Your fourth flight demonstrates varying levels of ATC Service. We’ll look at:
The predominant theme of this tutorial is to demonstrate Missed Approach, all Post MA Options, and Practice Approaches. To a very large extent, you’ll be left to your own devices to use Saved files in exploring various options.
Launch FS and position your aircraft at KMQY. Start RC. Click the FS200x (*.pln) button, and choose the V4 4 KMQY-KSYI.pln.
Type KTHA under Alternate 1 and press Find. No fields are populated. In the real world, Tullahoma TN is a fully uncontrolled airport. We’re going to change this; check KTHA’s Ground box. Both Ground/Tower fields are populated. Check KTHA’s NOTAMs box.
Type KFYM under Alternate 2 and press Find. Both Departure and Approach fields are populated. Enter 40 for cruise altitude.
Use Skyhawk 5 4 X for this flight’s call sign. Select prop for type aircraft. Leave the three Deviations settings at default. Along the right column uncheck Display Text, Pilot Autoreply, and Pause at Distance. Set Interact with AI, Play Pilot Wavs, Chkpt Ding, and Tune on Contact checked. Enter 2 in the Souls on Board box. Let’s make sure we aren’t held on this flight, so select OFF in the Holding box.
On RC’s main Page click Start RC.
Load the V4 4 KMQY-KSYI.pln into your FS GPS. Flights/Flight Planner/Load, choose V4 4 KMQY-KSYI.pln, click OK, and again OK. Place the FS GPS in the desired location on your panel.
Use Ctrl-Shift-L (optional) to set your Nav radio. Only Nav 1 is set, as there’s only 1 checkpoint in this flightplan.
Plan on the following approaches in this flight (approach plates provided below):
Use this plan information to reference the plates, pre-set your Nav radio(s), OBS, and NDB. You can stay far ahead of the aircraft and ATC with proper planning. We’ll address Save Flight, not less than 5 times throughout this tutorial.
Give your co-pilot the radios for now. The co-pilot tunes ATIS
Smyrna Clearance Delivery
The co-pilot will then call Delivery (and sets your altitude and transponder code for you)
The co-pilot will then request taxi clearance.
While taxiing to the assigned runway, prep the aircraft for takeoff (flaps, trim, AP preset speeds & heading selections, etc). You should be well into those checklists by now. You’ve become familiar with the possibilities in previous tutorials.
Notice you still have the ability to change your runway.
When near the end, Ground will tell you to contact Tower. The co-pilot switches frequencies and contacts tower.
After contacting tower, he will acknowledge you, and you should continue to taxi to the end of the runway.
When you are close to the hold short line, you will be told one of two things, depending on what the AI are doing.
If you’re told to hold short, , keep monitoring tower until it’s your turn. When it is time, you will be told to taxi into position and hold.
Once you are lined up on the runway, Tower will clear you for takeoff.
This is a DP flight. Tower won’t assign specific takeoff instructions. You won’t hear “fly rwy heading” or “fly heading”, just “…cleared for takeoff”. By now you should have SYI VOR frequency tuned and a course approx 175° dialed in.
The co-pilot will call Departure controller when told to do so. He will tell you to climb to 4000. Shortly, he’ll switch you to Memphis Center.
Proceed direct SYI VOR. The co-pilot checks on, leaves Center frequency for the KSYI weather, and reports “back up”. In a moment you’ll automatically take the radios. The pilot (you) has radio control into all RC uncontrolled airports.
At 15 miles SYI, pause the sim. Save Flight, and enter “tut4 1 13m SYI 40” (no quotes). You can learn several things from this Saved file. You can continue, to see how Center handles the arrival. You can request a Visual if/when you see the airport (no missed approach procedures after a visual), or you can start learning about IAP approaches. Return to this file often, as many times as you wish.
Requesting an IAP is a multi-menu process. You first access the IAP menus, then choose an approach name, and finally a specific runway if applicable. This makes it possible for the pilot to voice and be cleared for a specific precision or non-precision approach. IAP approaches are not critiqued. The RC controller will not tell you how to fly a “full” approach. More information on IAPs is available in RC’s Manual, the section IAP Approaches.
Let’s request the VOR Rwy 18 approach.
Unpause, and Select 3 – Req IAP App.
You see 3-VOR on the 1st page, but you’re welcome to look through the pages to see which approaches are available. Choose 3 - VOR.
You’re now looking at KSYI’s available runways. If there’s an ILS or LOC approach available, the frequency will also be displayed. Select 2-Rwy 18/0. You’ll request and be cleared for “the full VOR Rwy 18 approach”. When you hear “the full” in an RC flight, you’re on your own respect to ATC assistance and must reference approach charts. Notice your options while shooting the IAP. You can miss approach, request another IAP if this one’s not working out, ask for a wind check or call the field in sight for a visual.
Fly the VOR Rwy 18 approach per the plate, align the aircraft to the runway and on short final at the DH (1360’) climb, accelerate, and choose 2-Missed Apch.
