# Is wind taken into account when calculating VFR cruising altitudes?

Asked by: **Aviatrix**
**5315** views
FAA Regulations, General Aviation, Student Pilot

I have a question about VFR cruising altitudes. When you calculate your VFR cruising altitude, do you take into account wind correction angle?

For example, if I plotted a course and found my true course (i.e.-the line I drew on the map) to be 010 degrees. Then, I added or subtracted the magnetic variation (isogonic line value) and found that my "magnetic course" (or is this called magnetic heading?) to be at 005 degrees.

THEN, I determined my wind correction angle was -7...so my "true heading" (the direction I point the nose of the aircraft) was 358 degrees. So, my heading indicator will read 358 degrees in order to fly to my destination.

HOWEVER, since my groundtrack (i.e. - magnetic value of true course+isogonic line) was 005 degrees, wouldn't I STILL fly at odd+500 foot altitude **since my groundtrack (005 degrees) is East...even though my nose (358 degrees) is pointed more West?**

My question therefore is do VFR cruising altitudes take into account WCA?

If the wind changes during flight, this could produce a major headache in flight planning if you have to keep changing altitudes based upon WCA.

If it is based on COURSE and not on WIND...I'm wondering why the directions on my flight planning sheet and the back of the E6B tell us to calculate true course...THEN WCA...THEN magnetic variation. You may calculate the same heading to fly, however, **shouldn't** **you want to calculate magnetic variation PRIOR to WCA in order to determine your cruising altitude?** I.E. - See instructions below:

TC (plus or minus) WCA = TH (plus or minus) VAR = MH (plus or minus) DEV = CH

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