A Flight Simulator Odyssey

by Charles Gulick

Keep Left

Chart: Miami
En Route Coordinates:
   Aircraft: N11188, E18656
   Tower: --
   Aircraft: 784
   Tower: --
Heading: 072
Time: Daylight

You're about to make one of the most unusual landings you've ever made in the simulator--perhaps the most unusual.


Where's the road?

Obviously, you're going to attempt a landing on the roadway of Gandy Bridge. That's a bit unusual in itself be-cause there aren't many roadways like this in the simulator. But that's just the beginning of what's unusual about this scenario.

I don't want to reveal the whole story yet. So don't read beyond this paragraph. Go ahead and shoot your landing. Then you'll be ready for the unfolding of the whole mystery of Gandy Bridge. Proceed to land, and only then read on... .

There are two fascinating aspects to this roadway. If you landed successfully on it (or thought you did) you've surely discovered the first one: The roadway is utterly without sub-stance. As I don't have to tell you, you sank right through the pavement to the water below . . . or onto the bridge's shadow. If you got the SPLASH message, you hit the water, either on landing or during the landing roll. If, however, you didn't get the SPLASH message, you landed and stayed on the road-way's shadow, and Fascinating Aspect Number Two was revealed to you: The shadow supported you and your aircraft. As the French say, incredible!

The title of this scenario, "Keep Left," reveals the secret of landing on Gandy without a SPLASH. If you land on the left side of the roadway, the shadow will be under you when you touch down and you won't get a soaking. In fact, you even have time between sinking through the pavement and touching down to yaw the aircraft so the wheels hit the shadow if you're about to miss it. Then if you're agile at steering, you can stay on the shadow and . . . mission accomplished!

If you SPLASHED, try the scenario again--as many times as necessary--until you land safely on the shadow. This al-lows you to have some more fun, as follows:

Make your normal takeoff, using the Gandy shadow as a runway. You'll climb right through the roadway into the sun-light, without so much as a scratch on your airplane.

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