There Ain't No Such Thing as a "To" Radial. Russell Still, ATP, CFI/CFII, Master CFI
You've heard it before, but here's a review: Radials
extend outward from the VOR station. They start at the
station and extend outward. There are no "From" radials
and no "To" radials. They are just radials going in one
direction. Don't make this mistake and fly an intercept
on the wrong side of the transmitter.
comes from an actual instructional video. That
is correct. Some people paid money for this
advice. Be careful; it's a jungle out there.
You're on a
checkride and your airplane is positioned as
shown in the image. The examiner asks you to
"intercept the 270 radial and fly it inbound to
video instructs you to fly it as shown here,
"270 To Radial."
You follow the video's advice, mistakenly
thinking that the 090 radial is the
"270 To Radial". You intercept it, then fly on a
bearing of 270 to the station.
Congratulations. You just
flunked your checkride.
This is the correct way to intercept the 270
radial. Do this and your examiner will be happy.
Ain't No Such Thing As A To Radial.
you think there is, be prepared to fail your
Fortunately, this is
not a common mistake, but if CFIs don't teach the
difference between radial, bearing, and heading, we're
being setup for potentially dangerous conflicts.
today's reliance on GPS navigation, this issue
still can cause confusion. GPS units have the
ability to create radials from any fix or
waypoint using "OBS Mode". Intercepting from the
wrong side is less likely, but the terminology
remains the same.
use by pilots is in decline, the VOR system
isn't going away anytime soon. It is a critical
aviation component and an important backup to
the GPS system.
To learn more
about the VORs and radio navigation, view
VOR Navigation at the Gold Seal Online