|CHAPTER 3. Navigation
Common Error: Not Considering Winds During Descent Planning
A common error in planning a descent is failing to consider winds and their effect on groundspeed. As illustrated in Figure 3-34, if you fail to take into account a 20-knot tailwind, your groundspeed will be faster than you planned, and you will reach the target waypoint before reaching the assigned altitude.
Intercept And Track Course
Intercepting and Tracking a Different Course to the Active Waypoint
Figure 3-37 illustrates a common situation. Air traffic control instructs you to fly to a waypoint via an inbound course different from the desired track calculated by the FMS. In the example in Figure 3-37, you are en route to SUNOL intersection. The FMS has calculated a desired track of 060 degrees, but ATC has instructed you to fly a heading of 080 degrees to intercept a 009-degree course to SUNOL.
The FMS is set to take the aircraft to SUNOL intersection, but via an inbound course different from the one ATC has cleared you to follow. Therefore, you need to be a means of programming the FMS to follow your choice of course instead of the desired track that it has identified.
The Nonsequencing Mode
Every IFR-capable FMS/RNAV unit offers an alternative mode of operation, the nonsequencing mode, which allows you to perform this particular task. Like the OBS knob which allows you to select VOR radials, the nonsequencing mode allows you to select courses to or from an active waypoint. The nonsequencing mode differs from the sequencing mode in two important ways:
Every FMS/RNAV offers a way to switch to the nonsequencing mode. There is typically a button marked OBS (or Hold), and an OBS or course selection knob to select an inbound course to the active waypoint. Figure 3-38 illustrates the procedure for one particular FMS.
Once you switch to nonsequencing mode and select the inbound course of 009°, the navigation indicator reflects aircraft position with respect to the 009° course. The navigation indicator in Figure 3-38 shows that you are west of course. The assigned heading of 080° provides an acceptable intercept angle. As you fly the 080° heading, the needle centers as you reach the 009° course. Once the 009° course is reached and the needle has centered, you can turn to track the 009° course inbound to SUNOL.
It is important to remember that the nonsequencing mode suspends the FMS/RNAV’s waypoint sequencing function. If you reach SUNOL and the unit is still set in the nonsequencing mode, it will not sequence on to the next waypoint. Generally, once established on a direct course to waypoint or navaid, switching back to sequencing (releasing the Hold or Suspend function) mode allows the FMS/RNAV to continue to the programmed point and thence onward according to the programmed routing. Setting the computer back to the sequencing mode is usually accomplished by pressing the OBS (Hold or Suspend) button again.
|©AvStop Online Magazine Contact Us Return To Books|
Grab this Headline Animator