Triangles on VFR map

Hello, another beginner question :

I’m flying in Mainland right now, I see a lot of “triangles” on my VFR map, it is written “BODAM”, “ML27”, “ML09”, “EP09”… I see triangles everywhere. Not sure to understand what it represents.

Thank you.

Mhh… I suppose my english is not good enough to understand and have a laugh :no_mouth: :disappointed_relieved:

Without a picture I’m not sure I am understanding your explination but this may help you out:

Here is a legend of most VFR symbology.

Yes, of course, here is a screenshot with the triangles on the VFR !

@LilPika has pointed you in the right direction.

What you are looking at are different types of ground radio towers or navigational beacons. These aides are also found in navigational flight charts.

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Oh those! Those are nav beacons. The legend on more detailed VFR\Flight map is slightly different, usually more like a sorta triangle with squared edges and a dot. I THINK they’re the VORTAC beacons.


No worries. Sometimes people are happy to laugh about noobs, I don’t care, I’m here to learn, and I start from zéro.

Thank you. I still don’t understand why we can see 2 triangles in the see, very close to each other, and then nothing around. These beacons seems to be placed randomly (i know it’s not the case of course)

Can I ask what part of the world this is? Some parts of the world do not have access to every kind of navigation, however in our map we’re likely going to see them all, so if I am right here and these are VORTACs it’s nice to know the difference between them. First we need to understand there are two different kinds of radio navigation beacons (At least):

A VOR is a VHF Omnidirectional Range and is used to ‘tune’ your navigation aids to. This is generally used by Civil pilots. a TACAN is a TACtical Air Navigation and is used by the military, providing a much more precise location. However in some parts of the world these two systems are combined into a VORTAC, with different pilots turning to the one they need.

The reason you may see beacons very close together is that (And I am assuming here, I could very well be wrong) these are the difference frequencies needed for different pilots roles, OR that these waypoints in the real world feed into different flight paths.

Either way, I hope this helps :slight_smile:

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The ones at sea are generally close to an airport to help with navigation at night and in bad weather. Yes, sometimes there are more than one.

Also, some of the ones at sea are used by maritime (ships).

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Still a little bit hard to understand, i will look for a french documentation about that !
I can indeed verifiy that sometimes I can see a lot of triangles “aligned” with an airport… so, good help for navigation in bad conditions.

I’m on a flight near “Sumburgh airport”, on an island above Scotland.
Location : 59.876722, -1.289230

Thank you so much for your patience guys.

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Here is an article that is generalized without being too compilated.

Although, it is in English.

Try doing a search in French for: aircraft navigation beacons explained
in Google or another search engine

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The 5-letter- points are RNAV waypoints (for GPS Navigation). There are no ground installations at these locations and you can only use them if your GPS database has them included or you pick the national Aeronautical Information Handbook and type them into your GPS manually. I am not familiar with “EP09” but it seems to be connected with RWY 09 of a near airfield. Probably for an IFR approach? Could not find any explanation online (shame on me as I was designing Instrument Approach Procedures during my active time in ATC 8 years ago).

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