Realistic Commercial Flying with Flight Simulator

by John Rafferty

Chapter 9
Midmorning Commuter: Chicago to Kankakee

After managing to sneak in a bit of shopping during the scheduled two-hour layover in the Windy City, you're back in the Lake Airways operations office at Meigs Field. In just a few minutes you'll be taking the same aircraft back to Kankakee, this time as Lake Airways Flight 47.

You stroll over to the window and glance across the field toward Lake Michigan. The sky remains a murky gray, though perhaps a bit darker now—which, of course, is no surprise. There's very little wind, which is unusual for Chicago; the occasional light drizzle has made things pretty chilly, even though the surface temperature is now above freezing.

But none of this is of any particular concern to you: You'll take all the appropriate precautions, although the present flying conditions are pretty much routine for this part of the country at this time of the year.

Checking the manifest, you note there's a full house on the way back. Even though you can probably predict every item in the weather briefing with considerable accuracy, you sit down at one of the phones, pull out a blank briefing form, and dial the number for aviation weather.


Pilot's Analysis of Preflight Weather

The warm front has moved into the Chicago area as expected, and typical frontal conditions prevail from Bloomington to Chicago. However, there's no evidence of anything unusual or severe. Ceilings and visibility throughout the area are generally lower, but conditions are still well above airport minimums.

There are no weather reporting facilities at Kankakee, but the weather at Midway and Bloomington provides a pretty good picture of what to expect.


Figure 9-1. Weather Briefing to Kankakee

Midway is now reporting a solid overcast at 3000 (and you're going to have a chance to check that out personally in just a few minutes). Bloomington reports a 4000-foot ceiling, and the warmer air and high humidity associated with the warm front are producing a lower layer of scattered clouds at around 2000 feet. This kind of low-level cloud development, called scud, may also be present at Kankakee, so you can expect to get clearance for an instrument approach to the airport. In view of the general northerly surface winds reported around the area, you'll probably get the VOR approach to Runway 4.


Figure 9-2. Flight Log to Kankakee
Program Setup Values
(If your version doesn't accept the decimals for N and E positions, enter the first five digits only and taxi as required.)
CloudsLevel 1: 1900–2100
Level 2: (none)
WindLevel 1: 2400–5000
310 Degrees, 10 knots
Time10:20 a.m.

The winds aloft have changed very little, so you still have a slight crosswind from the west—now from your right—as you cruise toward Kankakee.

Pilot's Overview of Flight-Planned Route

You can usually expect a clearance routing direct to Chicago Heights and then direct to Peotone and direct to the Kankakee VOR. (Some charts don't show a compass rose to mark the Kankakee VOR, but the transmitter is right there on the field at Greater Kankakee Airport on frequency 111.60.)


At the Lake Airways Gate, When Ready to Copy

Lake Airways Forty-Seven cleared to Greater Kankakee Airport
Direct Chicago Heights direct Peotone direct Kankakee
Maintain three thousand
Squawk four zero five three.


When Ready to Taxi

Lake Forty-Seven cleared to taxi
For departure Runway 36
On leaving the gate turn right onto the parallel taxi strip.

While Taxiing, Near the End of the Taxi Strip

Lake Forty-Seven hold short of the runway
Contact Tower on one twenty-one point three
So long.

Holding Short Runway 36

Lake Forty-Seven cleared for departure
Runway 36
Wind three four zero degrees at five
Altimeter two niner five zero
Temperature 37
Maintain runway heading
Expect vectors to Chicago Heights.

On 500 FPM Climb, Heading 360 Degrees

Lake Forty-Seven turn right
Heading zero niner zero degrees
Climb and maintain two thousand
Contact Chicago Approach on one one eight point four
Good day.

On Heading 090 Degrees

Lake Forty-Seven Chicago Approach
Vectors to Chicago Heights
Turn right
Heading one eight zero degrees
Climb and maintain three thousand.

When Level at 3000

Lake Forty-Seven Chicago Approach
You're cleared direct Chicago Heights
Resume normal navigation
Contact Chicago Center on one one three point seven
So long.

After Station Passage at Peotone

Lake Forty-Seven Chicago Center
Descend and maintain twenty-three hundred
Expect VOR approach to Kankakee Runway 4.


Figure 9-3. Approach Plate, Kankakee VOR RWY 4

5 Miles DME from Kankakee

Lake Airways Forty-Seven Chicago Center
You're cleared for the VOR approach to Runway 4
Midway altimeter two niner point five zero
Report airport in sight.

Chicago Center, Lake Forty-Seven leaving the frequency for the Kankakee altimeter.

You switch to Kankakee Unicom, indicate you're now entering the VOR approach for Runway 4, request and receive the current altimeter setting for the airport, and return to Chicago Center on 113.7.

On Final Approach when Airport Is in Sight

Chicago Center, Lake Forty-Seven has the airport, and we'll cancel IFR at this time, thank you.

Lake Airways Forty-Seven Chicago Center

Understand that's cancel IFR

So long.

Kankakee Unicom, Lake Airways Flight Forty-Seven on final for Runway 4.

Table of Contents | Previous Chapter | Next Chapter