A Flight Simulator Odyssey

by Charles Gulick

Washington Courier

Chart: Washington
En Route Coordinates:
   Aircraft: N16149, E20175
   Tower: N16151.109, E20194.893
   Aircraft: 1500
   Tower: 21
Heading: 101
Time: Daylight

What you are about to do is legal because you're an official air courier, and have important government documents aboard.


Gliding by the Washington Monument

You have permission to land directly on the Washington Mall. Your landing area is well-delineated but circumscribed, so take a moment to study the following:

The building well to the right of your course is the Pentagon. The rectangular area directly ahead, bounded by Constitution Avenue on the left and Independence Avenue on the right, is the Mall. At this end of the Mall is the Lincoln Memorial, which faces, across the Reflecting Pool, the Washing-ton Monument. Just beyond the Washington Monument is 14th Street, dividing the Mall approximately in half.

You are to keep the Washington Monument well to your left, in a flight path that hugs Constitution Avenue. You will land on the grass on the other side of 14th Street. When you get closer, two additional roadways will appear: Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive. You are to land between Madison Drive and Constitution Avenue closer to Constitution Avenue. If you fly an approach too far left of Constitution Avenue, you'll see your intended landing area very late in the game, causing you to make energetic corrections. (This won't look too professional to workers in the Department of Agriculture, on whose front lawn you'll touch down.) Your landing should be executed at your lowest safe speed, using minimum throttle all the way for noise abatement purposes, and you'll apply your brakes promptly during the landing roll.

Got all that?

Then proceed according to plan. Elevation of the Mall is about 23 feet. When you are down, and while you await the messenger who will meet you and pick up your packet, you can admire the U.S. Capitol straight ahead of you. To the right of it are the House of Representatives offices. (Some-where, well to your left on the other side of the Mall, are the offices of the Internal Revenue Service-but who could possibly care?)

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