Updated: Jan 3

VOR's can be tricky for new students to understand. However, there is a very simple, little known, trick to understand them simply.

The trick shown below works 100% of the time in EVERY SITUATION (trust us, we have tested it in every scenario imaginable). It works when using both an HSI or VOR OBS. You don't even have to twist the needle!

Here's how it works.


All you have to do is think of the HSI (or OBS) backwards. Think of it like this, the CDI Needle and TO/FROM Indicators tell you where you are NOT.

That being said, let's look at 2 different examples.

Example 1:

Lets assume we are flying along and are receiving the VOR Indication pictured below...

Now, we know the CDI Needle and TO/FROM Indicator tell us where we are NOT. This means, we will simply cover up the half of the HSI (or OBS) that the CDI Needle is on. Then, will we cover us the half of the HSI (or OBS) that the TO/FROM Indicator is on.

The remaining uncovered section is where we are located in relation to the VOR!

So, in this example, we would be NORTHEAST of the VOR.

But now you ask yourself, "Well, what if the CDI Needle is centered?" let's use this same trick in example 2.

Example 2:

If the CDI Needle is centered (as pictured below) we know that we can either be on the 360 or 180 radials from the VOR. However, students will try and guess the correct answer (since they have 50/50 odds of getting it right) and will almost always be wrong. Even if they guess correctly, they don't understand WHY they are correct.

It's simple, since the CDI Needle is not deflected left or right, we will not cover up the left or right half of the HSI (or OBS). We will only cover up the top or bottom half depending on the indication of the TO/FROM Indicator.

The remaining, uncovered section, is the radial we are on from the VOR!

And there you have it, VOR's unlocked and understood with just 2 minutes of studying!

Now, how much easier will the Written Test be?! Not to mention flying while tracking VOR's.

Author - Nate Hodell

CFI/CFII/MEI/ATP - Creator of wifiCFI - Owner of Axiom Aviation Flight School.

This information is included in the Navigation Aids: VOR Lessons on wifiCFI. Sign up today to watch videos, listen to podcasts, take lesson quizzes, join live webinars, print lesson quicktakes, and more by clicking this link >

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