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6 Answers

Zulu To Local Time

Asked by: 4829 views Student Pilot

I’m having an issue converting Zulu back to Local time only at or after 0000Z. Before 0000Z I don’t have a problem.

Example: Using PDT + 7. If its 2300Z and I want to convert to Local I subtract 0700 from 2300 = 1600 Military time which = 4:00 PM Local.

Now, let’s say its 0300Z and again using PDT +7, it doesn’t look like I can use the same formula as I did above to convert to Local. Any suggestions?

Thank you


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6 Answers

  1. Micah on Apr 09, 2012

    I think you can build a simple rule to help you convert the time. What is midnight/0 zulu in your time zone? It should currently be 7z. 700z – 7hours = 2400/000 PDT.
    If that’s an easy conversion, and it’s only the hours between 2400z and 700z that add difficultly, then simply add 24 hours to any times between 2400z and 700z. 0300z then becomes 2700z, which is 8pm local. (2700 – 700 = 2000 -1200 = 8pm local).
    Does that work?

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  2. Bill Trussell on Apr 09, 2012

    Another suggestion that works for all times is to think of the Zulu time on the face of an analog clock.  Rotate the hands of the clock backwards from your Zulu time by 7 hours and that’s your local time.  It works in reverse too.
    Using your example of 0300Z or 3 AM rotate the clock back 7 hours (6 hours would be 9PM (opposite side of the clock) plus another hour is 8PM.
    The difference is visualization vs. math in your head.
    Otherwise, use the world clock function on your phone if you need to.

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  3. Gary Moore on Apr 09, 2012

    Another suggestion is to use a watch with two time zones and set one of them to zulu 🙂

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  4. Earl Kessler on Apr 09, 2012

    Another tool is using fltplan.com a free service. When you file all of the info using local time, it automatically converts to Zulu for you both in your filed flight plan an on your weather briefing. It eliminates the errors due to couting backwards or forwards.

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  5. Brian on Apr 10, 2012

    “Now, let’s say its 0300Z and again using PDT +7, it doesn’t look like I can use the same formula as I did above to convert to Local. Any suggestions?”

    First, realize 0000z = 2400.

    In your example case, work backwards to 0000z (or 2400), and then subtract the remaining. In other words, 0300z, work down to 0000z which is minus 3. Now you only have to go backwards 4 more times (7-3=4). You’re left with 0000z (or 2400) – 4. Work to knows, then work from there.

    This is an often skimmed over step in low level math and you’ll find most people who are good with numbers share this cominality: breaking down the problem to known, easy to manipulate, figures . Example: Subtract 57 from 112. Immediately I see 12-7 and 10-5…workable head numbers. 12-7 is 5 and 10(0) – 5(0) is 5(0). Add them up and I get 112 – 57 = 55. Similarly, add 87 and 64. Again I see 8+6 and 7+4. Or 140 and 11. Or 151.

    In the case of time, working to midnight first will make the numbers easier to manipulate and grasp. Finally, drawing it out on a line graph and counting backwards/forward on the graph could help with visualization. I.E. 0000 – 0100 – 0200….2300 – 0000/2400 – 0100 – 0200…

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  6. Adam Haven on Apr 24, 2012

    UTC Time app for Android and Iphones!! There is also a widget which is great!!

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