Sunday, February 17, 2008


The following describes a step-by-step procedure to use when tracking to and from a VOR station.

First, tune the VOR receiver to the frequency of the selected VOR station. For example: 115.0 to receive Bravo VOR. Next, check the identifiers to verify that the desired VOR is being received. As soon as the VOR is properly tuned, the course deviation needle will deflect either left or right; then rotate the azimuth dial to the course selector until the course deviation needle centers and the TO-FROM indicates "TO." If the needle centers with a "FROM" indication, the azimuth should be rotated 180° because, in this case, it is desired to fly "TO" the station. Now, turn the airplane to the heading indicated on the VOR azimuth dial or course selector. Example 350°

If a heading of 350° is maintained with a wind from the right as shown, the airplane will drift to the left of the intended track. As the airplane drifts off course, the VOR course deviation needle will gradually move to the right of center or indicate the direction of the desired radial or track.

To return to the desired radial, the airplane heading must be altered to the right. As the airplane returns to the desired track, the deviation needle will slowly return to center. When centered, the airplane will be on the desired radial and a left turn must be made toward, but not to the original heading of 350° because a wind drift correction must be established. The amount of correction depends upon the strength of the wind. If the wind velocity is unknown, a trial and error method can be used to find the correct heading. Assume, for this example, a 10° correction or a heading of 360° is maintained.

While maintaining a heading of 360°, assume that the course deviation begins to move to the left. This means that the wind correction of 10° is too great and the airplane is flying to the right of course. A slight turn to the left should be made to permit the airplane to return to the desired radial. When the deviation needle centers, a small wind drift correction of 5° or a heading correction of 355° should be flown. If this correction is adequate, the airplane will remain on the radial. If not, small variation in heading should be made to keep the needle centered, and consequently keeps the airplane on the radial.

As the VOR station is passed, the course deviation needle will fluctuate, then settle down, and the "TO" indication will change to "FROM." If the airplane passes to one side of the station, the needle will deflect in the direction of the station as the indicator changes to "FROM."

Generally, the same techniques apply when tracking outbound as those used for tracking inbound. If the intent is to fly over the station and track outbound on the reciprocal of the inbound radial, the course selector should not be changed. Corrections are made in the same manner to keep the needle centered. The only difference is that the omni will indicate "FROM."

If tracking outbound on a course other than the reciprocal of the inbound radial, this new course or radial must be set in the course selector and a turn made to intercept this course. After this course is reached, tracking procedures are the same as previously discussed.

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