by Fred J. Calfior and Douglas W. Miller
Highways in the Skies
Early navigation was not much more than looking over the side to see how high you were and looking ahead for some landmarks. Most pilots either flew the “Iron Beam” (railroad tracks) or flew “IFR” (I follow roads). Cross country navigation was risky and bad for your health (few places to land). It was not until the Post Office generated a system of navigation beacons that cross country and night flights were feasible and survivable.
These early mail pilots had on their instrument panels, an ignition switch, airspeed indicator, a tachometer, an altimeter which was marked in 1000 feet increments, and a compass. The altimeter was more sensitive to temperature changes than altitude changes. You needed to be a weatherman to figure out how high you were. The compass would swing 90 degrees from left to right in bumpy weather. Armed with these instruments and a road map, these truly brave pioneers were successful in finding their way and delivering the mail.
In 1926 Congress passed the “Air Commerce Act”. The purpose of this law was to promote air commerce by charging the federal government with the operation and maintenance of the airway system established by the Post Office to help their pilots find their way. This law provided the foundation of civil air transportation in the United States.
In this scenario there is a mixture of questions, puzzles, and Go To information. Quite a few of the puzzles help you to exercise chart interpretation. For example, what is the elevation at certain airfields? What is the ATIS frequency? What's the longest runway? What is the floor of that airspace you're overflying? Armed with those answers, you could be asked to play with those numbers until you arrive at the next AirLeg.
Some other puzzles which will tickle you are called Riddle-Me-Dees. You're supplied with a riddle, and it's up to you to find the answer to that riddle by checking the list towards the back of the scenario. Each answer on the list will have a number which is your next AirLeg. Secondly, there are Puzzle Tribes. These can be tricky, because you are given a clue, then you are to find the rebus or word picture which matches it on the page which carries them in the back of the scenario. Thirdly, there are Mathematical Progressions, where you supply the missing number which fits a pattern shown. Fourthly, there are Silly Sniglets. By definition, sniglets are words which don't appear in the dictionary, but should! Then there are a number of assorted puzzles, like cross numbers, hidden numbers, and other varieties to this tossed salad puzzle palace!
1) Choose “Cessna Skylane RG”
1) Set Surface winds “DEPTH” to “6000”
2) Set Surface winds “DIR” to “300”
3) Set Surface winds “SPEED” to “12”
1) “NORTH” to “17364.6759” — [N037° 43' 13.5988]
2) “EAST” to “5126.7705” — [W122° 13' 00.2249]
3) “ALTITUDE” to “13” — 
4) “HEADING” to “000”
note: At this point you may wish to save this setup for future use.
Set ZOOM to “1.0”
Set TIME to “2015” 
“In 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese explorer, saw the Farallon Islands, but missed the Golden Gate. In 1579, Sir Francis Drake, the English explorer, also sailed right by, though he may have anchored in what is now known as Drake's Bay just north of San Francisco. In 1595, another Portuguese explorer, Sebastian Rodriguez Cermeno, entered Drake's Bay. He named it Puerto de San Francisco, and so established the name San Francisco for the region. Europeans finally reached the site of San Francisco by traveling overland. In 1769, a Spanish expedition led by Gaspar de Portola, became the first white people to climb the hills and see the bay.
Oakland International airport will be your starting point for this scenario. Welcome to Airienteering Scenario 21”
1) The Air Commerce Act of 1926 required the government to:
If your answer is “execute economic regulations concerning the air
transport industry”, go to AirLeg 23
If your answer is “maintain and operate the airway system”,
go to AirLeg 47
If your answer is “provide safety in air commerce”,
go to AirLeg 72
If your answer is “exercise judicial authority over civil aviation”,
go to AirLeg 113