40 More Great Flight Simulator Adventures

by Charles Gulick

Martha's Vinyard


North Position: 17560 Ailerons: 32767
East Position: 22134 Flaps: 0
Altitude: 4500 Elevators: 32767 (IBM)
Pitch: 0 Elevators: 34815 (Apple)
Bank: 0 Elevators: 36863 (64 and Atari)
Heading: 200 Time: 10:20
Airspeed: 122 (IBM only) Season: 4-Fall
Airspeed: 126 (all except IBM Cloud Layer 1: 3000, 400
Throttle: 23551 Shear Zone Altitude 1: 5000
Rudder: 32767 Wind: 3 Kts, 230


The weather being what it is, your decision is to get on the ground as soon as possible.


You contact the Martha's Vineyard tower on 121.4.

    The ceiling they quote you is pretty unbelievable-worse than the weather report. But, fortunately, the Martha's Vineyard ILS is in operation, so that's obviously the way to go.

    The tower gave you the ILS frequency, 108.7, so you crank it into NAV 1 and then tune NAV 2 to the Martha's Vineyard VOR, 108.2. You find you're well to the left of the 240-degree radial, and you want to get on it as soon as possible since you're only 15 or so miles out and you'll be landing on runway 24. You set the OBI on NAV 2 to 240, and turn right to a heading of 330. That's like putting yourself on base for runway 24.

    Sure enough, the needle on your number-two OBI comes into action in just a few minutes, followed shortly by the ILS centerline needle. When that's centered, you turn to track it and get down to the business of your approach.


You want to get into slow flight and set up a descent rate of about 500 feet per minute, these being the ideals for an ILS approach. So you use a combination of power reduction and up elevator trim until you get the desired readings. They aren't achieved all at once. As you reduce power, you'll start descending. But to hold the rate of descent at 500 fpm, you'll find you need to keep trimming. At the same time, you want to decrease your speed. So you keep trading off one against the other, the objective being to get the aircraft in balance at a steady rate of descent and the KIAS you've established for slow flight.

Then your job is to keep both ILS needles crosshaired on the center of the instrument. Adjust power as needed all the way down to stay on the glide slope. At 3000 feet, you'll be in the overcast. Don't let the centerline indicator get away. Make minor heading adjustments immediately if you stray from it by even a degree. Your primary instruments now are the OBI and the artificial horizon, and your primary control is the throttle. If the OBI display looks right, your wings are level (or in a gentle bank if you're trying to center the needle), and your nose is just a bit below the horizon. You're right on. Stay there.

    Try to anticipate the glide slope and centerline needles. The centerline in particular will get more critical as you get closer to the runway.

    Shortly after the marker tones wake you from your hypnosis, you'll break out of the overcast and see the bull's-eye you set up on your OBI come to life in three dimensions. Doesn't that green look awfully welcome?

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