Realistic Commercial Flying with Flight Simulator

by John Rafferty

Chapter 30
Champaign Air Taxi to Gibson City

While dropping off your three passengers at the Butler terminal building, the dispatcher calls you aside and asks for a favor: A young physician who is due to make a presentation at a conference over in Gibson City arranged for an air-taxi flight, but his original carrier has been delayed. He's running out of time, so you gladly agree to fly him over yourself. You quickly get an update on the weather and file IFR.


The weather remains unchanged: The wind is still generally from the southwest, and you can expect actual IFR conditions and low ceilings throughout the Southern Illinois area.

Program Setup Values
Time0955 hours (9:55 a.m.)
CloudsLevel 1: 1800–2200 feet
Level 2: 3100–6000 feet
WindSurface to 1700 feet:
230 degrees at 10 knots
Level 1: 1700–2500 feet:
240 degrees at 20 knots
Level 2: 2500–7000 feet:
270 degrees at 30 knots


Figure 30-1. Flight Plan to Gibson City

The logical route is directly back to the Danville VOR (about 9 miles) and then direct to Roberts (38 miles). It's about 8 more miles from Roberts to the airport, but you'll undoubtedly be covering that distance on the VOR-A approach, which is the only instrument procedure available for Gibson City.


On the Ramp, Ready to Copy

Cessna Three Zero Four Six Foxtrot
Cleared to Gibson City Municipal Airport
Direct Danville direct Roberts
Maintain three thousand
Squawk three one two zero.

You read back and indicate ready to taxi.

Four Six Foxtrot you'll be departing on Runway 21
You're cleared to taxi ahead

And turn left onto the active runway
Contact Danville Tower
On one twenty-four point zero so long.

Approaching the End of Runway 21

Four Six Foxtrot Danville Tower position and hold.

Holding In Position on Runway 21

Four Six Foxtrot Danville
You're cleared for departure
Runway 21
Altimeter two niner point niner zero
Wind two three zero degrees at ten
Visibility five
Temperature 69.

At Liftoff

Four Six Foxtrot turn left
Heading one five zero degrees
Climb and maintain fifteen hundred.

At 800 Feet

Four Six Foxtrot turn left
Heading zero niner zero degrees
Climb and maintain two thousand.

At 1500 Feet

Four Six Foxtrot turn left
Heading zero three zero degrees
Contact Champaign Approach
On one twenty-one point three five good day.


Four Six Foxtrot Champaign Approach
Climb and maintain three thousand
You're cleared direct to the Danville VOR
Resume normal navigation.

5 Miles DME After Danville

Four Six Foxtrot contact Chicago Center
On one twenty-seven point four five and have a nice day.


At 15 Miles DME Before Roberts

Four Six Foxtrot Chicago Center
We have reports of a line of thunderstorms
Presently south of Gibson City and moving northeast
Expect to hold at Roberts.

8 Miles DME Before Roberts

Four Six Foxtrot Chicago Center
Proceed direct to Roberts
And hold at the Roberts VOR
On R two one seven
Right-hand turns
Maintain three thousand
Expect the VOR-A Approach to Gibson City.

Holding at Roberts, After Four Times Around

Four Six Foxtrot Chicago
You're cleared for the VOR-A Approach
The Champaign altimeter is two niner point niner five.

You've been holding at 3000, so you proceed outbound from the VOR to execute the procedure turn while descending to 2400.

Descending on Final Approach, After Passing Roberts

Low level scud, perhaps in combination with the effects of the nearby thunderstorms, is causing Gibson City to fall below minimums.

Program Setup Entry
CloudsLevel 1: 1000–2200 feet

At 1340 Feet

Missed approach: You're at your decision point but you don't have the runway in sight. You level off, raise the flaps and landing gear, add power, and start a shallow left turn to begin the prescribed missed approach procedure.

Climbing to 2400 and Homing on Roberts

Chicago Center, Four Six Foxtrot, we have a missed approach.

Four Six Foxtrot Chicago stand by one.

Holding at Roberts

You indicate your desire to give the approach another try before proceeding to your alternate, and your controller once again clears you for the VOR-A approach.

Program Setup Entry
CloudsLevel 1: 1800–2200 feet


Figure 30-2. Approach Plate, Gibson City Municipal VOR-A

Runway in Sight

Chicago Center, Four Six Foxtrot has the airport, and we'll cancel IFR at this time, thank you.

Four Six Foxtrot Chicago IFR canceled so long.

On the Runway

You continue to the far end of the runway, turn off to the right, stop, and kill the engine at the FBO building. As your passenger exits, you express your regrets that he's missed his presentation at the conference.

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