Welcome Guest. Sign in or Signup

4 Answers

Magnetic vs True Course

Asked by: 14165 views , , ,
Student Pilot

I've had a little confusion with cross-country planning. It is with the magnetic and true courses. Can you tell me if this is right. When I plot the route and use my plotter, the course I get is a TRUE heading. I then add or subract the variation degree which converts it to MAGNETIC. Now, I need to put in the wind correction. The problem here is I do not know whether the wind i get from Flight Service is in magnetic or true. Could you please possibly explain this to me, sorry if my question sounds a little confusing.

Ace Any FAA Written Test!
Actual FAA Questions / Free Lifetime Updates
The best explanations in the business
Fast, efficient study.
Pass Your Checkride With Confidence!
FAA Practical Test prep that reflects actual checkrides.
Any checkride: Airplane, Helicopter, Glider, etc.
Written and maintained by actual pilot examiners and master CFIs.
The World's Most Trusted eLogbook
Be Organized, Current, Professional, and Safe.
Highly customizable - for student pilots through pros.
Free Transition Service for users of other eLogs.
Our sincere thanks to pilots such as yourself who support AskACFI while helping themselves by using the awesome PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android aviation apps of our sponsors.

4 Answers

  1. Vance Cochrane on Aug 06, 2010

    Winds aloft are given in true heading.

    +1 Votes Thumb up 2 Votes Thumb down 1 Votes

  2. Paul on Aug 06, 2010

    For METARs and TAFs, Winds and Temperatures aloft (FD) winds are reported or forecasted in reference to true north.

    A helpful way to remember this is “if it is written it is true, if it is spoken (ATIS, ASOS, tower, etc) it is magnetic.”

    +14 Votes Thumb up 16 Votes Thumb down 2 Votes

  3. Richard Hages on Aug 12, 2010

    Also make sure you have the difference between HEADING and COURSE down. When you plot the line on your sectional and use your plotter to get a direction for your flight that is your TRUE COURSE, not true heading. After you apply wind correction this COURSE becomes a HEADING. Just try to remember the COURSE as being the actual course that you will travel over the ground and the HEADING as the actual direction the the aircraft will be facing due to wind correction.

    +3 Votes Thumb up 3 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  4. Patrick Mudge on Dec 21, 2010

    I have been flying as a Navigator in the Coast Guard for many years, and I have always used the rule that if the Tower or ASOS/AWOS/ATIS is reporting winds; they were always given in Magnetic Direction. Forecast winds for flight planning were given in True Direction. The other day I had a discussion with the Pilot and he informed me that the Tower was giving us winds in a True reference. I said “that doesn’t sound right, and that I believed he was mistaken”. He then called the ground controller, and asked how the wind was reported and the Tower said he was reporting it in True. Everywhere that I have looked, backs what I had mentioned, Mag spoken True written. Assumption is not good for cross wind landings with large Variation.

    +1 Votes Thumb up 2 Votes Thumb down 1 Votes

The following terms have been auto-detected the question above and any answers or discussion provided. Click on a term to see its definition from the Dauntless Aviation JargonBuster Glossary.

Answer Question

Our sincere thanks to all who contribute constructively to this forum in answering flight training questions. If you are a flight instructor or represent a flight school / FBO offering flight instruction, you are welcome to include links to your site and related contact information as it pertains to offering local flight instruction in a specific geographic area. Additionally, direct links to FAA and related official government sources of information are welcome. However we thank you for your understanding that links to other sites or text that may be construed as explicit or implicit advertising of other business, sites, or goods/services are not permitted even if such links nominally are relevant to the question asked.