ATC IssuesA place where pilots may enter the 'lions den' that is Air Traffic Control in complete safety and find out the answers to all those obscure topics which you always wanted to know the answer to but were afraid to ask.
hello ,when using " turn left (or right) **degrees" to vector an aircraft, can I direct the aircraft make a turn of less than 10 degrees? say ,5 degrees. I wonder if the pilot can execute this type of heading direction accurately.
The answers are; Yes, you can issue the instruction, and It depends. A modern airliner has highly accurate navigation systems, a light aircraft being buffeted by wind....well, sort of, but how would you know? It's groundspeed means that it will take a long time to find out.
Out of interest, why do you ask? Are you playing a game, a student, the director of Chinese air navigation?
When carrying out a Surveillance Radar Approach (SRA), it's normal to use 5 deg heading changes when the approach (a non-precision procedure) terminates at 2nm or less than 5 deg when the approach terminates at less than 2nm.
For an approach using Precision Approach Radar or PAR (which includes an electronic glidepath display), heading changes are usually 2 or 3 deg, however the British Royal Navy often use 1 deg heading changes (or certainly used to).
The problem with modern pilots is they tend to feed heading changes for these types of approach into the autopilot rather than fly them manually; the autopilot however might not recognise a heading change of 5 deg or less, hence it doesn't turn the aircraft until more than 5 deg has been dialled in. A bizjet pilot (ex military) told me he always teaches his FOs to fly SRA/PAR by flying the appraoch manually and cancelling the yaw damper.
**Warning ** off topic but one of the most inovative uses of degrees I've heard.
On ground at LHR a few years back, Non-english speaking airline pilot verses the LHR Ground controller:
Ground: "XXX push approved, face west" Pilot: " push approved say again direction" Ground: "Face west" Pilot: "say again" Ground "Face west" Pilot "say again direction" Ground " sigh.....push approved...............face 270 degrees...." Pilot " Ah, OK push appoved face west"