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2 Answers

Runway heading, missed approach

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1. On takeoff, flying a SID, on non radar environment. When flying runway heading am I supposed to fly heading or correct for crosswind? 2. Missed approach, non radar environment. Am I supposed to fly runway heading or correct for crosswind.

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2 Answers



  1. Kris Kortokrax on Jun 28, 2015

    Runway Heading is defined in the Pilot/Controller Glossary as follows:

    “The magnetic direction that corresponds with the runway centerline extended, not the painted runway number. When cleared to “fly or maintain runway heading,” pilots are expected to fly or maintain the heading that corresponds with the extended centerline of the departure runway. Drift correction shall not be applied; e.g., Runway 4, actual magnetic heading of the runway centerline 044, fly 044.”

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  2. Best Answer


    Mark Kolber on Jun 28, 2015

    Daniel, think about it for a moment. Remember that these instructions existed before GPS. So, even without a formal definition as quoyd by Kris, when told to fly runay heading do you

    (a) read the dial (DG or HSI) in front of you and fly the numbers that correspond to the runway

    or

    (b) read the OAT, tune the Kollsman to 29.92 to get pressure altitude, whip out your E6B, convert IAS to TAS, ask to go off frequency for a minute, call Flight Service to get the winds aloft, turn the E6B over, do the wind triangle, figure out the wind correction angle, apply it to the number ATC gave you 5-10 minutes earlier and then make your turn

    The reason is that, from a traffic management standpoint, everyone is in the same wind s, unless everyone is capable of flying a track, it works better if everyone simply flies a heading.

    Personally, I treat ODPs and initial missed instructions as an exception if I think flying heading is going to bring me too close to terrain. I’m not too worried about following the Pilot/Controller glossary at that point.

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