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Principles and Terminology

Track Required; 

  • The path that an aircraft is intended to follow over the ground as represented by a line joining the departure point with the destination on a map relative to True North or Magnetic North.

Wind Velocity (W/V); 

  • The speed and direction of a wind.
  • It is expressed as a five-figure group;  i.e. 045/30

 

­    the first three figures are the direction from which the wind blows, and 

­    the last two indicate the speed of the wind in knots. 

 

  • It is normal for the direction of the surface wind given from Air Traffic Control and broadcast on the Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) to be expressed in degrees magnetic, while the winds in written form are in degrees true.

Headwind/Tailwind; 

  • Headwind (-):  A wind blowing directly against the course of an aircraft
  • Tailwind (+):   A wind blowing in the same direction as that of the course of an aircraft

Crosswind (XW); 

  • A crosswind is any wind that has a perpendicular component to the line or direction of travel. 

Heading; 

  • The direction the nose of an aircraft is pointing.

Drift; 

  • The angular difference between an aircraft’s heading and its track.
  • Left drift is when the nose of the aircraft is right of track, preventing left drift
  • Right drift is when the nose of the aircraft is left of track, preventing right drift
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