017 at 3:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Dan You could use the average of the 150 and 180 numbers. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Dec 19, 2017 at 9:33

Perfect. Just to say, if using the Lambert chart then measure your track (T) at the mid point between departure and destination.


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