Resume Own Navigation


Well-Known Member
I have a question based on a real scenario that happened to me recently on an IFR flight:

Let's say I am heading 360, tracking towards a VOR so that I can join a Victor airway which tracks FROM the VOR on the 120 degree radial.

The ATC controller tells me to "turn left heading 345, resume own navigation"

In this case, the left turn doesn't make any sense, because by heading due east 090 degrees, I can join the airway.

What am I expected to do in this situation? Turn left to 345 degrees and then immediately turn right to 090 degrees?
The times when I as an approach controller have done that same thing is when I was either not sure about which direction the pilot was going on the Victor Airway, or I had no idea which way the airway was. After I said something that didn't make sense, the pilot would query almost right away. Otherwise they would fly for a few minutes and tell me the couldn't resume own navigation on that heading.

The "resume own navigation" language is generally following a heading that will let you get on to the airway, but then you should fly the airway. Kind of like a heading to join the localizer. If you can't get on the airway from the heading assigned, tell the controller right away. Don't make the drastic turn, especially in the IFR environment.