Interesting FAA comparisons ..
When I was doing Canadian
PPL ground exams ('60s), the standard textbook was from Sporty's. They offered a 'new SPL' package: textbook, whizzwheel, protractor/ruler, etc. The textbook was the US edition but incorporating a Canadian 'differences and extras' supplement. My Canadian FC required all new civil ab initio
student members to have this, the new cost of which was included in the Club initial joining fee. Canadian extras (eg RCAF 'ground/air emergency visual signals' card and Arctic survival guide!) were thrown in for free
In the basic American section were 'Victor Airways', straight lines (not 'corridors of discernible width' like Class A Airways) with 'V nnn' numbers printed on the VFR topo sectionals (reproduced in the book) with radial azimuths each way; these joined VORs or VOR/DMEs, the theory of whose function was included in the FAA syllabus for PPL students; I have no idea whether FAA students were then examined on them, but Canadian ones then were (and on NDBs and even Radio Ranges!). As it happened, our ancient FC aircraft (older than myself) did not have VOR receivers! The point was made in the textbook that they were to be used only in VMC, of course; but even basic PPLs (and SPLs) seemed to be expected (in the ground school course) to plan longer xc routes which would use them for most of the track, even if it meant doglegs to join and leave them at the beginning and end. OK, this was not 'flying Airways' in the IFR sense, nor of making cloudbreak approaches when unqualified to do so, but was indoctrinating early the idea of flying established routes known to other pilots and to ATCOs (at appropriate semicircular altitudes, of course). I do not recall from my UK PPL instruction any comparable teaching nor encouragement of planning xc routes VOR to VOR while still at the FMC only stage; rather, I recall UK FIs saying something like 'tune in VORs if you must, for cross checking, but don't rely on it and never fly directly via them as they are dangerous honeypots for those flying head down in VMC'.
I see from the latest dated North American VFR Sectional in my hoard, 2005, that they are still there, and with the same V numbers as one of the same area dated 1982. On a 2005 Canadian Sectional there are comparable lines between VORs, but without 'V numbers'.
I'm not suggesting either approach is 'better'. The North American one may better suit conditions there, with longer distances, joined-up ATC, more predictable VMC, and less congested airspace. But what it may also do, which may make easier training to IR (of any flavour) and flying Airways in IMC, is to get pilots used to flying longish distances along constant track, making proper allowances for drift through prior planning and en-route observation. There are fewer opportunities to do this in UK, or at least the more congested parts of it.
Obviously, as a mere Day/VFR bimbler, I'd welcome comments from the IMC-qualified, and especially from IRIs.
(mere guide at) Jet Age Museum, Gloucestershire Airporthttp://www.jetagemuseum.org/
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