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24 chart reading in high latitudes chart reading in

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2.4.Chart Reading in High Latitudes.Chart reading in high latitudes presents uniquechallenges.The nature of the terrain is significantly different, charts are less detailed and lessprecise, seasonal changes may alter the terrain appearance or hide it completely from view, andthere are fewer cultural features.2.4.1. In high latitudes, there are few distinguishable features from which to determine aposition.Built-up features are practically nonexistent and the few that do exist are usuallyclosely grouped, offering little help when flying long navigation legs.Natural features maybe limited in variety and are difficult to distinguish from each other.Lakes can seem endlessin number and identical in appearance.The countless coastal inlets are extremely difficult toidentify.Recognizable, reliable checkpoints are few and far between.2.4.2. Map reading in high latitudes is further complicated by inadequate charting.Somepolar areas are yet to be thoroughly surveyed.The charts portray the appearance of generallocales, but many individual terrain features are merely approximated or omitted entirely.Inplace of detailed outlines of lakes, for example, charts often carry the brief annotation,―Many lakes‖.Pilotage is possible, but requires extended effort and keen judgment.
18AFMAN11-217V222 OCTOBER 20102.4.3. When snow blankets the terrain from horizon to horizon, pilotage becomes acutelydifficult.Coastal ice becomes indistinguishable from the land, coastal contours can changedramatically, and many inlets, streams, and lakes disappear.Blowing snow may extend toheights of 200 to 300 feet and may continue for several days, but visibility is usuallyexcellent.However, when snow obliterates surface features and the sky is covered with auniform layer of clouds so that no shadows are cast, the horizon disappears, causing earthand sky to blend together.This forms an unbroken expanse of white called whiteout.In thiscomplete lack of contrast, distance and height above ground are virtually impossible toestimate.Whiteout is particularly prevalent in northern Alaska during late winter and spring.The continuous darkness of night presents another hazard; nevertheless, surface features areoften visible because the snow is an excellent reflector of light from the moon, the stars, andthe aurora.2.5.On-Board Navigational Systems.2.5.1. Radio aids to navigation (NAVAIDS), inertial navigation systems (INS), flightmanagement systems (FMS), global positioning systems (GPS), and other navigation systemsare required in various combinations for IFR flight.The requirements for VFR flight aremuch less stringent.For a complete discussion on the characteristics and operationalprocedures of NAVAIDS, see AFMAN 11-217V1.For NAVAID requirements under VFR,see discussion under each airspace type.

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ROBINSON
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