Are DF Steers Obsolete?

Fri Jun 01, 2001 10:30 am

Hi everyone,

I was wondering, with today's technology, radars and such. Do VDF steers (DF steers if you prefer) are still used or an ATC will just give you a vector? Because in all of my books they talk about DF steering in case of dificulty, but having been explianed how it works it seems a bit obsolete with today's radars.

aaron atp
Posts: 517
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2000 1:17 pm


Fri Jun 01, 2001 11:05 am

New Automated FSS's are not being equipped with the equipment to perform a DF steer, and most the the DF receivers have been decomissioned.

As with everything, I'm sure there are exceptions (maybe Reno AFSS, w/ lots of class G and poor radar coverage) The general rule says there are no DF steers available.

Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2000 6:37 am

RE: Are DF Steers Obsolete?

Fri Jun 01, 2001 11:20 am

You are exactly right. With radar services expanding they are becoming more and more obsolete, but they are still out there and who knows where your adventure might take you esecially, if you get lost you could be helped. Just like a PVASI and Tri-Colored VASI, they are rare to see but good to know. Some Private Pilots do not know, but pending on work load, you could get a VFR Flight Following and you will always have eyes on you, even if you get lost.
aaron atp
Posts: 517
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2000 1:17 pm


Fri Jun 01, 2001 1:55 pm

Just a clarification, the topic "no" to my previous post was a reponse to the question posed in the body, not the topic... that would be "yes" in most circumstances

the next time you talk to a weather briefer at your local FSS, just ask them if they still do them...

Top Gun
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 8:13 am

RE: Are DF Steers Obsolete?

Sat Jun 02, 2001 10:02 am

In Northern Canada where the RADAR is non existant they are still in use.

If you ever go to Alaska guess where you have to fly through? It's pretty easy to get lost if your not familier with flying in the mountains. And the next best thing is that the FSS and VDF steers are few between too.

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