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Course / Heading

Fri Jun 25, 2004 1:34 am

Might be the stupidest Q ever asked, but what is the difference on Flight sim between Course and Heading? I've never found myself using the course button on the Auto Pilot only ever the heading.

Forever Flight
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RE: Course / Heading

Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:07 am

I haven't played MS in sometime, but here's just one basic way to describe what I think you are talking about...

If I'm leaving DAB for SGJ, the true heading in a direct line might be like 330 degrees. But if I have a winds aloft blowing from the east lets say, when I do my flight planning I'll add in that wind, magnetic variation, and come up with a heading of lets say 370. Another words, I'll have to maintain a 370 degree heading with the aircraft to get to stay on course.

Don't know if that helps or not.
Here Here for Severe Clear!
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RE: Course / Heading

Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:44 am


Course= The actual Course you are flying.

Heading= The actual Heading you are flying.


What HaveBlue said Wink/being sarcastic

"They have lady pilots......... they're not that good, but they have 'em"
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RE: Course / Heading

Fri Jun 25, 2004 12:27 pm

Well on the autopilot the course is used for the NAV hold and the heading is used for the Heading hold.
So if you set you Nav1 Radio to a VOR lets say 110.5 Which is Dolphin in Miami. ( I think) Then you can move the course arrow until the yellow line meets in the center of the course line that is moving around then you know that that is the direction of the VOR. But you have to be careful because if you are flying at Heading 270 and the VOR is at 270 but your course select is at 090 the Course arrow and VOR indicator will make it look like the VOR is at 090. So when using NAV hold you need to be familiar with the area or use the map or GPS. I suggest you do the Private Pilot Lesson on FS which is on VOR flying. For now just use heading. The only way you know your actual heading with out Gryo drift is if you look at the real Compass.
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RE: Course / Heading

Fri Jun 25, 2004 3:24 pm

Further to Flymia's advice, the 'Course' setting is also important when using ILS.

Suppose you want to line up on 'Runway 14'? You check the map and find that the actual runway line is 137 degrees, and set that as 'course'. Then tune VOR1 to the ILS frequency. The Horizontal Position Indicator will now be showing the 137-degree direction as a long arrow, and the actual runway line as a shorter parallel line above or below it.

You now want to intercept the runway line. So set the 'heading hold' to say 100 degrees (a converging course). Leave 'heading hold on', but also click on 'APR' for approach.

As you approach the runway line (you will see the shorter line moving closer to the set 'course') the ILS will cancel the 'heading hold' and turn you on to the course for the runway. In due course it will cancel 'altitude hold' as well and start you down the glidepath.

Next step is to turn off the autopilot and try doing the same thing 'visually'.  Smile
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