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    Re: course, heading, track
    From: Paul Hirose
    Date: 2002 Feb 7, 00:29 -0800

    Trevor Kenchington wrote:
    >
    > The line from point of departure to intended destination is the TRACK,
    > not the "course".
    >
    > The direction to be steered (which amounts to the intended path through
    > water -- or air) is the COURSE, not the "heading". It differs from the
    > track by the effects of wind and current.
    
    
    I think you were incorrect to contradict John LeRoy. His message was
    obviously in the context of flying. Aviators (at least in the U.S.)
    don't use the Bowditch meaning for some of those navigational words.
    
    In aviation, "course" means the intended direction of flight over the
    ground. That's clearly implied in this example from Part 91 of the
    Federal Aviation Regulations:
    
    "91.181 COURSE TO BE FLOWN
    Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, no person may operate an aircraft
    within controlled airspace under IFR except as follows:
    (a) On a Federal airway, along the centerline of that airway.
    (b) On any other route, along the direct course between the
    navigational aids or fixes defining that route..."
    
    
    On a less official note, the Jeppesen Private Pilot Manual summarizes
    the terminology and the steps in planning a dead reckoning leg as
    follows:
    
    "In all cases you begin with the true course and end with the compass
    heading. A course is always the line drawn on the chart. The true
    course is measured from true north, and if the correction for
    variation is applied at this point, the result is expressed as
    magnetic course. A heading is always a direction measured with respect
    to the longitudinal axis of the airplane, or in other words, the
    direction in which the airplane is pointed. True course corrected for
    wind gives a true heading, while magnetic course corrected for wind
    gives a magnetic heading. The compass heading is always found by
    correcting the magnetic heading for compass deviation."
    
    As for "track", the FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual says:
    
    "TRACK - The actual flight path of an aircraft over the surface of the
    earth."
    
    --
    
    
    paulhirose---.net (Paul Hirose)
    
    
    

       
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