In this age of satellite navigation (GPS), Inertial Reference Systems (IRS), and Flight Management Systems (FMS), why would anyone bother with the fundamentals, right? Wrong! A well educated and trained pilot is still the best asset in any aircraft. Unfortunately, we see a trend in pilot training where the basic science and concepts are increasingly disregarded. Ignoring the best in human nature – intellectual curiosity and the quest for knowledge – and inviting the worst, boredom and the feeling of inferiority, will certainly take its toll sooner or later.
A simple method, rarely ever taught in practice, but found in some older IFR books and FAA materials, can be used to estimate distance and time to NAVAIDs. Why are we “wasting” time here learning this when FAA abandoned it? Well, for the same reasons why we practice stalls, Chandelles, Lazy 8s, and other “useless” maneuvers that never find place in daily flight operations. The understanding of the fundamental concepts in IFR navigation is the root for all other advanced applications.
Midwest Flyer Magazine
Daidzic, N. E. (2008). Time-distance-speed-angle problem. Midwest Flyer Magazine, 31(1), 47-48.
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