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Magnetic Compass

 Magnetic Compass

  • One of the oldest and simplest instruments for indicating direction is the magnetic compass.
  • It is also one of the basic
  • instruments required by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91 for both VFR and IFR fl ight.
  • A magnet is a piece of material, usually a metal-containing iron, which attracts and holds lines of magnetic flux.
  • Regardless of size, every magnet has two poles: north and south. When one magnet is placed in the field of another, the unlike poles attract each other, and like poles repel.
  • An aircraft magnetic compass, such as the one in  has two small magnets attached to a metal fl oat sealed inside a bowl of clear compass fl uid similar to kerosene.
  •  A graduated scale, called a card, is wrapped around the fl oat and viewed through a glass window with a lubber line across it.
  •  The card is marked with letters representing the cardinal directions, north, east, south, and west, and a number for each 30° between these letters.
  • The fi nal “0” is omitted from these directions. For example, 3 = 30°, 6 = 60°, and 33 = 330°.
  • There are long and short graduation marks between the letters and numbers, each long mark representing 10° and each short mark representing 5°.


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