CHAPTER 3. Navigation

Risk: What Lies Ahead on a Direct-To Route?

The direct-to function offers a convenient way to shorten your time and distance en route if ATC authorizes that track. When you perform a direct-to operation, though, remember that the system builds a new track from your present position to the new waypoint. This track does not necessarily correspond to any previously planned airway or route, so it is critical to ensure that your new direct route is clear of all significant obstructions, terrain, weather, and airspace.

Cancel Direct To

ATC may sometimes cancel a previously issued direct-to clearance and ask you to resume the previously cleared route. Most FMSs offer a simple way of canceling a direct-to operation. Figure 3-24 illustrates the procedure for one FMS.

Selecting a Different Instrument Procedure or Transition

ATC will sometimes issue an instrument procedure or transition that is different from what you would expect. Entering a new procedure or transition is usually a simple matter of making new menu choices, as illustrated in Figure 3-25. In most units, if you are training or wish to fly the approach again, you must learn how to set the selector or cursor back to the initial fix, which will restart the approach sequence.

Proceeding Directly to the Nearest Airport

One of the most useful features of an FMS is its ability to provide you with immediate access to a large navigation database. This feature is particularly useful when a suitable nearby airport or navigation facility must be located quickly. Figure 3-26 shows how to locate and proceed directly to the nearest suitable airport using one manufacturer’s system.

Essential Skills

  • Proceed directly to a waypoint in the programmed route.
  • Cancel a programmed or selected waypoint or fix.
  • Select a different instrument procedure or transition.
  • Restart an approach sequence.
  • Immediately find the nearest airport or facility.
  • Edit a flight plan.
  • Enter a user waypoint.
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