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Reason of maintaining aircraft on its Track

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Reason of maintaining aircraft on its Track

Old 22nd May 2024, 12:29
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Reason of maintaining aircraft on its Track

I know that aircraft normally flew on set track
however sometimes crosswind may drift the aircraft out of its track and pilot were trained to adjust aircraft heading so that aircraft can maintain at its track

I am curious is there a reason the aircraft must maintain at its track ?

Thanks
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Old 22nd May 2024, 12:59
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All sorts of reasons. Your fuel carried will be based on flying a designate route. Huge deviations from the track may leave you short of fuel on arrival.

Mainly for air traffic control and flow reasons. Allows for easier management of air traffic knowing that an aircraft will follow a predetermined route in an airway. Also very important is that flying accurately on your planned track or airway significantly reduces the likelihood of a traffic conflict - after all its not likely that you’ll encounter oncoming traffic when driving down a motorway.
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Old 22nd May 2024, 17:23
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Originally Posted by Danial9874
I am curious is there a reason the aircraft must maintain at its track ?
Because the track will take you to your destination.
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Old 23rd May 2024, 03:15
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In the dark ages of aviation when pilots were trained to fly to and from an NDB, there was an image (which I've posted below from WikiCommons) that described what would happen to an airplane if the pilot did not adjust their heading to account for wind, instead opting to simply keep the nose pointed towards the beacon (or in this case the destination). As you can see, although the airplane nose (heading) is always pointed to the destination, the track flown by the airplane is deflected by the wind, such that although initially approaching from the west with a northerly wind, the airplane arrives to the beacon from the south.

Imagine ATC trying to figure spacing out when each airplane is doing something like that, or you trying to figure out your fuel burn or ETA. Far better to figure out that wind correction angle (WCA) and keep it simple.



Source: WikiCommons
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