A Flight Simulator Odyssey

by Charles Gulick

Lake of Constance

Chart: Uncharted
En Route Coordinates:
   Aircraft: N16805, E16087
   Tower: N16810.858, E16254.483
   Aircraft: 3000
   Tower: 1369
Heading: 068
Time: Daylight

I don't know about you, but I'm just in the mood for a "Lake of Constance." As soon as you've set up the parameters, go ahead and fly.

You and your airplane are on the border of Switzerland, about 30 miles northeast of Zurich, and tracking the 'southern shoreline of one of the prettiest little lakes in Europe. In the local language it's Bodensee (see means lake), and in my various references its both "Lake Constance" and "Lake of Con-stance." At the moment, I'll accept Lake of Constance.

If you check your map and zoom out far enough to see the whole waterscape, you'll find it's shaped sort of like a goldfish, with you at the tail-end. If you're in a hurry, you can transition to a higher speed, but I'm going to stay in our en route configuration. I like the interplay of water, sky, and light-and-dark landscape. And for once I even like the utterly flat horizon. But if I could put one cloud out there, low in the sky, I'd reach out and do it.

Follow the lakeshore around to the right. It's hard to tell whether those land tips touch, dividing the lake into two parts, or simply come very close together. I think it depends on how much rain has fallen lately.

Stay approximately over the center of the main section of the lake.

This scenario demonstrates again what is so true of Flight Simulator. You never know what you may discover. This lake isn't shown on the Enlarged Section Southern West Germany chart. There may be an unenlarged chart where it does appear, but at this writing the only charts I know of are of the enlarged variety. I found this lake when I decided to have a look at Friedrichshafen, listed in the Airport Directory. The reason neither the airport nor Lake of Constance show up on the chart is that they are both well south of Stuttgart and Strasbourg and thus of the chart extremities.

Friedrichshafen is on the north shore of the lake. If you haven't discovered that already, you will in a few moments. You can land immediately on 06 there, or fly the short distance to the tip of the lake, then do a 180 and follow the north shore back to the airport. Which you do depends on your mood. I'm sure you can guess from my tone what I'll do.

Elevation at Friedrichshafen (when you need to know) is 1372 feet.

I must share with you a bit of trivia I discovered about this little town, population 53,000. It was once the home of two unusual aircraft: the Zeppelin blimp, and the Dornier sea-plane. (As I say, you never know.)

Table of Contents | Previous Section | Next Section