A Flight Simulator Odyssey

by Charles Gulick

Cape Hatteras

Chart: Charlotte
En Route Coordinates:
   Aircraft: N14641, E20993
   Tower: N14486.042, E20415.374
   Aircraft: 1500
   Tower: 24
Heading: 274
Time: Dawn (06:01)
Special Requirements: See text

You're approaching Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. And yes, "There's a lighthouse by the sea." (Anyone know that old song?) Imagine how welcome that light would be if you'd just flown the Atlantic, or for that matter sailed it.

Cape Hatteras has been called the "graveyard of the Atlantic" because so many ships in the throes of Atlantic storms were wrecked on its coast. Game fishermen here work the outer banks for tuna, sailfish and blue marlin, but bathers and sunbathers simply enjoy the beaches.

You have alternatives for this scenario. You can proceed to make an improvised landing right on the Cape (with a close look at Hatteras Light on your way down). Or if you'd prefer an extended flight, continue on your present course (you'll still get a good look at the lighthouse as you fly over it). The Cape Hatteras National Seashore will be off to your left, and you'll fly over Pamlico Sound toward the North Carolina coast. Advance the time an hour for a better view of things. (Take a look out the left rear before you've flown too far, and you may find that the Hatteras lamp is still lit--there's a 50-50 chance.) As you come up on the shoreline, turn left to a heading of 245 degrees, or tune and track the New Bern VOR on 113.60, and fly down to Simmons-Nott Airport, where you'll cross the Neuse River and land on Run-way 22. If you elect this extended trip, be prepared for a rather lengthy but pleasant flight.

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