FAA ACS Knowledge Test Code: PA.I.D.K8

  Lats & Longs

The Private Pilot written test contains a number of questions requiring you to work with lats and longs, aka latitudes and longitudes. Most involve doing the plotting on a sectional chart. These historically have been problem questions for students. The process isn't difficult, but it has been found that working with numbers, even in a simple but abstract fashion, is such a turn off that students never learn to do it to begin with. There are realworld reasons to have this skill, especially with our current reliance on GPS units and their waypoints.

The world is encircled by a grid of latitudes and longitudes. There are 90 horizontal circles of latitude, parallel to the equator. They extend from the equator to the North Pole, and another 90 proceeding from the equator to the South Pole. Lines of longitude are perpendicular to the lines of latitude and connect the two poles. There are 180 lines of longitude in the western hemisphere and another 180 in the eastern hemisphere. The presentation below will show you exactly what you need to know in order to use this grid system in aviation.



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