Diversion calculator

diversion calculator
Making a diversion is an essential skills test on the Private Pilot checkride. Be super prepared for yours, with this useful diversion calculator you can print out and take with you on your checkride. it is yours for free – read on to download (no registration required).

Diversion Calculator

On your checkride, you will embark on the first few legs of a pre-planned, cross country flight. At some point en route, your DPE will present you with some sort of scenario which will require you to make a diversion to a nearby airport. You will not know the location of this diversion in advance.

To pass this part of the checkride, you will need to:

  • Demonstrate situational awareness – determine your current location
  • Find the diversion location on the sectional chart
  • Determine an acceptable route to the diversion location
  • Estimate how long it will take to get there, and whether or not you have enough fuel

This is where the Diversion Calculator can help you. It will show you your ground speed to your diversion location, and the required wind correction angle. It also includes a handy table to estimate the required fuel to get you there, based on the computed ground speed and distance away.

How to Use

Open the spreadsheet and look at the top left hand corner. You will see several cells in orange that you need to edit for your flight. Enter the anticipated True Airspeed, the forecast Winds Aloft (direction and speed), and your cruise fuel burn. The spreadsheet will automatically update after editing these orange cells. Use a magnetic bearing for the wind direction.

Once the information is entered, your Diversion Calculator is ready to use. You can print it off at this stage.

Determining the Ground Speed and Wind Correction

Assuming your Winds Aloft forecast was accurate, the estimated ground speed can be read from the red line on the first chart. First, determine the magnetic course that will get you to your diversion destination. Look up that course on the outer ring of the first chart. The red line will show you your estimated ground speed.

Now, estimate the wind correction angle needed to fly your desired course. Look up the desired magnetic course on the outer ring of the second chart. The blue line will tell you your wind correction angle ( negative is a a left hand correction, positive is a right hand correction). Fly the resulting heading to take you along your desired course.

Determining Required Fuel

Using your sectional chart, estimate the distance between your current location and the diversion destination. Now look at the table at the bottom of your Diversion Calculator. Using your estimated ground speed and your remaining distance, the table will show you how many gallons of fuel will be required to get you there. No reserves are included, but the number is always rounded up to the next whole number of gallons (e.g. if the required fuel is 3.1 gallons, the calculator will show 4).

You can check this against your Nav Log to make sure you have enough fuel to get you to your destination.

Download now!

Simply click the following link. No registration is required. The spreadsheet is released into the public domain. Enjoy!


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