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Safe Landings

Achievement Objectives:

Achievement Objective: GM4-7: Communicate and interpret locations and directions, using compass directions, distances, and grid references.
AO elaboration and other teaching resources


The purpose of this activity is to engage students in finding locations from descriptions given and using these to solve a problem.

Description of mathematics: 

The background knowledge and skills that need to be established before and/or during this activity are outlined in the diagram below:

Click to show example questions for each heading

To solve this problem, the students may locate the positions given with a combination of calculations and measurements. The guidance given should be chosen in sympathy with their skills and preferred method of solution.





On a cloudy day, a learner pilot tried to fly a small plane from Invercargill Airport to Oban Airport following the bearing he thought would take him there.


Unfortunately, he had forgotten to factor in drift from the strong Westerly wind and his instructor stopped him from attempting to land when they passed over the sea when their East-North Grid Reference was:

1260000 mE, 4796000 mN.


Find the angle of deviation from the original flight plan that occurred.





The procedural approach  (show more)

  • The student is able to solve the problem, with guidance.

The conceptual approach  (show more)

  • The student is able to solve the problem independently, within the context given.
SafeLandings_full.pdf689.19 KB
SafeLandings_conceptual.pdf213.04 KB
SafeLandings_procedural.pdf212.65 KB