CHAPTER 5. Information Systems

Maintaining Proficiency: Spatial Reasoning Skills

Consider the CDI shown in Figure 5-8. What is the position of the aircraft with respect to the VOR station? Interpreting this type of display requires more effort than interpreting the moving map, which automatically displays the solution to the position-finding problem. Pilots should expend the effort to practice this skill set. Those who learn to navigate using ground-based radio navigation aids are forced to develop spatial reasoning and visualization skills, but a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) study showed that this type of skill tends to fade quickly when not used. Be sure to keep your spatial reasoning and visualization skills sharp.

Failure Indications

Failure indications on the moving map can be quite subtle. The MFD in Figure 5-9 reflects a loss of position information, indicated by the removal of the aircraft symbol, compass labels, and other subtle differences. Be familiar with the failure indications specific to your equipment.

Common Error: Using the Moving Map as a Primary Navigation Instrument

The rich detail offered by the moving map display invites you to use the display as a primary navigation instrument, but you need to resist this temptation. The moving map display is designed to provide supplemental navigation information, but is not approved as a substitute for primary navigation instruments. The moving map is not required to meet any certification standards for accuracy or information as are the primary navigation CDI and related system components. Bear in mind that the apparent accuracy of the moving map display can be affected by factors as simple as the range setting of the display. An aircraft 10 miles off course can appear to be centered on an airway when the range is set to cover great distances.

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