You’ll call missed approach and Center will acknowledge.
When Center states “Say Intentions”, make no choices. Pause, Save Flight, and enter “tut4 2 MA KSYI rwy 18 at SI Menu” (no quotes). Return to this file, as many times as necessary, to explore the post-missed approach options when an Approach controller is available.
Post Missed Approach Options (Without an Approach Controller)
These are the options you have, after a missed approach, with no Approach controller:
2 - Hold as Pub – Allows you to hold per the approach plate. After time’s passed, Center will clear you once again for “the full” VOR Rwy 18 approach. You can request an alternate IAP approach. If in the holding pattern you’d like to try again before Center re-clears you, you have that option. You have also the option(s) to return to KMQY, or go to KTHA or KFYM.
4 - IAP Apch – Identical to what you’ve seen already. Request the VOR Rwy 18 approach again, or any other approach you’d like to practice. As many as you wish for as long as you wish.
5 - Land KTHA – Your filed Alternate Airport.
Unpause, select 5 - Land KTHA.
Tell Center you’d like 4000 by pressing 2. You’ll be cleared to KTHA via radar vectors, then told to “resume own navigation”.
Shortly, Center will ask if you have the KTHA weather, and which approach you’d like. This is standard for Center/Tower/Ground arrivals (no approach controller). Answer 2-Negative, and Center reads you the weather.
Choose 3-VOR DME-B (on page 2)
Choose 1-No Rwy.
You’ll be told to expect that approach. Shortly, Center reads the NOTAM Advisory and clears you for “the full VOR DME-B approach”. We enabled NOTAMs for KTHA on the Controller Tab. You’re not bound to heading/altitude assignments with NOTAMs enabled.
Pause the sim. Here where preplanning is of benefit again. We’re going to practice KTHA’s VOR DME-B approach.
With SYI VOR still in Nav 1, set the OBS to the 140°. Plan on heading 100° to intercept, then per your clearance maintain 2900 ft until established (Center assigned 2900 ft, the plate calls for 3000 ft. Always opt for the higher altitudes), and 2200 ft until CLOVE.
Keep in mind, when Center asked which approach you’d like, you could have advised you’d take a visual, then change your mind by asking Center or Tower for an IAP. Further, though you’re currently cleared for an IAP approach, call the field in sight for a visual anytime.
Unpause, shoot the approach.
You’re switched to Tower at 10 miles KTHA, and eventually cleared to land. On short final at the DH (1560’) climb, accelerate, and choose 2 - Missed Apch.
You’ll call missed approach and Tower will acknowledge, then have you return to Center frequency. Center calls Radar Contact and asks your intentions. Make no choices, pause the sim. Save Flight, and enter “tut4 3 MA KTHA at SI Menu” (no quotes). Return to this file as many times as necessary, to explore the post-missed approach options when an Approach controller is not available.
Post Missed Approach Options (Without an Approach Controller)
Your post-missed approach options are identical here (with KTHA having no approach controller), as they were back at KSYI (no approach controller there either). You’re free to practice holding, shoot another approach, or return to KMQY.
There will be times where, though you filed an airport as one of your alternates, the Land KXXX for that airport isn’t available until you choose 2-Hold as Pub, or 4-IAP Apch. Such is the case with your Alternate 2, KFYM (Fayetteville, TN).
Unpause. Choose 2 - Hold as Pub. You’ll be cleared to hold, and “if able” maintain 5000. All controllers regarding the KTHA airport clear with respect to our having enabled NOTAMs. As you see on the approach plate, the holding pattern is back at SYI. Turn towards the VOR.
Take a moment and toggle through the AdvDisp pages to become familiar with your options. Return to Saved file “tut4 3…” at a more convenient time for reference and refresher. Preplan as soon as you have time; we’re next going to KFYM, to shoot the SDF Rwy 20 approach.
On the AdvDisp page 3, select 2 - Land at KFYM
Advise Center you’ll take 5000 when asked, be selecting 1 - 5000. Center reminds you of the NOTAM advisory and asks you to advise when you can proceed on course. This is no different than if you had enabled NOTAMs for a regular departure airport. The Dept controller would have asked you to do the same. Until you do, your ability to remain on course, fly headings, or maintain assigned altitudes will not be critiqued.
In this flight, KFYM (a non-NOTAM field) is close enough where we’re switched to Approach almost before we can tell Center we’re clear of obstructions and can accept any/all clearances verbatim. If this happens, be aware so far as the next controller is concerned, you have called on course. You will be critiqued on your performance.
When Center clears you “via direct”, acknowledge the clearance and turn towards KFYM, approx heading 220°. You’ll be switched to KFYM Approach very quickly.
When you are switched and Approach advises of the active runway, pause the sim. Save Flight, and enter “tut4 4 KFYM Approach (early)” (no quotes).
