People often ask about my 'other' job - the one that I do when I'm not being a Tour Manager i.e. mostly during the winter season. I'm a certified teacher of aviation english, at the moment working with some of the wonderful pilots at Air France. Many people wonder why pilots need to learn English, …
A compelling case for change?
Airline pilots today are obliged to steer their machines according to an instrument discovered in the earth’s Iron Age: the magnetic compass. Ships’ commanders only use that these days if all else fails.
By modern navigation standards the magnetic compass is not an accurate device. An aviator flying along a magnetic meridian toward either the North or South Magnetic Pole flies “a wiggly track” according to the Geomagnetism Team of the British Geological Survey. The pilot’s magnetic compass may display a constant heading, but the aircraft relying on it follows the gently wandering vagaries of the earth’s dipolar magnetic field.
In 2011 a Boeing 737 suffered a fatal crash on approach to land because of the artificially-induced complexities of a navigation system based on Magnetic North in a digital era (detail later). All four crew and eight of the 11 passengers were killed.
Modern aviation navigation can be conducted using…
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