A Flight Simulator Odyssey

by Charles Gulick

Blinking Beautiful

Chart: Jacksonville
En Route Coordinates:
   Aircraft: N12325, E19051
   Tower: --
   Aircraft: 967
   Tower: --
Heading: 285
Time: Dawn (06:01)
Special Requirements: If, due to pausing or other factors, the time gets close to 06:30 as you follow this scenario, turn the clock back to retain the dawn lighting throughout the flight and landing.

Each Scenery Disk introduces one or more scenic touches we haven't seen before in the simulator. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was one in Scenery Disk 7. Here in Jacksonville, Florida, as we follow the St. Johns River into and through the city, you'll see another that is, to be precise, just what the title says--blinking beautiful.

Proceed with your flight, staying over the center of the river. Other than a little glimpse of Craig Municipal Airport well to the left on your windshield, there isn't much to see until you make that first left turn where the St. Johns does. Then you see more of Craig, and you also see--blinking transmitter towers! Somehow, for me, these towers (and there are more of them) make the dawn landscape come alive, and make Jacksonville a believable as well as beautiful metropolitan area.

Before you get to the next bend of the river, you see an-other tower, and then another, plus, though at a distance, the only building simulated in Jacksonville. And as you bank right with the river, still another tower is revealed in the second group.

When your heading is in the 260s somewhere, and there are three towers on the left side of your windshield, the river ahead will appear to turn left. But it doesn't, as you can see by looking out the left side. So continue straight ahead until the next "corner," where the river gets wider, and follow it around to the right. The airport visible to the right of your course now is Jacksonville International.

Take a look out the left side, and when a couple of the transmitter towers are under your wingtip, turn left and fly toward the cluster of three towers, keeping the solitary building straight ahead. Shortly you'll see that the two leftmost towers are on opposite sides of the river. Just before the near shore of the St. Johns passes under your nose, turn right to a heading of 250--255 degrees, so Herlong Airport is straight ahead of you. A lone blinking tower signals your final approach to Runway 25, elevation 96 feet. As you go, a larger airport will put in an appearance beyond Herlong--Cecil Field Naval Air Station. But you're for Herlong 25.

Table of Contents | Previous Section | Next Section