reply to post by LunaStarr
Yes...a degree or two is very insignificant, in normal flying. It is about, though, the technicality and the increasing accuracy that they can survey
the airport property. One degree, especially fractions? Pffft! For the pilots.....
.....however, in some cases....and especially when teaching someone the basics, well --- you may tell a student as he/she plans the cross country
flight to measure and plot, on their charts, very precisely....and to strive for accuracy in heading control to maintain the predicted magnetic
heading, in order to fly the course...but, this is just instilling the basics into a person, as they are learning. WITH PRACTICE and experience, it
becomes more second nature. (We also teach the importance of that little-used device, that is required equipment, requires no electricity, and is
virtually fail-proof....the "wet" compass. There are entire lessons devoted to using it, in turns, and descents, and climbs and when
accelerating/decelerating....because the compass is affected by the airplane motion. It is only accurate when in straight-and-level unaccelerated
flight). I'll see if there's something online about it.....
Ah! Here, love the Internet sometimes!! ALL the stuff in many flying handbooks and training manuals, except now it's right at your fingertips for
sharing, to teach others with!!
One thing that is (or used to be anyway) taught is the very basid "dead reckoning" technique. ("dead" is really short for the "ded"- in
But, this is digression....because landings are a visual beast .... yes, even "autolandings", by professionals, with professional-level equipment, in
controlled circumstances....a pilot (usually the Captain, as most airlines follow the procedure protocols) MUST have certain visual cues in sight, as
the autoflight system conducts the landing...or else, a go-around is immediately initiated.
As noted earlier, at Tampa....the actual surveyed runway heading has been greater than the "cross-over" for re-numbering, for some time. It was "on
the cusp", and not particularly vital to change....just, the decision was made. In fifty years, it may change back! Or, not.
At many other airports, where the runway heading is already very close to a "cardinal" number, within the "magic" ten degrees, then it would be a BIG
change required for the magnetic pole variation to affect the "new" runway magnetic heading significantly enough to re-number it.....
You have to remember that most of thee airports were laid out and built decades ago....before the sort of precision surveying, to include GPS
accuracy, that we have today.
edit on 6 January 2011 by weedwhacker because: (no reason given)