If you have a fascination for maps you are really going to enjoy this – it’s a wonderful subject. Can you imagine the pleasure of saying, “I’m going to be at XYZ – 200 miles away – at 7 minutes past nine” And when you get there the time is exactly 09:07. This is a fun subject, and like anything worthwhile you have to learn the basics first – things like latitude and longitude, nautical miles, great circles and rhumb lines. Every pilot in the world uses GMT or UTC (universal time coordinated or Zulu time – they all mean the same thing – Greenwich Mean Time). When looking at direction we have to come to grips with True North, Magnetic North and Compass North as well as variation, deviation and isogonals. Then you need to understand heading, indicated airspeed, true airspeed and ground-speed, wind velocity, vector triangles and map scales, map orientation, navigation computers, flight logs, flight plans, checkpoints, turning points and cross country procedures. Panic not, you don’t need to be smart at maths – it is all easy stuff.

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