What Does Abeam Mean?

Abeam describes a general position of an aircraft instead of a precise location and means alongside or abreast. An aircraft is considered abeam a fix (an arbitrary external point used as a reference to establish an aircraft’s current position) when the fix is approximately 90 degrees, or at a right angle, to either the right or left of the aircraft’s centerline. The term was originally used in the 19th century as a nautical term and came a reference to the ship’s beam, or keel.

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