A pilot's guide to destination cities in Flight Simulator
by Charles Gulick
Runway USA is the second book in the Microsoft Press Flight Simulator Co-Pilot Series. To fly all of the itineraries described in Runway USA, you need the SubLOGIC Scenery Disks (Western set: 1–6), and either the Microsoft Flight Simulator for the IBM PC, PCjr, and compatible computers, or the SubLOGIC FSII Flight Simulator for the Commodore 64, Apple II series, and Atari 800, XL, and XE computers.
In addition to the foregoing Scenery Disks, Runway USA covers the San Francisco STAR Scenery Disk in detail, devoting fully nine chapters to this significant Flight Simulator upgrade. So you'll want this disk also. Due to the comprehensive coverage of the STAR disk, Scenery Disk 3 (which includes the San Francisco area) is given just one chapter. Though the parameters listed for the San Francisco STAR area will work with Scenery Disk 3, the latter is, of course, missing many airports and scenic features described in the text.
Co-Pilot Basic Training Assumed
Runway USA assumes you know how to fly your airplane. However, if your skills are a bit rusty, you can brush up on some of the basic techniques by using Appendix A: Flight Instruction Summary, and Appendix B: Aircraft Controls. There you will find a synopsis of the most important flight procedures, along with ready references to command and control keys. If you're a novice, then you need Flight Simulator Co-Pilot, the introductory book in this series. It embodies comprehensive ground-school and in-flight instruction, teaches you correct taxi and takeoff procedures, how to fly straight and level, how to perform standard climbs and descents, how to reach and maintain specific altitudes, how to slowfly the airplane, fly airport patterns, and make precision landings. Co-Pilot also introduces you to your NAV and COM radios, your OMNI equipment for flight via VOR (Visual Omni-Range) stations, IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) flight in weather, night flights and “blind” ILS (Instrument Landing System) approaches, and more, acquainting you in detail with almost every aspect of your aircraft's performance. Without that depth of flying know-how and experience behind you, the present book cannot be fully appreciated.
Runway USA follows Scenery Disks 1 through 6 in order, except that the San Francisco STAR disk is substituted (in all but one flight) for Scenery Disk 3. Within each area, the sectional charts involved also appear in the order in which they are found in the set. However, it is not necessary (though it may be desirable and more satisfying) to fly the flights in any particular order. You may select any flight and fly as you please.
The airports and itineraries chosen are designed to encompass the best scenes and/or operational interest provided by the simulation. As readers of my earlier books know, I orient you to the geography of the areas you fly—naming cities, highways, mountains, bodies of water, and other points of interest as you go, and often weaving in some history, personality, or local color.
Runway USA was written using the first version of both the western Scenery Disk set and the San Francisco STAR Scenery Disk. Later versions may include features not described in the text, or may have corrected or cancelled “phenomena” encountered in the early versions.
In this book, the parameters given at the start of each chapter are truncated for simplicity. For all the parameters not listed, you are to use the power-up values (unless shear altitudes in your version of the simulator are zero, in which case set them to 9000, 6000, and 3000 feet, respectively). Note that while airport elevations (altitudes) are provided for your information, it is best to set altitude to 0 in all cases when beginning a Scenery Disk flight on the ground. Otherwise, a spurious dive and crash may result when you exit the Editor. All flights in Runway USA begin on the ground.
While you tour the western U.S. in Runway USA, you'll learn some exciting new maneuvers—how to do power-on as well as power-off stalls, inside loops, steep climbs and fast descents, Immelman turns, and even a tailspin.