How do aircraft pilots calculate wind drift to maintain an accurate course?

Comfortingly, airline pilots have a sophisticated method of navigating their crafts. 

22nd October 2009
How do aircraft pilots calculate wind drift to maintain an accurate course? (Getty)

Asked by: Robert Bright, Maidstone

The wind is usually at an angle different to that of travel, so pilots need to calculate a course to compensate. Flight computers on airliners do this automatically, but light aircraft pilots use a device a bit like a slide rule on which they dial up wind speed and direction and their airspeed and course to plot the ‘wind correction angle’.

 


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