Intercepting Courses

Follow Your Nose!

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If only it were that easy.  Good news is this TOPIC is fairly easy and straightforward.  Enjoy!

ARTCC: Cessna 8MA I have revised routing advise ready to copy…..

Cessna 8MA: uh, standby center, I’ll be landing in 25 minutes, try me back in 25′-30′ please.

Turns out that doesn’t fly (literally) with center or any controller.  I’m speaking from personal experience here too.

Let’s take a look at some routing ATC may assign and what it is they are actually asking for, and how you might accomplish it.


You take off from KRSW and are given vectors on departure eastbound, then given a revised clearance:

ARTCC: Cessna 8MA heading 180 join v35 to DOLPHIN, rest of your routing unchanged.

This looks like:

tracking course ipc ifr rusty pilot lesson

REMEMBER: When trying to intercept courses in general and you are choosing the intercept angle, take into account how close you are to the station.  When 60nm from the station, full-scale deflection of the VOR needle is 10nm.  When you are 6 miles from the station, full-scale deflection is only 1 mile and you will cover that 1 mile quickly if you are trying to intercept at a sharp angle (like 60 degrees).  The closer you are to the station, the shallower your angle of intercept should be (think maybe 15- 20 degrees).