A Flight Simulator Odyssey

by Charles Gulick

Delaware Cruise

Chart: Washington
En Route Coordinates:
   Aircraft: N16780, E20869
   Tower: N16650.432, E20735.928
   Aircraft: 1600
   Tower: 21/218 (unreliable)
Heading: 251
Time: Daylight

Nothing like a long, winding river to establish a mood. You're over the Delaware at the point where it widens to become navigable south of Trenton. This river is second only to the Mississippi in annual tonnage carried. Unpause and follow it to Runway 27 at Philadelphia International.

You'll cross the Delaware River Turnpike Bridge (black line), which connects the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Turn-pikes. New Jersey is on your left. Stay directly over the river. After it turns sharply right you'll see Northeast Philadelphia Airport on the west side of the water. The bridges to this side of the downtown Philadelphia buildings are the Tacony Palmyra and the Betsy Ross, and before you reach either of them you'll see PHL dead ahead. However, we're going to take the scenic route, so continue to follow the river.

Do, however, start a gradual descent to an approach altitude of 1000 feet.

Where the Delaware bends sharply left is the Ben Franklin Bridge, and after that is the Walt Whitman. Between these bridges, on the Jersey side, is the Camden metropolitan area. Camden was the last home and burial place of American poet and essayist Walt Whitman (1819-92). Even Walt might won-der what those buildings are doing, sticking up out of the water right next to his bridge.

Turn right with the river, then just a bit further right to a compass heading of 270--or whatever puts Runway 27 Left straight ahead of you--and proceed with your landing. Elevation at PHL is 26 feet.

Note: This flight is scenic at dawn or dusk, too.

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