A Flight Simulator Odyssey

by Charles Gulick


Chart: San Francisco
En Route Coordinates:
   Aircraft: N17201, E5250
   Tower: N17183.709, E5165.6669
   Aircraft: 4855
   Tower: 139
Heading: 196
Time: Daylight

When you unpause, increase your power setting by about 200 rpm to hold your higher-than-usual initial altitude.

This scenario is purely for your enjoyment, flying in and around the Hamilton and Copernicus mountains southeast of San Jose, California.

As a suggestion, when you clear the ridge of Copernicus in the foreground, fly a bit to your left and cross Hamilton at the point between the peaks. (Rear Spot Plane views are great up here). You can lose some altitude between the mountains, but judge carefully. When you're approximately over the center of Hamilton, bank right steeply to a heading of about 290 and fly parallel to the ridge. Having some mountain in the foreground gives the whole landscape a feeling of depth. Then you can try a steep turn to the right, flying down the opposite slope toward the valley.

However you fly them, I hope you'll find mountains fun, a challenge, and exhilarating to explore.

A landing at San Jose suggests itself when you're finished. You can tune the San Jose VOR on 114.10 and center the OBI to find a heading, or just fly toward the buildings west of the mountains and you'll soon spot the airport out the right front. When the city disappears under you, turn right to a heading of 300 degrees and you'll be on a long final to Runway 30 Left, 30 Right, or just plain 29, which is the shorty of the bunch. Take your choice.

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