KFYM is a Center/Approach controller field only, no Tower/Ground controllers. The Approach phase however is identical to if it were a fully controlled field, much like our having gone into KATL in tutorial #3.
The main difference between fields with/without Approach controllers lays in your missed approach options. We’ll discuss that here at KFYM, and will leave it up to you how you get to the missed approach point. You can request “the full” SDF Rwy 20 approach, or allow the controller to vector you to the localizer.
Regardless of your choice, this plate will be handy as there is no glideslope. When on final and close to the airport, Approach terminates radar service much like Center does. This is due to there being no Tower/Ground controllers to confirm landing. Unpause, shoot the approach.
On short final at the DH (1380’) climb, accelerate and choose 2 - Missed Apch.
The Approach controller will acknowledge, assign a 195 heading and an altitude of 3000, then ask your intentions. Save Flight, and enter “tut4 5 MA KFYM at SI Menu” (no quotes). Return to this file as many times as necessary, to explore the post-missed approach options when an Approach controller is on duty.
Post Missed Approach Options (With an Approach Controller)
These are the options available, after a missed approach, when there is an Approach controller:
1-Vect Apch (Approach controller only) - You’d like to be vectored for the preferred “active” runway. That could be from having just been vectored, or having shot an IAP approach. You’re asking the Approach controller to do the work. Approach assigns headings/altitudes that set you up for a normal vectored approach. After having chosen Vect Apch, your options aren’t cutoff. You’re free to request a visual or IAP, ask to Land at (any one of the airports you’ve filed), etc.
2-Hold as Pub (Approach and Center) - You’d like to delay a bit in a holding pattern in the hope for improved weather. You’ll be told “…hold as published, maintain (altitude)”. There is no assigned radial/dme fix. You’re holding per your plates. After a random holding period, the controller will vector you back into the pattern (Approach only) or clear you for another IAP Approach, whichever approach routine you just missed from. While in the holding pattern, you have the options to request a visual or IAP, ask Approach for (3-Req Vector App) vectors to the preferred “active”, or Land at (any one of the airports you’ve filed).
3-Delay Vectors (Approach controller only) - You’d like to delay a bit but you don’t have any plates. The controller issues various delay vectors, keeping you within 30 miles of the airport. After a random holding period, expect the controller to vector you back into the pattern or clear you for another IAP Approach, whichever approach routine you just missed from. While in the delay vectors, you have the options to request a visual or IAP, or ask Approach for (3-Req Vector App) vectors to the preferred “active”. In other words, you’re ready to try again now. You’re able to request alternate runways if necessary. And of course, your option to “Land at” (any one of the airports you’ve filed) option is always there.
4-IAP Apch (Approach and Center) - You’d like to shoot a “full” approach without assistance from ATC. Choose this whether you’ve just come from an IAP, or standard vectors. You’re welcome to shoot the same IAP you just missed from, or try another, your call.
5-Land at KMQY (Approach and Center) - Your original departure airport. If you choose this, advise Approach of your requested altitude per the menu(s). He’ll have you contact Departure who gets you on your way. Taking advantage of Land at (Dept field) is only one of two ways to plan a Round Robin flight. Round Robin flights are discussed in tutorial #5.
Select 5-Land at KMQY
Tell Approach we’ll return to KMQY at 7000 by selecting5 - 7000. Approach will switch you to Departure.
You’ll be either cleared direct or put on assigned headings, and climbed to 7000. KMQY is only (approx) 60 miles to the north, a short distance home. It’s been a long day. Let’s keep the radios, but give Otto the aircraft controls on our way into KMQY.
KMQY has four IFR approaches, only one of which is an ILS. Let’s plan on asking Approach for “the full” ILS rwy 32 approach. Don’t forget, you have the radios. 2-Lv Freq for Wx as you near Approach airspace.
Save Flight when you first contact Approach, after he’s told you what runway to expect (optional). Request (IAP) “the full ILS Rwy 32 approach”.
Choose 2 - ILS
Choose 5 – 32/11110
You’ll be cleared for the IAP, then automatically take the aircraft from Otto. Your co-pilot does not fly IAP approaches, but will handle the radios if you want.
At 5 miles out you'll contact Tower who will issue the winds and when appropriate, clear you to land.
After touchdown and slowed, tower will tell you to “…exit the next high speed and hold, contact ground on…”. Once you have exited the runway, the co-pilot will contact Ground. Taxi to your gate. All post flight and shutdown checklist completed, set your parking brakes and choose between Flight Critique for a flight synopsis, or End RC to close the program.
Flying this tutorial beginning to end brings to light; there are far too many combinations of options depending on circumstances, to list all possibilities in all scenarios, at every point in this writing. We urge you to use your Saved files often and with diligence. In time you’ll see how versatile and powerful RC has become.
Questions or comments? Your RC staff and veteran users are ready to help. The RC forum is at RC Support Forum. There are always several RC users there, eager to assist. Thank you for using RC!
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