‘Turn Left at That Cloud’ — How Pilots Do (and Don’t) Navigate

My dad has said to me for years, “It’s easy for you pilots up there. No traffic lights. No road signs. Just go where you want.” Now, whilst this dad joke is mildly amusing, does he have a point? Is it really as easy as pointing the nose at Los Angeles and off you go? Agreed, there are no roundabouts and no BMW drivers to contend with, but there must be other factors to consider? Here’s how we do it.

The Highway Code of the Sky

For any system to function efficiently, you need rules and skies have their own set of rules. Right from the very start of their training, pilots have to be well versed in these rules. Who has the right of way in the sky? How high should you fly above a built up area? What’s the minimum weather conditions in which you can take off? The full list of rules is detailed in the Air Navigation Order. If you like long reads, this one is for you. Having a working knowledge of these rules is essential for all pilots. But how do these rules translate into every day usage?

To read the full article on The Points Guy, click here.

Alternatively, click here for a .pdf version