Version 1 May 2006
Meteorology and Navigation by Trevor Thom (Aviation Theory Centre, current edition) gives more thorough explanations than these study notes. See ‘Basic Principles’ in chapter 10, all of chapter 11, and ‘Aeronautical Charts for Visual Navigation’ in Chapter 12.
Also useful are: Ballooning Handbook by Don Cameron (Pelham Books, London 1980) - chapter 5. The Ballooning Manual by Bob and Carol Howes (Airlife, UK 1991) - chapters 15 and 29. The last two are written for the UK, where the maps and charts are slightly different, but the general principles apply to balloon navigation anywhere.
You will need A Topographic Survey Map (scale 1:50,000 or 1:100,000) – eg, the map for your flying area A Visual Terminal Chart (VTC) VFR Flight Guide (VFG) or AIP Book.
You should also look at A Visual Navigation Chart (VNC) A Terminal Area Chart (TAC) An En Route Chart – Low (ERC Low) A World Aeronautical Chart (WAC) Planning Chart Australia (PCA)
The Navigation exam
Twenty question multiple choice exam. Time allowed 70 minutes. Minimum pass mark is 70%. You will need a metric ruler, a protractor and a calculator. You may refer to AIP book during this exam.
The exam includes an imaginary flight with changes of wind speed and direction. For the purpose of the exam it is assumed there is no difference between true north, grid north and magnetic north. Additional information such as Danger Areas and ABF Sensitive Zones must be taken into account. Your measurements and calculations must be accurate; a standard similar to fixed-wing aviation is required. The calculations are fairly simple, and examples are given later in these notes.
The exam uses sections of a VTC and a 1:50,000 topographical map. You need to be very familiar with the use of these maps and their symbols as the map legends are not supplied.
ABF Pilot Training Manual Part 8
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