Abeam is a nautical term that refers to the direction at a right angle to the keel or center line of a boat or ship.
Some more details:
If an object is abeam of a boat, it means it is off to the side, perpendicular to the center line of the boat, level with the midship or middle section.
For example, “The other boat passed abeam off our port side” means the other boat went by, off to the left side, at a right angle to our boat’s keel/center line.
It’s a way for captains and sailors to concisely reference directions and positions relative to their vessel while out at sea.
The term can be used as a preposition (“The buoy was abeam of our ship”) or an adverb (“We sailed abeam the island”).
So in summary, abeam refers to the direction or position at a right angle to the center line of a vessel, useful for maritime navigation and positioning. Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!
Are There Specific Procedures or Considerations Pilots Follow When Passing Abeam of Certain Landmarks or Waypoints?
Yes, pilots do follow certain procedures and considerations when passing abeam of landmarks or waypoints while flying:
Checking Position: The pilot will visually identify the landmark or waypoint when abeam and check its position against the planned route on their chart or GPS to ensure they are on the correct track.
Marking Time: The pilot may note the time when passing abeam a point and use that to calculate estimated times for future waypoints. Crossing a point abeam signals progress along the planned route.
Confirming Calculations: Passing a landmark like a tower abeam can allow pilots to visually confirm calculated groundspeed and wind effects. If the visual check doesn’t match calculations, the pilot may adjust.
Transition Points: When abeam some waypoints, pilots may have a clearance to change heading, speed, or altitude as part of arrival/departure procedures. These are predetermined transition points.
Communication: If flying instrument procedures or under ATC guidance, a pilot may radio when abeam some designated fixes to check-in.
So in many cases, passing abeam established landmarks serves as a progress check, helps confirm calculations and positioning, and cues upcoming changes to heading/altitude per standard procedures. Pilots are trained to utilize these abeam references effectively in flight.