Cessna OBS .How accurate??


when rotating the OBS on the cessna to select a course to track. There is no digital readout to tell exactly which course you have selected.

any tricks here?


4 Responses

Pro Member First Officer
leadfoot First Officer

That's the way it is in real life, take it from a real pilot. If you want to track to a VOR you select the VOR, then turn the OBS dial until the needle is centered then turn the plane to the same heading in the D.G. as what is shown on the OBS, then correct left or right as needed to keep the needle centered.

Don Wood Guest

The instrument is larger in real life than in the FS so it is somewhat easier to tune accurately but, in the FS, there is one trick you can use.

The primary VOR guage will have both an OBS and an autopilot course indicator. You can tune the autopilot course indicator to the heading you need and that does have a digital readout. Once it is set correctly, you can rotate the OBS to match that indicator for the correct heading.

The direct course tip Leadfoot gave works fine if your goal is to get to the VOR by the most direct course from your current location. It does not work if you have an assigned radial to fly, either on an approach or as a course line on an airway. then, the VOR needs to be set to the required course and that course line flown. It will also not work if you are using the VOR to identify an intersection on an airway or approach.

As to accuracy, you not only have to be concerned with the pilot tuning it accurately, you also must be concerned that the radio receiver itself is working correctly. To use an airplane (in the US) on an instrument flight plan, the VOR accuracy must have been verified within the past six flight hours, either by verification at a defined tarmac point (and not every airport has one) or by centering the two VOR's to on the same VOR transmitter and verifying the two course indicators do not very by more than a minimal amount.

Guest Ed Guest

In FS09, the OBS setting in the Cessna 172 is a problem, especially if you're attempting the infamous IFR Check Ride. You're suppose to fly the required course within 2 degrees, but it's very difficult to set the OBS to better than 1 or 2 degrees. I usually set it to the nearest whole number on the OBS, then counted clicks to get the last couple of degrees. I have even used a magnifying glass to try and read the OBS, back when I was beating my head against the wall trying to complete the accursed IFR Check Ride.

You can turn on the the display at the top of the screen (press shift Z until you see the heading displayed). That shows your true heading over the ground, which will match the OBS if there is no crosswind.

Other aircraft in FS09 have a real-time display if you drag the mouse over an object, and that will display the heading, course, etc. but not the 172.

Good luck.


MR GPS Guest

Magnifying glass to look at the OBS on the screen??? 😀

you are the a true pilot! LOL

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