The Earth
The Solar System & Time
Using Aeronautical Charts
Basics of Navigation
Distance, Speed & Time
Vertical Navigation
Fuel Planning
Practical Navigation Techniques
Radio Navigation
Practice Exam

Ground Features

A working knowledge of how different ground features are shown on the chart is essential. The best thing you can do is open your chart out on a big table and spend some time getting familiar with your local flying area. Learn what all the yellow blobs, red lines, blue areas etc. all represent.

We’ve outlined some of the ground features on the 1:500 000 chart below.


Cities and large towns are shown in yellow. The outline of the yellow area will represent the outline of the buildings from the air
Small towns, villages, and hamlets are shown as small yellow dots. Generally, these are too small to use as practical navigation features.
Not for navigational purposes


Motorways are marked as two red lines that follow the direction of the road. The motorway numbers are written inside a box along the red line, e.g. “M25
Roads are marked as a single red line with no label.
Not for navigational purposes


Railways are marked as a single black line that follows the direction of the track.
This railway along the coast is shown by the solid black line


Bodies of water are marked in blue
This includes seas, rivers, lakes, reservoirs etc.

These blue areas are various rivers, lakes and the sea in Wales