by Jonathan M. Stern
Flying the Trips
Before taking off, you are required by the Federal Aviation Regulations to file a flight plan and receive clearance from air traffic control. Because Flight Simulator does not perform this function, you can make up your own clearance for the planned flight. A typical clearance includes the following:
- Clearance limit—the destination airport or an intermediate fix.
- Departure procedure or SID—tells the pilot on what heading and at what altitude to depart from the airport.
- Route of flight—the route that the pilot is to follow to arrive at the destination. If the route given by ATC is the same as the route reflected in the flight plan, the clearance route may be abbreviated by use of the phrase "as filed." If any variation exists from the filed route, a full route clearance must be issued or that portion of the route that deviates from the flight planned route must be specified.
- Altitude data—the altitude to be flown along the route.
- Departure frequency and transponder code.