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How True and Grid work on the Airbus Caution: this info is inferred from FCOM 3.02.

34, FCOM 4.04.40, FCTM 5.20.9 and real world experience. It has not been validated by AI. When comparing grid with true headings, instead of magnetic variation that we normally experience, we use convergence which is the angular measurement between grid north (GN) and true north (TN). Convergence is said to be easterly when TN lies to the east of GN so that as with magnetic variation where west is best, the same can be said of convergence. Grids can be overlayed on any maps, usually Lambert or Polar Stereographic charts but since we are practically only interested in grid navigation near the pole, we shall limit the discussion to Polar Stereographic charts. (Convergence works slightly differently on Lambert charts).

GN

TN

True track = 070 - 025 = 045 track

Convergence = 25E

Grid track = 070

When using Polar Stereographic charts, convergence is equal to the change of longitude. A grid overlay may be aligned with any convenient datum meridian or line of longitude. Grids lines are always parallel to each other and parallel to the datum meridian. All lines of longitude converge at the North Pole. Any track direction expressed in degrees grid and measured relative to the grid lines will remain at a constant value for the entire length of the track. For simplicity and consistency, the Airbus uses a datum meridian aligned with the Greenwich Meridian. TRUE may be selected at any time. The ECAM will call for it as you enter the polar region. Only in the polar region, north of 65N, with TRUE selected, will GRID also be displayed. However, note that as you head north out of JFK into Canadian airspace, you enter their Northern Domestic Airspace around 60-62N (Canada-Alaska Hi 3/4 map) which mandates the use of TRUE as a reference so all flight levels in RVSM are now predicated on true track, not magnetic track (Blue AERAD ATC C-2). As you climb out of JFK and head north, you may enter the TRUE reference keyhole but will definitely enter the Airbus TRUE reference area north of N82.30. Lets take a typical en-route waypoint, Romdi (8004.2N/09000.0W), right on the edge of the keyhole. True North lies EAST of Grid North so the convergence is EAST and the convergence is the change of longitude: 90E. So we must add the convergence to the true track, making true track least. The grid set-up will look something like this:

GN Greenwich Meridian

North Pole

TN Grid track = 338 + 90 = 068 Convergence = 90E GN True track = 338

Lets now look further down track towards the USA/Russia border at Ramel (8430.0N/16858.4W) where the true track is 270. Again the convergence is equal to the change of longitude: 168 58.4W. The picture is now going to look like this: Grid track = 270 + 169 = 069 GN Greenwich Meridian True track = 270 Convergence = 168 58.4E

GN

TN

North Pole

Finally lets have a look at what usually happens as you track north out of JFK: around 81N SELECT TRUE REF annunciates on the ND along with SELECT TRUE in amber on both MCDU scratchpads. Just before 82N, ND displays auto-change to TRUE, with GRID, along with ECAMs for NAV HDG DISCREPANCY and NAV EXTREME LATITUDE. Then the AP disconnects. The TRUE pb must be selected ON. The AP will re-engage. THE MCDU scratchpads show FM1/FM2 POSITION DISAGREE which clears itself. GRID stays engaged but occults around 65N heading south over Russia. Communications Communications are initially VHF with too many frequency changes then HF with Arctic Radio on 8891. Canada has ADS but not CPDLC. Life gets easier when you exit the techno-savvy USA on HF and enter broke Russia where initially its CPDLC on GDXB then VHF. They love to send you messages! Safety Before you leave HKG, get Dispatch to check out the Space Weather: http://www.sec.noaa.gov/SWN/ At the top of the page, NOAA will indicate potential Geomagnetic (G), Solar Radiation (S) and Communication (R) problems on a scale of none to 5. Anything above 3 indicates that you are going to have problems ranging from minor irritations to major comms and navigation issues.