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Which is the best visual ground feature to establish a checkpoint for a day VFR flight over a mountainous area for an aircraft A flying at 5 000 ft AGL and an aircraft B flying at 1 000 ft AGL?
  • A

    A path for aircraft A and a small river for aircraft B.

  • B
    A small lake for aircraft A and a path for aircraft B.
  • C
    A large lake for aircraft A and a 200-ft-high mast for aircraft B.
  • D
    A 200-ft-high mast for aircraft A and a small lake for aircraft B.

Generally, when flying VFR, the choice of ground features is critical, as things that show up well on a map do not necessarily show up well from the air.

Among the criteria for the ground feature selection is its size:

  • A large lake is a better choice for VFR navigation and monitoring the flight progress, in comparison with a path or a small lake.
  • But, flying at lower levels, objects may only appear when you are close to them and when they are not obscured by high ground or only visible after the aircraft has passed over it and for a limited period of time. Thus, tall, prominent with enough vertical extent and easily identified from the air ground features, such as a 200-ft-high mast must be selected in this case.
Therefore, the best ground feature for a high VFR flight at 5 000 ft AGL (aircraft A) is a large lake and for a lower one at 1 000 ft (aircraft B) is a 200-ft-high mast.

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