2. How to determine the direction in which to proceed to get from one position to
3. How to determine distance and the related factors of time and speed
Of the three problems facing every navigator, determining position is the most
important. Unless the aircraft s position is known, the movements of the aircraft cannot
be directed with accuracy. The term position refers to an identifiable location on earth or
a point within a man-made system of artificial coordinates.
We must have a system for designating any position on the surface of earth; therefore,
a map or chart is the primary tool used in navigation. Without a chart, navigation would
be impossible. It is important to understand certain facts about the earth s surface
shown on these charts. Some of these facts will be familiar to you, and others may not
be. Refer to Table 2-1 for facts about the earth s surface.
Before we begin to examine charts, it is important to understand the following facts
about earth itself: