Learning to Fly with Flight Simulator

by John Rafferty

Solo Training Assignment

Bridgeport to JFK

This flight will give you a chance to try out what you've learned so far, so you can be sure you have things really nailed down. It's the return trip to JFK, by the same route we took coming up. Since you're already familiar with the territory, you'll do this one on your own.

Flight Plan. You'll soon be using a simple but effective flight-plan form for your cross-country flights, but for this one a narrative overview will be adequate. There's also a brief summary at the end, for quick reference during the flight.

The following set-up parameters will put you on the ramp at Sikorsky Memorial in Bridgeport, if you aren't already there.

Set-Up for Bridgeport:

You should now be on the ramp facing southwest, parallel to Runway 24, which will be about a hundred yards to your left. Note that Runway 24 is the same strip of concrete as Runway 6 (the one we just landed on); it's just going in the opposite direction. (That is, 240 minus 180 = 60.)

Taxi forward, turn left, continue out onto the runway, and turn right to a heading of 243°, then stop on the centerline. (A heading of 243° rather than 240° should line you up with the centerline stripe.)

Runway 24 will therefore give you an initial heading of 243°—roughly southwest.

During your climb, turn left slightly, to 240°. This will take you across the Sound on the same path you took coming in. (Remember to visualize the airplane sitting on a compass rose, as an aid in keeping things straight.)

Establish your 500fpm climb, then level off at 1800 feet as you cross the Sound.

When you start coming in over the North Shore of Long Island, turn right to heading 260°. (You came up along the shoreline on 080°, so now you'll return along that leg on the reciprocal of that heading, which is 080 + 180, or 260°.)

Your 260° heading will take you back over the Long Island ends of the Throggs Neck and Whitestone Bridges, and you'll see La Guardia Field just beyond.

Fly over La Guardia, turning left as you pass it, so you'll fly over Queens parallel to the East River and Manhattan Island. On the last flight, your heading on this leg of the flight was 045°, so your return heading is 225° (045 + 180).

After turning at La Guardia, get the airplane set up for the approach.

Then use your radar (overhead) view intermittently, to locate Kennedy International and to make a left turn that will line you up with the same runway you departed on. That was Runway 31 Left; now you're using it in the opposite direction, so it's referred to as Runway 13 Right (310 - 180 = 130). Therefore, your inbound heading to the airport will be 130°.

Start your descent to the airport right after you make that last turn.

Have a good flight.

En Route Summary, Flight 2

Depart on Runway 24, initial heading 243°.

Climb on heading 240°.

Level off at 1800 feet.

At North Shore, turn right heading 260°.

On passing La Guardia, turn left heading 225°.

After turning at La Guardia, set up for the approach:

Use radar view to locate airport and runway.

Turn left heading 130°, toward airport.

After turning to 130°, throttle back to begin descent.

Use power and very shallow turns to adjust glide path.

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