Flying Flight Simulator

Sky-High Adventure with the Macintosh, Amiga, & Atari ST
by Charles Gulick

Chapter 10

Let's set some specific parameters for a takeoff on Issaquah's Runway 19. (We certainly want to try that head-on tower view.) To make any runway at any airport the active runway, with due realism, all you need to do is set some logical winds. It's unwise, as well as unrealistic, to take off downwind. So, simply go into ENVIRO and create a wind that is blowing from the general direction in which you want to take off. You'd use Runway 19 here at Issaquah, for example, any time the wind is from the south. Consider the wind from the south if it is blowing from the runway heading (190 degrees here) plus or minus 90 degrees. If the wind direction here is anywhere from 100 degrees to 280 degrees, Runway 19 is your runway; otherwise, Runway 1 is the active.

Normally, however, runways are laid out to take advantage of prevailing winds in the area of an airport. Therefore, it's reasonable to assume that a wind from the south here at Issaquah is within 10 or 15 degrees of 190. If it isn't, you have a crosswind, and—as discussed earlier—you should take advantage of the wind direction to the greatest extent possible.

Let's set surface wind depth for this flight to 5000 feet, direction to 185 degrees, and speed at 6 knots. You'll fly below 5000 feet, so the winds aloft needn't concern you.

Set time to 9:00 a.m., do your usual panel preflight check, and taxi ahead. On a small airport such as this, you are permitted to taxi on the runway if doing so doesn't interfere with other aircraft that are taking off or landing. Otherwise, if no specific taxiway exists, you'll taxi on the grass parallel to the runway. This morning, taxi on the runway. Jog right and then left across the access strip, and taxi down the left side of the runway onto the grass. Then, turn 180 degrees to the right to get into position and lined up on a compass heading of about 192 degrees.

As you taxi, prepare for your takeoff by trimming up and setting your flaps. It's perfectly normal to go through this routine as you taxi, rather than to wait until the moment of departure.

Now, take the control tower view of yourself, setting zoom for that window to a factor of 1.00. The tower is right where you put it, and the tower personnel are looking at you. (The tower always tracks you, keeping your aircraft at the center of its view.)

I think you understand takeoff procedure well enough now to make this takeoff purely on instruments, so why not watch the whole takeoff from the tower which, in this case, is the “viewer” you positioned at the far end of the runway? You know your rotation airspeed, 70 KIAS. Pick up your gear, cancel the rotation pressure when your VSI registers a 500-fpm climb, and zero your flaps. Then, power back to your climb setting—1750 rpm in the Mac or 2100 rpm in Amiga/Atari—and start trimming down to op neutral.

After you streak by, restore your out-the-windshield view. Then, take a look behind you at Issaquah. You'll want to remember what it looks like from the air. That's Lake Sammamish back there, and the airport is at the tip of the lake and beyond the highway, which is Interstate 90.

Climb straight out to 2000 feet and level off.

Out the right side you should be able to spot the strip at Renton Municipal, and out the left front you'll have a good view of snow-capped Mt. Rainier. Its peak, at 14,410 feet, is the highest point in the state of Washington.

This morning I'm going to introduce you to another navigational aid with which your aircraft is equipped. It's your ADF, or Automatic Direction Finder, to the right of your NAV 2 receiver. You're going to use the ADF receiver to navigate to Sanderson Field in Shelton, Washington.

Locate the airport on your Seattle Area Chart, southwest of all the water. (Mac pilots, use the charts in Appendix E; they have more detail than the charts provided with your program.) Notice the rectangle labeled “MASON CO 348” and next to it the circular spray symbol, which represents an NDB, or Non-Directional Radio Beacon. This NDB broadcasts at a frequency of 348 kilohertz. The ADF is tuned by pointing the mouse cursor to the individual digits and clicking. Set it to 348 kilohertz. Turn on the ADF receiver by clicking on the box at the upper right.

Because there isn't room on your panel for the ADF dial in addition to two OBIs, its needle and gauge take the place of OBI 2 when you turn on the ADF.

The ADF bearing indicator is inscribed like a compass in steps of 30 degrees from 0 to 360 with the final zero dropped. The ADF needle points to the station you're receiving—in this case, MASON CO. In your aircraft it now points to approximately 30 degrees. However, this bearing is relative. The MASON CO station lies 30 degrees to the right, relative to your present compass heading. Thus, the formula for using the ADF is:

Compass + ADF = Bearing to station

Your present compass heading is probably 192 degrees. Add the 30 degrees indicated by the ADF needle, and you have the heading to fly to the station: 222 degrees. Turn to that heading now.

If the ADF needle is not pointed straight at 0, yaw left or right to bring it to 0. Like the OBIs, if the needle is left of center, correct to the left; if it's right of center, correct to the right. When the ADF needle is on 0, you are flying straight toward the station. Right now I have the needle centered, and my compass heading is 227. (That doesn't mean that your heading should agree. Fly whatever heading yields a 0 reading on your ADF.)

Unlike a compass, 0 on the ADF has nothing to do with north because the ADF shows the relative bearing to the station you want to track. If you were flying due south using the ADF and were right on the money, the ADF needle would indicate 0.

Now, we'll experiment a bit to help you understand how the ADF works.

Turn right to a compass heading of 280 degrees, and fly out over Puget Sound.

When the ADF needle points directly to 300 degrees, pause the simulation for a moment. According to the ADF formula, the correct bearing to the station is your present compass heading, 280, plus the ADF reading, 300, or 580 degrees. For figures greater than 360, subtract 360 from the result. So, the correct bearing to the station is 580 minus 360, or 220 degrees.

Unpause now, and turn left to a heading of 220 degrees.

Again, the ADF needle points to 0, and you are inbound to the MASON CO NDB and adjacent Sanderson Field.

Is Sanderson either one of the airports you can see?

Study your chart. (It's helpful if you orient the chart in the direction you're flying, and then interpret it.) Sanderson Field is a bit isolated, so apparently neither of the airports you can see out your windshield is Sanderson. Then what airports are they? Tacoma Narrows and Port Orchard—or Port Orchard and Bremerton National?

Your chart, your map, and what you can see from the aircraft provide all the clues you need.

As you fly, set the spot plane off your right wing tip at an altitude of 0 feet. When you take the spot plane view, you'll see Mt. Rainier in the distance.

The elevation at Sanderson Field (airport code SHN) is 278 feet, and the runways are 5/23 and 17/35. Which runway will you land on? If you need a weather report, call a tower somewhere in the area.

Sanderson shows up exactly where you'd expect it because the NDB is east of the airport.

Make the transition to slowflight, and while you're doing that, turn right to a heading of 260 degrees. On that heading, you're flying parallel to the base leg for Runway 17 at Sanderson. This trick helps you align with a given runway. If you fly parallel to one of the traffic legs, you'll be able to spot your runway easily—even at an airport with many runways—because you know exactly what your relationship to it is and what you expect to see.

Descend to an altitude of 1200 feet, as you keep the airport in sight out of your left front window, and then your left side window.

Remember that base leg is the last leg before you turn to the runway heading for your final approach. When you're on base leg and you look 90 degrees to the left, the runway where you'll land appears almost straight out from your 90-degree view. Thus, you can identify your runway and time your turn to final. Execute your turn when the active runway is immediately forward of your wing tip, using a 90-degree side view.

Wait until you're on a good final approach, and close enough in, to drop your gear and make your initial flap extension. Then, trim to approach neutral and fly it down. When you've landed, turn off the runway onto the grass.

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