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KPVU-KGCN Tutorials



Your sixth flight demonstrates varying Levels of ATC Service.  We’ll look at:

  • Depart and arrival at partially controlled fields.  KPVU has no Ground/Tower controllers, but is served by an overlying Approach control.  KGCN has no Approach control, but is served by Tower/Ground controllers. 
  • Entering Alternate Airport(s)
  • General RC departure and arrival procedures for partially controlled fields
  • NOTAMs
  • Returning to your departure field (unplanned)
  • The co-pilot on comms and at aircraft controls
  • Save/Load
  • IAP & Visual approaches into Tower/Ground only fields

The Plan

  • 258 miles, prop (FS Mooney),

  • Route: KPVU..BCE..GCN..KGCN

  • Alternate Airport 1 - KSLC

Launch FS and position your aircraft at KPVUStart RC. Click the FS200x (*.pln) button, and choose the V4 6 KPVU-KGCN.pln.

Controller Info

Type KSLC under Alternate 1 and click Find.  Enable NOTAMs for KPVU, KGCN and KSLC by checking the NOTAMs boxes.  Enter 130 for cruise altitude. 

Click OK.

General Options Tab

Let’s use Mooney 31RC for this flight’s call sign, and select Prop for type aircraft.  Ensure the AI Chatter is checked, and Holding is OFF.  Leave the three Deviations settings at default.  Along the right column we want Display Text, Pause at Distance and Pilot Autoreply unchecked.  Set Play Pilot Wavs, Interact with AI, Chkpt Ding, and Tune on Contact checked.  Enter 2 Souls on Board.

Click OK

On RC’s main Page click Start RC.

Maximize FS and Preflight

Load the V4 6 KPVU-KGCN.pln into your FS GPS.  Flights/Flight Planner/Load, choose V4 6 KPVU-KGDN.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 radios. 

Provo Weather (from Flight Service Station)

At airports with no ATIS available, you must call FSS for your weather briefing.  Press keyboard 2 to phone FSS.  Pay close attention to this briefing.  There is no Ground controller who’ll guide you to a preferred runway.  You’ll make that decision based on winds, and make position calls to the local traffic of your progress.



IMPORTANT NOTE - At airports not served by Clearance Delivery or Ground/Tower controllers, the co-pilot will not accept the aircraft controls, and/or radios until airborne.

Provo Clearance Delivery (from Flight Service Station)

One of two things can happen:

If the area weather is VMC, you’ll see two lines on the AdvDisp-  4-CLR thru FSS, and 5-CLR in Air.  You have the option to phone FSS a second time, or takeoff VFR and call the controller airborne.

If the area weather is IMC, you’ll see only one line on the AdvDisp-  4-CLR thru FSS.  You have no choice but to call FSS.

In this tutorial we’ll call FSS while still on the ground for our clearance but before we do, (optional) pause the sim.  Save Flight and enter “tut6 1 KPVU on ground” (no quotes), click OK.  Return to this situation later, choosing to get your clearance in the air for learning purposes.  We’ll do just that, in tutorial #8.

Unpause.  Select 4-CLR thru FSS.  If you’re not sure what you just heard, ask the FSS agent to repeat the clearance using Ctrl-Shift-/.  Press 7-Ack when you have what you need.

You’re familiar with part of the clearance, but the NOTAM advisory and Clearance Void Time part may have left you baffled.  If necessary, pause the sim and refer to RC’s Manual sections   NOTAMs, and Uncontrolled Field “Nice to Know” Info/UF Departures for explanations.  We’ll be discussing these topics here as well.

KPVU is in mountainous terrain.  Having enabled NOTAMs allows us to circumnavigate all obstructions without controller recourse.  It is important however, that you do as your clearance stated; “…advise the controller when you can proceed on course”.  That menu option will become available once airborne.

Briefly, having a Clearance Void Time included in your clearance tells you you may not sit at KPVU indefinitely.  When an aircraft is cleared off or into an uncontrolled airport, the pilot of that aircraft “owns” that airport.  ATC can do nothing (clear anyone else in or out of), until he/she is heard from.  Thus, RC will shut down if you’re not airborne by your void time.  You’ve got about 15 minutes. 

Provo UNICOM (Ground)

Unpause.  Your AdvDisp shows all available airport runways.  Decide which you’d like to takeoff from (respect to winds in your briefing), make the selection, then taxi to that runway.

 While taxiing, prep the aircraft for takeoff and be into those checklists.  Remember, your co-pilot will not accept the aircraft controls/radio until airborne.


Provo UNICOM (Tower)

There is no need to “hold short” at uncontrolled fields.  Taxi onto the runway with respect to other traffic.  Select n-T/O Rwy X (your runway of choice). 




On the next menu, (BCE VOR is to the south) select 5-S Departure and start down the runway.




Provo Departure

You do not need to turn towards BCE until you’re comfortable with things.  Do what you need to do to remain clear of obstructions.  Call the Departure controller leaving approx 1000 ft agl. 

 Departure says Radar Contact, issues an altitude, and reminds you to advise him when you can proceed on course.  Until you do, your performance will not be critiqued. 


When you’re southbound and can see you’re well clear of obstructions, select 3-NOTAMs on Course.




IMPORTANT NOTE -  Otto will accept the aircraft controls once airborne in a NOTAM flight, even if you haven’t selected NOTAMs on course.  However, he/she will not turn on course until this selection is made.

Return to KPVU (unplanned)

When you’ve flown 15 miles south of KPVU (147 miles to BCE), pause the sim.  Save Flight and enter “tut6 2 15m S KPVU” (no quotes) and click OK.  You’ll return to this file after the following demonstration.

