How to Navigate to any location without a GPS in your aircraft

With the ease of access to GPS navigation and accuracy available to pilots, will some of the “old school” radio navigation techniques eventually be forgotten by pilots?  I want to show you how to navigate to any location without a GPS in your aircraft, using ground based radio navigation aids.

This video demonstration uses a VOR with a co-located DME and also two separate VORs.  Both techniques are accurate, but not as accurate as a GPS.  The same method used with two separate VORs can be used with NDBs instead, the exact same principles apply.  For either of these techniques to work, the aircraft must be in range of each radio navigation aid at the intended location.  Be sure to check the range of the radio navigation aids you intend on using.

There have always only been a select few VORs with co-located DMEs in Australia at any one time.  The United States still has many VORs and co-located DMEs and VORTACs throughout the country.  See the map below.

How to Navigate to any location without a GPS in your aircraftThe aviation visual chart above, courtesy of, displays a flight plan in pink.  Manassas, VA (KHEF) to the Casanova VOR (CSN), to Woodville, Virginia, then to the Linden VOR (LDN) and on to the Luray Caverns airport (KLUA).

Feel free to let me know your thoughts or suggestions of the video, either by commenting on the youtube video, leaving a comment below or by sending me an email.  I hope you enjoy the video, thank you.


Ashley Wincer

An Indianapolis based Australian working towards building flight time to meet the US ATP requirements. Currently works full time as a contractor for multiple Part 121 US Airlines. Previously has worked as a US Flight Dispatcher, Ramp Agent and Operations Ramp Controller.

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