Questions tagged [navigation]

Navigation is the process of planning and controlling travel from one location to another. There are many methods of navigation using different techniques and instruments.

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28
votes
3answers
6k views

How are airspace fixes named?

Aircraft use nav fixes as waypoints or reporting points along their routes. I have noticed some interesting combinations. Some make sense, like LUCKI to LYNDI on the LYNDI arrival into San Diego ...
27
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2answers
55k views

How does ILS (Instrument landing system) work?

How does ILS (Instrument landing system) work? I know it provides guidance to the runway by two signals, one modulated at 90 Hz, the other at 150 Hz, but how the airplane lock on those signals? ...
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2answers
1k views

What's the precision of a modern Inertial Measurement Unit, and how is it obtained?

This recent comment reports that: the IMU on new (plane) would localize the aircraft to within 3 feet after a cross-country flight, without any GPS input other than the starting location. I ...
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0answers
115 views

Anyone estimating possible paths of MH370 quantitatively? [duplicate]

I had posted the question below on a New York Times article, but did not get any useful replies. The series of six successful Inmarsat pings known to exist, MAY carry enough information to say if the ...
31
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6answers
21k views

How do airliners cross the ocean without GPS?

How do airliners cross the ocean without GPS? Do they use dead-reckoning or are there navigation aids floating out there?
7
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2answers
489 views

How does an aircraft report crew programming of the FMS to the ground? [closed]

I am reading in the news that the MH370 flight changed its course by "Computer entry" and that it was programmed into the computer at least 12 minutes before the last voice contact with the plane. ...
30
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5answers
14k views

Can a Boeing 777 be hacked?

All this confusion over flight 370 has me wondering if it would be possible to hack into an airplane and control the autopilot or other on-board systems in a way that the pilots couldn't regain ...
9
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4answers
16k views

Where is the airspace not covered by primary Radar?

Most ATC in the world rely primarily on secondary radar to know where planes are. This requires that the transponder on the plane works correctly. This means that maintenance and deployment of ...
19
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2answers
33k views

What is an Inertial Navigation System? How does it work?

In this question, the answer notes that some ADS-B systems are connected to Inertial Navigation Systems (INS), and says they are less accurate than GPS. What exactly is an INS? A couple sub ...
12
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1answer
3k views

How do I tell a Garmin 430 not to exit a hold?

Let's say that we're directly west of CATLI and have been cleared direct CATLI for the RNAV approach. We load the approach into ...
15
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3answers
25k views

What are pilot position reports?

I do a lot of shortwave radio listening, and I often listen to MWARA air traffic radio transmissions based out of San Francisco for flights crossing the Pacific Ocean. When giving position reports the ...
12
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3answers
2k views

Why do some back course operations use normal sensing?

So the LOC/DME-E approach to KASE lists for the missed approach course to use the I-PKN localizer, but then there's a note 'course outbound is normal sensing'. Does that mean that in effect, this ...
5
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6answers
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How can I calculate distance based on altitude and glideslope angle?

How do I calculate the distance to touchdown when the glideslope angle is different from 3°? For example, you are 670ft AGL on a 3.2° glideslope approach; what do I change in the formula to calculate ...
12
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2answers
3k views

What concerns do the FAA and EASA have in 2014 with "own-ship position display" on EFBs?

I've read a couple of times that "own-ship position display" is not authorized for use on Class 1 or 2 EFBs (by the FAA), and that both the FAA and EASA are cautioning against that feature's use on ...
11
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1answer
3k views

Can I display the route which I have created with skyvector.com on google maps?

I really appreciate skyvector.com as a tool for initial route planning and providing me with a good lookout to the upcoming VFR flight, but honestly I'm not very satisfied with the FAA Sectional ...
15
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4answers
2k views

Do autopilots force the aircraft to fly over certain coordinates?

As part of a project I'm doing I plotted the flight paths of about 2000 flights around the globe, I noticed over both the North Atlantic and Pacific that there is a pattern to the flight paths: You ...
25
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4answers
6k views

How are VORs oriented near the magnetic poles?

I noticed on SkyVector that, for example, the Resolute Bay VOR (YRB) and Baker Lake VOR (YBK) seem to be oriented in such a way that the 360 radial is pointing in the direction of true north (and I ...
14
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4answers
29k views

How do I convert true heading to magnetic heading or the other way around?

Is there a method by which the conversions can be achieved on the fly by using a mathematical formulae and not using specific area charts?
25
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5answers
85k views

What does the term "trimming" most commonly mean in aviation?

Why does an airplane need trim, and what does it do during the flight? Does an autopilot adjust the trim automatically?
3
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1answer
2k views

How does aircraft navigation work? [closed]

Is it possible to briefly summarize how a commercial plane navigation system operates to a layperson (e.g. a passenger)? The aircraft takes off, reaches a certain altitude, and then lands perfect on ...
27
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6answers
132k views

What's the difference between True vs Magnetic headings?

What is the difference between a true and a magnetic heading? Why are/were magnetic headings used in aviation?

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