# Calculating TRUE headings...

Thread Starter

Join Date: Jun 2007

Location: London

Posts: 12

**Calculating TRUE headings...**

First off, hopefully i've posted this in the right forum. If not - apologies.

Secondly - i'm currently going over some notes and am trying to brush up on my knowledge. Im currently stuck on what is a seemingly easy question

Given compass heading 030, deviation 3W and variation 8E, what is the true heading?

a. 030°

b. 025°

c. 019°

d. 035°

I dont want anyone to just give me the answer - i want to

Many thanks.

Secondly - i'm currently going over some notes and am trying to brush up on my knowledge. Im currently stuck on what is a seemingly easy question

Given compass heading 030, deviation 3W and variation 8E, what is the true heading?

a. 030°

b. 025°

c. 019°

d. 035°

I dont want anyone to just give me the answer - i want to

*understand*it, and hopefully it'll stick in my head this time! I seem to remember the whole "West is best (i.e add the figure on) - East is least (subtract)" part of the groundschool, but would be grateful if someone could explain it better here - or point me in the way of some theory so i can read up.Many thanks.

Join Date: May 2007

Location: Brighton

Age: 34

Posts: 120

Ok, i'll do my best to come up with the answer. Do you remember "CDMVT"?

This is always the method i used and got tought: -

ALWAYS DRAW IT OUT SO U CAN SEE WHATS HAPPENING: -

←Add if East →Subtract if East

←Subtract if West → Add if West

Compass Head…Deviation……Magnetic Head……Variation…..True Head

030 3W 033 8E 025

Magnetic Heading 030+3 = 033

True Heading 033-8 = 025

So from what i can see it's answer B 025 degress's. Is this the right answer?

Hope this helps

This is always the method i used and got tought: -

ALWAYS DRAW IT OUT SO U CAN SEE WHATS HAPPENING: -

←Add if East →Subtract if East

←Subtract if West → Add if West

Compass Head…Deviation……Magnetic Head……Variation…..True Head

030 3W 033 8E 025

Magnetic Heading 030+3 = 033

True Heading 033-8 = 025

So from what i can see it's answer B 025 degress's. Is this the right answer?

Hope this helps

Join Date: Feb 2002

Location: Sunny Solihull

Age: 62

Posts: 204

The West best East least is correct but only when working from TRUE to COMPASS as taught at PPL level.

The question has been asked in reverse, therefore: -

Check the answer in the PPL method - 035(T) - 8E = 027(M) + 3W = 030(C)

QED unless I am having a bad day!

There are loads of this in the JAA GN & RN exams often tied up with CRP5 work and seems to be a weak area for students.

All this should be explained in any good navigation book from your course provider.

The question has been asked in reverse, therefore: -

**C D M V T**

030 3W 027 8E 035030 3W 027 8E 035

Check the answer in the PPL method - 035(T) - 8E = 027(M) + 3W = 030(C)

QED unless I am having a bad day!

There are loads of this in the JAA GN & RN exams often tied up with CRP5 work and seems to be a weak area for students.

All this should be explained in any good navigation book from your course provider.

Join Date: Jan 2011

Location: England

Posts: 642

**Lots of people have problems with this whole subject area. These problems often stem from the fact that they have memorised the “CDTM”, East is least” and “West is best” tricks, but have never tried to understand what is actually happening. To get a better understanding of the subject we need to do a few simple demonstrations.**

__COMPASS DEVIATION__**The term deviation refers to the situation in which local magnetic fields within the aircraft cause the compass to be deflected from Magnetic North.**

**When deviation is west this means that compass north is to the west of magnetic north.**

**When deviation is east this means that compass north is to the east of magnetic north.**

**To demonstrate the effects of this take a protractor and place it on a sheet of paper, with 000 degrees pointing to the top of the sheet. Draw short lines radiating out from the protractor at each 5 degree mark between 000 and 35 degrees east west.**

**The marks on the paper represent magnetic headings and the protractor scale represents the compass headings. With zero deviation the 000 on the compass will align with the 000 on the paper, so compass heading = magnetic heading.**

**Rotate the protractor 3 degrees anticlockwise (to the West). This represents 3 degrees west deviation. 003 compass heading on the protractor is now aligned with 000 on the paper. This means that with deviation west, the magnetic heading is less than the compass heading. Note that 030 compass from our original question aligns with 027 magnetic.**

**Rotate the protractor clockwise to align 000 on the protractor with 000 on the paper. Now rotate the protractor 3 degrees clockwise (to the East). This represents 3 degrees east deviation. 003 (compass heading) on the protractor is now aligned with 006 on the paper. This means that with deviation east, the magnetic heading is more than the compass heading.**

**If you repeat the above for several compass headings it will soon become very clear in your head.**

__MAGNETIC VARIATION__**The term deviation refers to the situation in which local distortions in the magnetic field of the earth causes the direction of magnetic north to be deflected away from True.**

**When variation is west this means that magnetic north is to the west of true north.**

**When variation is east this means that magnetic north is to the east of true north.**

**The effects of this can be demonstrated by using the protractor again. But this time the protractor represents magnetic directions and the marks on the paper represent true directions.**

**Rotate the protractor 8 degrees anticlockwise (to the West). This represents 8 degrees west variation. 008 (magnetic heading) on the protractor is now aligned with 000 true on the paper. This means that with variation west, the true heading is less than the magnetic heading.**

**Rotate the protractor clockwise to align 000 on the protractor with 000 on the paper. Now rotate the protractor 8 degrees clockwise (to the East). This represents 8 degrees east variation. 008 (magnetic heading) on the protractor is now aligned with 016 true on the paper. This means that with deviation east, the magnetic heading is more than the compass heading. Note that 027 magnetic from our original question aligns with 035 true.**

**If you repeat the above processes a few times the effects of deviation and variation should become clear in your mind.**

**The results of all of this can be summarised as follows**

**When going from compass to true.****Compass + deviation East = Magnetic + variation East = True**

**Compass – Deviation West = Magnetic - Variation = True**

**When going from true to compass.****True - Variation = Magnetic - deviation East = Compass**

**True + Variation West = Magnetic + Deviation West = Compass**

**Applying this to our original question gives the following**

**30 Compass – 3 West Deviation = 27 Magnetic + Variation 8 E = 35 True**