When flying an aeroplane, pilots have a responsibility to ensure they get both themselves and their passengers to their chosen destination safely. This means they need to be able to navigate the plane through potentially tough conditions.
Navigational tools are designed to help pilots successfully and safely navigate through aerospace. Here, we’ll look at the main resources pilots use to prevent them going off course and reach their destination safely.
GPS – A valuable, essential resource
One of the most valuable resources used for aerospace navigation is GPS, or Global Positioning System. They receive accurate location data from 24 different US Department of Defence satellites. Triangulation is used to determine the exact position of the aircraft and they can be used literally anywhere in the globe. Most of the time they are accurate, though errors do rarely occur.
The data provided by GPS includes aircraft speed, location and track. They’re much more reliable than radio systems and are one of the most commonly used navigational aids.
Another valuable resource is navigational charts. A lot like road maps for cars, these charts can be used to navigate through countries or regions. They’re often updated annually to ensure they are accurate and up-to-date.
Just some of the information provided by these charts include private air fields, FIS and Volmet frequencies and gives a complete overview of different territories. They’re affordable too, especially when buying from a specialist store such as Flightstore Pilot Supplies Ltd.
As well as direct navigational tools, pilots need radio transmission to stay in contact with appropriate authorities. They rely upon two-way communication to find out about any potential changes in navigation. They can also use the radio to communicate if anything goes wrong on board.
If there was a situation where the pilot needed to switch course, they can use radio communication to help steer the plane in the appropriate direction.
These are the main tools used to help pilots navigate through airspace. However, there are others such as compasses which also come in useful. Pilots tend to use as many navigational tools as they can just to be safe. There is talk of pilotless planes being developed, which would involve a sophisticated navigational system to be introduced. However, it’s unlikely these planes will be ready in the near future.
Overall, navigational tools are essential to pilots and without them crash rates would be incredibly high.