Pilotage

From Academic Kids

Pilotage is the use of fixed visual references on the ground or sea to guide oneself to a destination. Pilotage is used by people guiding vessels and aircraft, by hikers and SCUBA divers. There are other, more advanced methods of navigation using tools, such as compasses, maps, nautical charts, radar and ultimately satellite navigation systems like GPS.

Pilotage depends on the pilot being able to recognise the visual references in order to make use of them. The pilot must either be familiar with those visual references or be able to discover them from a map, aeronautical chart or nautical chart. Many nautical and aeronautical disasters have resulted from the pilot incorrectly identifying visual references. Natural features are particularly difficult to recognise accurately in conditions of poor visibility.

The term pilot refers to a person who is piloting and was originally used to describe the harbour pilot, who would help steer ships in and out of harbour avoiding local coastal hazards. Today it is more commonly used to refer to anyone who controls the flight of an aircraft.

Common types of visual reference point used for pilotage:

Pilotage is frequently combined with navigation techniques such as dead reckoning. When a pilot at a known location cannot see the next visual reference on the route to a destination, he or she can use dead reckoning to get closer to the next reference point. This is the most common form of VFR navigation.Template:Water-stub

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