Navigation: Sortie 102-302

Navigation is defined as a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. The field of navigation includes four general categories: land navigation, marine navigation, aeronautic navigation, and space navigation.

In this modern time of advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) – almost everyone has a handy and easy to use instrument that can tell where you are – and more importantly, where you want to go. Personal navigation has never been easier. But what came before GPS? And what would we do if GPS were lost – or worse – no longer available. Long before GPS, early explorers relied on the stars, moon, planets, and sun for navigation (Celestial navigation).  Using the stars & sun to measure longitude and latitude, they were able to determine their approximate position and chart a course to their destination. As technology improved, radio beacons replaced stars as a primary navigation method. And then satellites eventually replaced radio beacons. But there has always remained a need for back-up navigation methods.

Your STEM Flight Navigation sortie will include basic GPS navigation, piloting, and dead reckoning. You & your pilot will plan a mission to several waypoints on the map and (using a combination of navigation types & techniques) navigate your aircraft to the final destination. By the mission end, you will have learned how to navigate without the electronic crutch of GPS.