Nav frequency's

Pro Member Chief Captain
Alex (Fire_Emblem_Master) Chief Captain

Hey, what do these frequencys do


Also, if flying VOR, would you tune a frequency at a airport to fly to it, or would you have to use the VOR station nearest them, then just fly by ear toward them?

9 Responses

Pro Member First Officer
leadfoot First Officer

The Unicom freq is used by the pilots to talk to the tower at a local airport. Each arpt has its own unicom freq. It is used to communicate inbound crafts intentions get landing advisories i.e. wind, barometer settings, active rnwys, landing pattern movements. FSS is the FAA's flight service station for that area you are flying in. It is the freq you use to activate and or cancel a flight plan filed before departure, as well as other needs --weather updates, in flight guidance if you are lost etc. The VOR freq is what you tune into for radio navigation. Each VOR beacon has 360 different freq, one for every degree of direction, you tune in your OBS dial to the radial you want to fly to or from the VOR. Some airports have VORs on field, but not all.

Don Wood Guest

Unicom: A radio frequency used for communication and traffic advisories for pilots using an airport without a control tower (i.e., West Nowhere traffic, this is Cessna 200DW six miles south for landing, runway 20).
Some airports have an FBO (Fixed Base Operator) that monitors Unicom and will provide wind direction and speed as well as known traffic but that is an advisory service, not air traffic control). It is often a congested frequency because several airports in the same general vicinity often share the same Unicom frequency. There are Unicoms at airports with towers also but these are used to request services such as fuel, transport, etc.

FSS: Flight Service Station. This is an FAA facility that provides weather briefings, flight plan services, and, when they are located on fields without a tower, often provide the same advisory service as described above. FSS's cover a wide geographic teritory and can be communicated with by relay transmitters located at many VOR's. FSS frequencies are printed above the VOR symbols on sectional and wide area navigation charts. Their telephone numbers are also widely published to allow pilots to obtain pre-flight weather briefings and file flight plans when they cannot or choose not to use the automated briefings.

I did not understand your final question.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Alex (Fire_Emblem_Master) Chief Captain

Sorry Don Wood, here's what I mean.

Say i want to fly to a VOR, I'd enter the frequency in the Nav1 Radio, pick a course, and fly to it. Now, this VOR is 10 miles east of my destination airport, so, when I hit this VOR, what, if any, frequency would I look for at the airport that I could tune my Nav1 Radio to, and fly toward the airport like I would a VOR? Not the ILS, but is there a different one? If not, what would I do if this airport does not have a control tower? and I'm flying VFR.

This bugs me, so I'll keep asking about it untill I get the info i'm looking for. Problem being mainly me having a hard time explaining what I'm confused about

don Wood Guest

It depends on the airport but you would need an approach chart or a sectional to look up the correct information for any given airport (or other references more complicated to explain).

Some airports that do not have an ILS approach do have a VOR approach and that chart will show on what radial and for what distance you must fly to the airport from the VOR. I'm currently flying a C-208B around the edge of the US (in Sim) and just made a VOR approach to Caribou Municipal in Maine. That approach is from the Presque Isle VOR on its 049 radial for 6.3 miles DME with a circle to land approach once the airport is in sight.

An airport may also have an ADF on airport or nearby and there may be an ADF approach published for it.

If there is no published approach leading from the VOR to the airport, there are two ways you can figure out which radial to use. First, place your airplane at the end of the runway, tune the VOR, and center the needle with the "TO" indicator showing. The course line that centers the needle will be the radial you are looking for. The other, less precise way, is to eye ball the direction from the VOR to the airport and make an estimate of the course.

This entire discussion assumes there is no GPS to use to define the required course.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Alex (Fire_Emblem_Master) Chief Captain

Ok, I guess I have to eyeball.

Yes, I was wondering how to do it without GPS. I don't have charts either, Thanks for the help!

Don Wood Guest

I have a couple of suggestions that may help. First, go to your local airport and find the largest flight training schools. Maybe you can explain what you are doing and beg for an obsolete sectional of your local area, an IFR enroute chart, and an approach plate or two for your airport (begging works better when you're FEM's age than when you are mine).

These charts, even if obsolete, will show you a great deal of useful information and will accustom you to reading aviation charts, which are unlike any road map you have ever seen. At worst you could buy a local sectional. They are only a few dollars each.

You can also download and print approach plates, one at a time, for any US airport (maybe other countries as well-I've never tried that) at Look up the airport then go toward the bottom of the web page and you will find links to all IFR landing procedures published for that airport. Double click on the procedure you want and it will come up in Adobe format to be printed or saved. The airnav web page will also show any VOR's or NDB's located on or near the airport in question with their frequencies, distance, and radial to the airport.

Pro Member Trainee
Chrismof Trainee

Im new at flying could anyone advise me where I can find the VOR frequncy for example if I am flying into Manchester airport and how I enter these

crows Guest

I have a word document that has over 100 airports with all the nav data.
To get this document post your email address and I will send it to you.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Greekman72 Chief Captain

Not offensive to you but why we have to e-mail you instead of open this page ➡

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