In every RC flight with a Departure controller, at 10 miles from your departure airport, returning to that airport becomes an available option.  This is handy, because you don’t have to wait until you’re switched to Center (where Change of Destination becomes available), or after a missed approach (where the Land at XXX airports are).

Unpause.  On the AdvDisp, go to page 2 and select 3-Return to KPVU.  Departure will clear you back to KPVU, assign an altitude and remind you of the NOTAM advisory pertinent to the area.  He will then tell you to contact Approach.



Provo Approach

Contact the Approach controller, who will advise which runway he’ll put you on. 




You have normal options at this point; alternate runway, visual approach, IAP, etc.  You can even change your mind (again), and request clearance back to KGCN.  All clearances will be prefaced with “if feasible”, “if able”, or “when able”.  You are responsible for obstructions avoidance.



 Five miles out, your flight plan is cancelled, and a new set of options become available.




Visually, this is what happened:

Experiment with “tut6 2 15m S KPVU” now or at a more convenient time.

KPVU-KGCN (continued)

If you returned to KPVU, start RC, and load the saved flight “tut6 2 15m S KPVU” (no quotes).

Delegate the controls/radios to the co-pilot anytime you’re ready for a break. 

Salt Lake Center

About 125 miles from BCE, you will be switched to Salt Lake Center

 About 100 miles from BCE, you will switch to another Salt Lake Center controller, this is a sector switch.



At approximately 75 miles from the BCE VOR it becomes apparent, you will either have to circumnavigate the mountains up ahead, or climb.  RC has no enroute NOTAM feature.  Some have used the Dev for Wx feature in cases such as this, but let’s stay realistic.  Let’s climb higher. Press 4



Select 4 – 17000 by pressing 4

 You may only be climbed to 15000. As you near 14000, you will be told to “… climb and maintain 17000…”



At 25 miles from the BCE VOR, pause the sim.  Save Flight and enter “tut6 3 25 miles BCE 170” (no quotes) and click OK.  Use this file to experiment with the various RC enroute options.  Look at Change of Destination (don’t forget to enable NOTAMs; it’s pretty hilly out there), Emergencies, Dev for Wx/Turb, etc- anything you’re not clear on, or would like to see from an angle not covered in the tutorials.  As always, our forum is at www.wavsim.com for individual help.


Unpause.  About 15 miles from BCE you will be switched to another Salt Lake Center controller. This is another sector switch.




As we progress the BCE VOR, our next checkpoint (GCN VOR) isn’t within reception range.  We know from our flight plan we can track outbound on the BCE 164° until we receive GCN suitable for navigation.  Do this, or use the FS GPS to remain on course.  The heading display in the AdvDisp is a no-wind heading.



Glancing out the window now, it appears we’re clear of most mountainous terrain.  The Grand Canyon isn’t too far up ahead.  For a better look at things, request 130.  Press 5 – Req Lower




Press 4 – 13000. There are no lower altitudes available, due to the MSA and the upcoming crossing restriction. Again, you may be told to descend to 15000.

 You may be denied, and asked to try again in 2 minutes. If this happens, wait 2 minutes, and request lower again.


Los Angeles Center

While descending, you will be switched to Los Angeles Center.  When you call center, notice you check in “…leaving 16000 for 15000…”.

Los Angeles Center acknowledges you, and then further clears you to 13000.




At 60 miles from GCN VOR, Center asks if you need the KGCN weather report, and which approach you’d like.  Do not respond, make no choices, pause the sim.  Save and enter “tut6 4 60 miles GCN 110” (no quotes).



Center/Tower/Ground (CTG) Arrival Phase

Unpause and if you do have the weather, reply 1-Affirmative.  If not, 2-Negative and Center will read the arrival weather to you.




You have approach choices to make.





  • 1-Vis App  -  You’ll advise Center you’d like a visual approach.  Nearing the field, it’s your responsibility to report the Field in Sight.  You can do this on Center frequency, or with Tower.  If nearing the airport you find a visual approach isn’t practical after all, the IAP option will be available.  This request can be made on Center or Tower frequency.
  • 2-IAP  -  First choose an approach name/runway (if applicable).  Choosing NONE/NONE yields “…the full approach”.  The same rules apply as if you’d chosen an approach with a specific name.  If as you near the airport area you do get the field in sight, the Field in Sight option will be available.  You’ll then be cleared for a visual.  This request can be made on Center or Tower frequency.

IMPORTANT NOTE -   When the menu appears with 1-Vis App and 2-IAP, be sure of your preference (especially if you haven’t Saved prior to this point).  You cannot for instance, select IAP, then before selecting a specific IAP approach name, use the 0 (Home) command to return to the 1-Vis App/2-IAP menu.  If you change your mind while in the IAP menu, follow through with the IAP request. 

Return to “tut6 4 60 miles GCN 110” as many times as you wish to experiment with the options. 

Visual Approach

When you’re ready, Load Flight “tut4 6…” and choose 1-Vis App.  Center will acknowledge, and you’ll notice the IAP and Field in Sight menu options are now available along with several others.




32 miles from GCN, you will be told by the center controller …”NOTAM advisory….if feasible maintain 12000…”

By 25 miles GCN, the Grand Canyon will be clearly in view. Pause the sim, and take a look around. Very well done. The KGCN VOR Rwy 3 approach plate is provided for your convenience, if the weather be IMC in your flight.



Grand Canyon Tower

Center will have you contact Tower 10 miles from the airport.  Report the field in sight to Center or Tower, whomever you’re talking to when it appears and shoot a visual to the wind preferred runway.  Again, the IAP option is there if you need it.  Notice, no Vect App option (there is no Approach controller).



Grand Canyon Ground

After touchdown and slowed, contact Ground and taxi to the ramp.  All post flight and shutdown checklists completed, set the parking brakes and choose between Flight Critique for a flight synopsis, or End RC to close the program.



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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