Avionics~ HI/DG? How to tell your heading?

I can read and understand the idiot proof glass cockpit avionics, as they are pretty self explanatory...and i know how older gauges work, like the DG, and Magnetic Compass ect....but what i cant figure out is how you find your way without a flight plan?

lets assume i took off from airport X heading east....and wanted to find my way airport Y....is there a way to get there using IFR without already knowing what heading to use?

i cant find ANY good info on how to fully utilize the DG....im just getting into learning avionics, so pardon me if some of my abbreviations are wrong.

basically i wanna know....if you plan to go from HERE to THERE....how do you know what your heading should be?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Glass cockpits are not idiot-proof, unfortunately. Fortunately, most pilots are not idiots.

    To find your way from airport X to airport Y, you need a navigation plan. And since you are legally required to file a flight plan for an IFR flight, including information on your altitude(s) and route to be flown, you'll need that plan before you start the flight.

    You develop the plan by looking at charts and finding your way from one airport to the other, then you mark down your navigational fixes and planned altitudes and put them into your flight plan.

    Many routes are constrained at least in part by traffic considerations for air traffic control. It may be wise to pick up all or part of your route from sources like the FAA, which provides preferred routing for certain common routes. If you're an airline pilot, generally your employer will provide the route to be flown (depending on how big an airplane you are flying, how big the airline itself is, etc.). Some avionics systems allow you to set a course directly to your destination, but in most cases this won't be satisfactory to ATC, as they'll want you to put at least a few fixes in your flight plan, and they may want you to fly a departure and/or arrival procedure as well. For short flights in small aircraft, and sometimes for substantial segments of other flights, ATC may clear you direct.

    It all boils down to maps (and/or map databases) at some point. You need a map to find your destination and plan a route to get there. It can be a paper map, or it can be an electronic map, but you need a map.

    For examples, see

    http://www.skyvector.com/ (VFR charts, IFR charts, for all of the U.S.)

  • 1 decade ago

    The HSI on the "idiot proof" glass panel works the same way as a DG or Mag compass. You read the aircraft's magnetic heading off the top of the instrument or the lubber line.

    For IFR & VFR there are NAVAIDS on charts that are orented to magnetic north. You can connect the stations together toward where you are going and read the magnetic course to each one. Assuming no wind, this MAG course will be the same as a MAG heading you can fly with your HSI, DG, or MAG compass...

    If you are VFR and plotting a course on a VFR chart you can do prety much the same thing. Just draw a line from where you are to where you want to go. With out the NAVAIDS you will have to use a plotter and a reference lattitude and longitude to give you a TRUE course referencing true North. To get a MAG heading to fly (assuming no wind) you must +or- the magnetic variation in the area to get a MAG course.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    It depends on what type of dancing really. I used to go to Ballroom dancing many years ago and I was okay with most of the dances we learned but when it comes to Rock n' Roll it becomes a little difficult when you're head thinks you can Jive but your body can't keep up with your feet. ...Lol. I'll just stick with a Tango!

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