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CFI Brief: VOR

On and around airports, or even driving out in the countryside in an open field, you may see what resembles a giant bowling pin type structure usually surrounded by a security fence. This structure you see is most likely what we in aviation refer to as a VOR. However, not always shaped like a bowling pin, VORs come in all forms and sizes, but the role they play in navigation is equally important. Here is an excerpt from the ASA 2015 Private Pilot Test Prep.

The VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) is the backbone of the National Airway System, and this radio aid to navigation (NAVAID) provides guidance to pilots operating under visual flight rules as well as those flying instruments.

On sectional aeronautical charts, VOR locations are shown by blue symbols centered in a blue compass rose which is oriented to Magnetic North. A blue identification box adjacent to the VOR symbol lists the name and frequency of the facility, its three-letter identifier and Morse Code equivalent, and other information as appropriate. For example: a small solid blue square in the bottom right hand corner indicates Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory Service (HIWAS) are available. See the “Radio Aids to Navigation and Communications Box” information in FAA Legend 1.

Some VORs have a voice identification alternating with the Morse Code identifier. Absence of the identifier indicates the facility is unreliable or undergoing routine maintenance; in either case, it should not be used for navigation. Some VORs also transmit a T-E-S-T code when undergoing maintenance.

The VOR station continuously transmits navigation signals, providing 360 magnetic courses to or radials from the station. Courses are TO the station and radials are FROM the station.

TACAN, a military system which provides directional guidance, also informs the pilot of the aircraft’s distance from the TACAN Station. When a VOR and a TACAN are co-located, the facility is called a VORTAC. Civil pilots may receive both azimuth and distance information from a VORTAC.

At some VOR sites, additional equipment has been installed to provide pilots with distance information. Such an installation is termed a VOR/DME (for “distance measuring equipment”).

Click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge!

1. (Refer to the figure above.) On what course should the VOR receiver (OBS) be set to navigate direct from Hampton Varnville Airport (area 1) to Savannah VORTAC (area 3)?
A—003°.
B—195°.
C—200°.

2. (Refer to the figure above.) What is the approximate position of the aircraft if the VOR receivers indicate the 320° radial of Savannah VORTAC (area 3) and the 184° radial of Allendale VOR (area 1)?
A—Southeast of Guyton.
B—Town of Springfield.
C—3 miles east of Marlow.

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5 Comments

  1. Posted November 17, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

     

    Question 1: On what course should the VOR receiver (OBS) be set to navigate direct from Hampton Varnville Airport (area 1) to Savannah VORTAC (area 3)?

     

    Answer: B—195

    Explanation:
    Use the following steps:
    1. Plot the course direct from Hampton Varnville Airport to the Savannah VORTAC.
    2. Note the radial (magnetic course from Savannah) on which the plotted course lies (015°).
    3. Determine the course TO the VORTAC by finding the reciprocal:
    TO = FROM + 180°
    TO = 015° + 180°
    TO = 195° (PLT064)

    Question 2: What is the approximate position of the aircraft if the VOR receivers indicate the 320° radial of Savannah VORTAC (area 3) and the 184° radial of Allendale VOR (area 1)?

     

    Answer: A—Southeast of Guyton

    Explanation:
    Use the following steps:
    1. Plot the 320° radial (magnetic course FROM) of the Savannah VORTAC.
    2. Plot the 184° radial of the Allendale VOR.
    3. Note the intersection of the two plotted radials southeast of the town of Guyton. (PLT335)

  2. Posted October 27, 2015 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    What is the approximate position of the aircraft if the VOR receivers indicate the 320° radial of Savannah VORTAC (area 3) and the 184° radial of Allendale VOR (area 1)?

    I read this question on your site and also the answer but i think it’s wrong, can you actaully upload the picture of the answer with the drawn vortac on sectional chart , which can help more, please?

    Thanx

  3. Posted October 27, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Hope this helps. The black lines represent each radial, the point at whch they intersect is the location of the aircraft. The town of Guyton is outlined in red, the aircraft location is to the southeast of Guyton. Check out the image below.
    Figure 24, Sectional Exceprt.

  4. Posted October 28, 2015 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Thanx for the answer for figure 24 and i completely understood the question. But another question that i have about vor’s is (Refer to figure 21.) What is your approximate position on low altitude airway Victor 1, southwest of Norfolk (area 1), if the VOR receiver indicates you are on the 340° radial of Elizabeth City VOR (area 3)?

    Here is the Image link: http://ascentgroundschool.com/images/ct80802e/21.jpg

    Can you please help me with that question just like you helped me with the one above, Please?

    The answer for that question is 18 miles but some how the answer that i’m getting is 40 miles.

  5. Posted October 28, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Bony,

    This is very similar to the question outlined in the learn to fly blog. You will need to first find V1 and then find the specified radial off of Elizabeth City VOR 340°. Find the point in which they intersect and that is your present location. Please be advised though, the figure in which you included to us is a rather old outdated figure and is no longer the same one as on the actual FAA knowledge exam. I would really encourage you to use more updated material in your studying efforts. If you are looking for a groundschool ASA provides an exceptional and very well regarded Private Pilot Online Groundschool. Check it out here.ASA Online Private Pilot Groundschool

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