Kettle Moraine EAA Chapter 1158

310 Aerial Drive, West Bend, WI 53095
(262) 338-8411

2017 Navigation Challenge

2017 Navigation Mission Challenge

Date: 13 May 2017 (rain date: May 20)

Time:  Pilot Briefing at 0900


To challenge pilots to navigate to a point and photograph a target using only a clock and compass.


 No electronic navigation or GPS.  No sectional chart (a sectional chart may be carried for emergency use).

Video of Briefing Based on Last Years Challenge:

Video of Briefing Based on Last Year's Challenge


 Each “Crew” consists of a pilot and co-pilot, with a judge on board.  Two-place aircraft may fly with a pilot and judge on board. Crew makeup consisting of a pilot, co-pilot and judge allows for the Pilot to focus on flying, the Co-Pilot to watch for traffic, work the clock and call out check points, and the judge on board to monitor the flight and confirm checkpoint times.

Crews must accomplish the following 4 objectives:

 1)     Find and photograph the target

2)     Arrive over key points in the route as close to the predicted time as possible

3)     Fly the route within 100 feet of the assigned altitude

4)     Return to base


There will be two Routes – the Blue Route for aircraft flying at 140 MPH or higher, and the Red Route for aircraft flying less than 140 MPH.  Each route consist of multiple legs.  Total flight duration is approximately 1.0 to 1.5 hours.


A sectional chart is prohibited.  Instead, crews are given a “map” created specifically for this contest.  The map has accurate latitude and longitude lines, proportional distances, and shows the flight route and each navigation point in precise scale.  Crews will be able to use a plotter to measure courses and distances on the map.  (Crews may carry a sectional chart for emergency use only.)

Flight Log: 

A flight log is provided and must be filled out prior to departure.  The flight log must contain the predicted times for arrival over each point in the route (with 0:00 being the start time over the first point in the route).  Then, upon arrival over key points, crews must record the ACTUAL time.  A comparison between the predicted time and actual time contributes to the crew’s final score.  Note: True Course and Distance information for all but one leg of the course will be provided at the pilot briefing.


Crews may use all non-electronic equipment in the aircraft (DG, compass, standard instrumentation, etc.).  Crews may use a digital timer (phone app, stopwatch) for accurate timing.  Crews may use an E6-B flight computer and standard plotter for flight planning.  A digital camera or cell phone may be used to photograph the target.

The Target: 

Crews are given accurate map coordinates for the target, but are not told what the target is. 

Departure Procedure: 

In order to allow crews to be able to start the route at their assigned cruise altitude and speed, on course, crews will be briefed on a standard departure procedure.

Arrival Procedure: 

The final checkpoint for the route (designated “Rendezvous Point”) to be six to ten miles from the airport.  Crews stop timing at that point and are free to descend and plan re-entry to the traffic pattern at pattern altitude (thus avoiding crews still departing).


Most of the checkpoints on the route are defined by time and distance alone.  Ground reference is provided for only two (2) of the checkpoints on the route.  Pilots must fly a precise time, speed and distance to find the non-ground-reference checkpoints and target.

Ground Reference Points: 

Each of the two ground reference points must be located, confirmed by the Judge, and the crew records their time over the point.  A comparison of the predicted time and actual time contributed to their final score.

Groundspeed Check Point: 

On the first leg of the route, a ground reference point is provided so that crews can confirm actual groundspeed against estimated groundspeed.

128-Second Turn 

The route contains a number of acute course changes.  Because seconds count in the scoring, and it’s important to account for being able to time a leg to its end point, and begin timing the next leg – crews will be provided with a diagram showing a procedure for a “128-Second Turn.”  Use of this procedure is OPTIONAL.  The turn allows crews to fly to the end point, make a standard rate turn course reversal, and arrive on course over the same point to begin timing the next leg, accounting for the time required to make the turn. 

Tips and Notes 

True Airspeed is vital to accurately flight planning leg times.  Pilots are encouraged to select a specific power/speed setting, and to consult their POH for accurate True Airspeed information for flight planning.  Pilots were also encouraged to make test flights beforehand to check their aircraft’s performance using the app at at which provides actual True Airspeed. 

Pilots are also encouraged to begin their flight by setting their DG on the compass rose at KETB. 


For questions, comments, or assistance in planning your own Navigation Mission, contact:

Howard Schlei

EAA 1158, West Bend, WI (KETB)

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