General navigation in aviation involves the process of determining and maintaining the aircraft’s position, course, and altitude during a flight. It utilizes various methods, instruments, and techniques to ensure accurate and safe navigation. We can say that General Navigation is the most basic form of navigation, since it has been in vouge even before the Radio Navigation Aids were invented. In this category, we shall understand the various aspects of General Air Navigation.
Navigation Maps and Charts
Pilots rely on aeronautical maps and charts to plan and navigate their flights. There are various types of maps and charts. For example, maps provide detailed information about terrain, and other relevant features for a specific geographic region. On the other hand, en-route Charts show airways, waypoints, navigation aids along high-altitude flight routes. Approach Plates show detailed instrument approach procedures for landing at specific airports.
Deaduced or Ded reckoning involves calculating the aircraft’s position based on the known ground speed, heading, time, and wind effects. By continuously updating the position using these factors, pilots can estimate their location during flight.
Pilotage is the process of using visual landmarks on the ground to navigate. Pilots identify prominent features such as rivers, roads, and mountains to confirm their position and track their course.
Monitoring and Cross-Checking
Pilots continuously monitor and cross-check their navigation instruments, charts, and other navigation sources to ensure accuracy and detect any discrepancies. Regular cross-checking helps maintain situational awareness and confirms the aircraft’s position.
Accurate navigation is crucial for safe and efficient flight operations. Pilots must undergo training in navigation techniques, develop proficiency in using navigation instruments, and stay updated on the latest navigation procedures and technologies to ensure successful navigation during their flights.