Realistic Commercial Flying with Flight Simulator

by John Rafferty

Chapter 17
Air-Taxi Continuation: Danville to Chicago

You wake up bright and early after a good night's sleep and immediately call room service for a pot of coffee and a local paper. While waiting, you call Flight Service for a preliminary check on the weather, which looks just fine. Then, after lounging about for an hour, you dress and go down to the hotel restaurant where you've agreed to meet your clients over breakfast.

After the three of you order Eggs Benedict—the hotel specialty—your clients indicate a slight change in their plans. They'll still be returning to Chicago today, as planned, but would like to stop at Paxton on the way back for a brief business meeting right there at the airport. You gladly agree, making a mental estimate of how much the side trip will add to the already hefty bill.

The weather is clear, Paxton is a small field, and it's a flight of only about 30 miles, so you decide to go VFR for that first leg.

Program Setup Values
Time0915 (9:15 a.m.)
WindSurface to 1000 feet:
040 degrees at 10 knots
Level 1: 1000-4000 feet:
070 degrees at 20 knots
Level 2: 4000-7000 feet:
110 degrees at 35 knots


Figure 17-1. Weather Briefing to Chicago

Later on, while waiting for your clients to conduct their business at the Paxton airport, you can file IFR for the second leg and get your clearance by phone just before you leave.


Pilot's Analysis of Preflight Weather

You have good VFR conditions, at least for now. The winds are generally easterly, so you have a crosswind from the right, but at your cruising altitude you should also have a slight tailwind component to help speed you along. Chicago is expecting a broken layer at 10,000 later on, but so far it looks like VFR conditions all the way.

Pilot's Overview of Flight-Planned Route

The chart shows Paxton on Danville R-250 or thereabouts. After departing Vermilion, you gradually head northwest to intercept that radial and track it outbound until Paxton comes into view.

From Paxton, the route back should be the reverse of the one coming down. It looks like direct to Roberts, Victor 429 to Joliet, and direct to Du Page. The headings are westerly, so you figure on 6000 feet.

Departure: VFR to Paxton

On the Ramp at Vermilion, Engine Running

Danville Ground, Cessna Three Zero Four Six Foxtrot VFR to Paxton ready to taxi.

Four Six Foxtrot cleared to taxi to Runway 3
That's straight ahead
Then turn right to parallel the runway.

Approaching the Threshold of Runway 3

Four Six Foxtrot Tower on one two zero point four so long.


Four Six Foxtrot Danville Tower
You're cleared for departure on Runway 3
Altimeter three zero point zero five
Wind zero four zero degrees at nine
Visibility fifteen
Temperature 58.

At Liftoff

Four Six Foxtrot turn left
Heading three zero zero degrees.

At 800 Feet

Four Six Foxtrot Danville so long.

When Paxton Airport Is in Sight

On the Ground at Paxton

You taxi to a vacant tiedown position and shut down.

Preflight: Second Leg to Chicago

While waiting for your clients, you recheck your flight log for the next leg. Then you call Flight Service, first rechecking the weather (which has not changed) and filing IFR to Du Page.

Program Setup Entry
Time1045 hours (10:45 a.m.)

Before departure, you obtain provisional clearance by phone.

Cessna Three Zero Four Six Foxtrot
Cleared to the Chicago/Du Page Airport
Flight-planned route


Figure 17-2. Flight Log to Chicago


Figure 17-3. Flight Plan to Chicago

Maintain six thousand
Squawk two three zero three
When airborne contact Chicago Center
On one twenty-seven point four five
Clearance void if not off by eleven thirty hours.

Departure: IFR to Chicago

On the Ramp at Paxton, Engine Running

At 1000 Feet, After Contacting Chicago Center

Four Six Foxtrot Chicago Center
Radar contact
Climb and maintain six thousand
Normal navigation.

10 Miles DME After Roberts

Four Six Fox Center on one thirty-three point five good day.


30 Miles DME Before Joliet

Four Six Foxtrot descend and maintain four thousand
Contact Chicago Center on one twenty-six point four five
So long.


Program Setup Entry
CloudsLevel 2: 9000-10,000 feet

15 Miles DME Before Joliet

Four Six Foxtrot contact Chicago Approach
On one thirty-three point five see ya.


Four Six Foxtrot Chicago Approach
Maintain four thousand
Expect VOR approach to Runway 10.

Program Setup Entry
CloudsLevel 1: 2300–2700 feet

10 Miles DME Before Du Page

Four Six Foxtrot contact Tower on one two zero point niner later.


Four Six Foxtrot Du Page Tower
You're cleared for the VOR approach
Runway 10
Altimeter two niner point niner five
Wind zero four zero degrees at ten
Visibility twenty miles
Temperature 67.


Figure 17-4. Approach Plate, Du Page VOR Runway 10

1 Mile DME Before Du Page

After Du Page

On the Runway

Four Six Foxtrot turn left next intersection and hold
Contact Ground on one twenty-one point eight good day.


Off the Runway and Holding

Four Six Fox Ground is that Du Page?

You reply affirmatively.

Four Six Fox turn left next taxi strip
You're cleared to the Du Page ramp.

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