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In order to follow the planned track, a pilot flies a True Heading of 040º, which was calculated for the forecast wind of 160°/40kt. The actual wind encountered at his/her altitude is 100°/40kt.

What will the in-flight track be?

  • A
    On the planned course.
  • B
    Left of the planned course.
  • C
    Right of the planned course.
  • D
    There is not enough information to answer this question.

Refer to figure.
The easiest and fastest way to solve this exercise is by drawing vectors:
In both cases (forecast and actual wind), the wind comes from the right, causing a left drift. The wind vector will be the same length for both scenarios (= wind speed).

Start by drawing your aircraft and its True heading (040º). From this point, draw a vector representing the forecast wind of 160º. Draw a line which depicts the planned track by adding the vectors.
Now, draw a second vector, with the same length as the first one but this time with the approximate direction of the actual wind experienced (100º). Draw the actual track by adding the vectors.
As you can see in the attached figure, the wind 100º/40 kt will cause a greater left drift and, as a result, the actual track flown will be to the left of the planned.

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