# What is the best way to determine wind correction angle?

As a new instrument student, I would like to know the best and efficient way to determine a rough wind correction angle. Calculating it with help of the e6b or other ways is often good to do before flight, but is not practical to do in flight, especially when dealing with various other tasks. As the wind is constantly changing in direction and strength, I am wondering if there might be a good rule of thumb or other tricks one might use to determine a rough WCA. Thanks!

• Closely related, maybe a dupe? Nov 24, 2021 at 19:03
• I made it through Instrument training without needing to calculate a WCA in the air, just trial and error to figure out where I needed to point the nose to keep the needle centered. Nov 24, 2021 at 19:55

There are 2 methods to use whilst in-flight. Both start with a "max drift" calculation which is pretty easy to do:

$$\text{max drift} = {60 \over \text{TAS}} \times \text{wind speed}$$

Therefore, for the most part, in many typical GA aircraft you're looking at about 2/3 the windspeed.

I prefer the simpler "clock" method.

Now the "clock" part is that you determine in-flight what the wind direction is with reference to your heading.

• 30 degrees - "half hour" - half the WCA
• 45 degrees - "three quarters of an hour" - three quarters of the WCA
• 60 degrees - "a whole hour" - all the WCA

The other method uses your Direction Indicator to visualise the crosswind component. It also has the advantage of being able to use a similar method to visualise the head/tailwind component too.