by Fred J. Calfior and Douglas W. Miller
Flight Scenario Five
Port Angeles to Seattle
(Seattle Area - estimated flying time 50 minutes)
Professor Miller with you once again! You can open your eyes now! Have you had enough IFR mountain flying? Well, let's try a little northern flying. Let me tell you about this far north flight. It departs Port Angeles in the northernmost part of Washington State, using a SID and arrives in beautiful Seattle using a published Visual approach. This would be a gorgeous flight if you could see the ground but the cloud level is set at 800 feet. You will have the marvelous opportunity to see the waterways into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, once you descend out of the clouds. But it's too bad you can't see the sparkling tint of the Puget Sound as you overfly it in this no-see-um weather. Oh well, maybe the next time you fly up in Washington, the weather will be better. Okay, enough wishing! Let's get on to the flight plan, fill it out, and go with Professor Calfior to get our yukky weather briefing. Then I will assist you in making the weather yukky for real! After we are finished, I will let Professor Calfior get you ready for a most interesting flight. You will need to be alert on this flight. Things happen rather quickly. If you have ever been to Washington State, you probably already know that this kind of weather is the norm, not the exception.
Listen to Professor Calfior and maybe, just maybe, you will see the space needle.
FLIGHT PLAN -
This route of flight follows well established departure, climb, cruise, descent, and landing procedures. You will depart Port Angeles, Fairchild International Airport (Airport diagram in Appendix C5) at a departure time of 2230 Zulu, on runway 31.
For departing the area, you will fly the PORT ANGELES ONE DEPARTURE (Appendix C5) to intercept Victor 4 out of Tatoosh VOR, on the 080 radial outbound. Upon takeoff, you will make a right turn to a heading of 040 as soon as practicable, and Whidbey Departure Control will provide further instructions. Climb up to and maintain 9000 feet as a cruise altitude, where along the way you'll be handed off to Seattle Center. Your true airspeed will be close to 130 knots.
At JAWBN intersection, your IFR low altitude enroute chart L-l in Appendix B5 shows that you'll need to make a right turn to go inbound on the Seattle VOR 306 radial, which is still a part of the Victor 4 airway. When arriving at LOFAL intersection, now proceed inbound on the Olympia VOR 350 radial to CARRO intersection. You will descend to 7000 feet which is that segment's minimum enroute altitude.
Then you fly inbound on the Seattle VOR 228 radial, which is Victor 27. By now, you'll be under the jurisdiction of Seattle Approach Control. The expectation is to descend to 3000 feet for the Mall Visual Approach Runway 34R into Seattle-Tacoma International. (Appendix C5) Following the water course, you'll turn on final, which can be identified by the 338 inbound course off of the Seattle VOR or the localizer course. You cannot leave 3000 feet until at the water tank and SeaTac Mall at 7.5 DME. The airport diagram for SeaTac International Airport is in Appendix C5. From your worksheet in flight planning, this will take about 55 minutes, and fuel on board is 6 hours and 5 minutes. We don't need an alternate, since the weather at our destination is better than 2000 foot ceiling and 3 miles visibility. But, let's keep Olympia Airport in our back pocket, just for mental insurance.
FILLING OUT THE FLIGHT PLAN -
Fill out the following Flight Plan completely, carefully paying attention to your route of flight. Trace out your route using the IFR low altitude enroute chart L-l (Appendix B5).
Now answer these questions from your flight plan and enroute chart.
** a) What is in block 8, Route of Flight, of your flight plan? _____________________________________________(10 pts)
** b) The NDB that is practically on Victor 4 to the west of Port Angeles is named what, and is on what frequency?__________________(10 pts)
** c) What kind of altitude restrictions are found at LOFAL intersection? (Type and altitude)
** d) West of Seattle, Victor 287 has what two VORs at either end of its airway segment?___________________________________(10 pts)
** e) What military operating area (MOA) is southwest of Seattle?
"The field of meteorology - weather, is a fascinating study! One of the things I believe you're beginning to see is that weather briefs, procedures for obtaining weather, and filing IFR flight plans are generally quite standardized and easy to understand.
The Flight Service Station folks have a certain flow of information that they are responsible to give to all pilots. There's a format, order, and style to their briefs. It gives us pilots a sense of constancy, knowing that we won't ever be given a half hearted ‘who cares?’ kind of brief, because these weather people are actively caring about your specific flight. They probably don't like being called weather people! Let's call them convective activity specialists! Of course, you know what pilots are called, don't you? Airheads!
Let me tell you a little bit about in flight weather advisories. One of them is convective SIGMETS. This is used for heavy weather stuff, like severe turbulence, icing, storms, and such ilks of doom and gloom! Three bulletins cover the geographic areas of Eastern, Central, and Western. They can be designated anything from November to Yankee, with three exceptions -1) Sierra 2) Tango and 3) Zulu.
Those three fall under another in flight weather advisory, called an AIRMET. Tango always deals with turbulence. Zulu deals with icing. And Sierra deals with instrument flight rules or mountain obscuration. Hey! I'm not bad for a meteorological ground school instructor, am I? Lecturing is fine, but I know you 're anxious to fly the Seattle area, so call up Seattle FSS and receive another outstandingly professional weather brief. Looks foggy out there, but that makes for great flying! I'll buy you a cup of coffee or hot chocolate when you get back."