@bben and @Ceafus 88 This is just basics, there is a lot more that hasn't been covered
Part 4: VOR Navigation & Mountain Flying (1/2)
As you've probably found out by now, the GPS comes in handy for navigation. But hopefully you haven't learned to rely on it too much, because in this tutorial we are not going to use it. How, then, are we going to get from point A to B? The answer is by navigation between VORs.
VOR, short for VMF Omnidirectional Range (VHF stands for very high frequency), is a short-range radio navigation system. Aircraft are equipped with VOR receivers, which receive radio signals transmitted by ground beacons. The ground stations transmit two radio signals: one is constant in all directions, and the other one rotates around the station at a rate of 30 times per second. Equipment on-board an aircraft compare the two signals to interpret a radial from the station.
To head toward a VOR radial, first the VOR station's frequency must be entered into the navigation radio, similar to how we enter a runway's ILS frequency into the radio. We then enter a course into an instrument known as a VOR indicator. Radials point away from the VOR station. In this case, if we enter a course of 300 degrees, this means we will be flying along the reciprocal, which in this case is 120 degrees (300-180=120).
Load up your C172 save and open up the flight planner. We'll fly a short hop across the Tetons from KJAC to KIDA. But we need to set up the flight plan differently. On the screen, instead of Direct - GPS, choose VOR to VOR.
Change the cruising altitude to 10,500 feet. The C172 is unable to climb higher than 13,500, but about 10,000 is the highest the plane will climb to without losing significant vertical speed. When that's done, allow the simulator to move your aircraft to the correct airport and start up the plane. Now, on the menu bar, go to the Flights menu, go to Kneeboard, and choose NavLog. Resize the resulting window so you can see the entire thing.
This is your flight plan, except on paper. We will take off from KJAC, head to the JAC VOR as soon as we take off, then head to the IDA VOR and from there, perform an ILS landing at runway 20 at KIDA. There are two bits of information that will be necessary here. In red, we have the VOR frequency. In blue we have the VOR radial we need to intercept. You may find it useful to write down the VOR name, frequency, and course so that the kneeboard isn't in the way.
When you're ready, close the kneeboard. There are two VOR indicators, we will be using the second one, to the right of the VSI.
The indicator has four parts:
A Course Card, which is the circular part outside the instrument with the headings on it. The course card indicates the currently chosen VOR bearing.
An Omnibearing Selector, which rotates the course card. Notice the little yellow arrow under N (North) on the course card. The selected bearing will always show at the top of the course card, under the yellow arrow at the top.
Course Deviation Indicator (CDI). This consists of a needle which swings to the left or right to direct you back to the correct course. If the needle swings to the right, turn to the right until the line is centered. If it swings to the left, turn to the left. Keep an eye on the CDI in order to maintain course.
A to-from indicator. This will consist of an arrow that points UP when you are heading TO the VOR station, and point DOWN when you are heading away FROM the VOR station. When the arrow points down, it is time to switch to the next VOR. When the VOR is out of range, or not tuned in, or the VOR station is inoperative, a red flag will be shown instead.
First, on the NAV 2 radio, enter the JAC VOR frequency of 115.40 and turn on the NAV 2 audio. Don't forget to switch 115.40 from standby to active.
Listen for the morse code. When you hear it, you can turn off NAV 2 audio. Watch the VOR 2 Indicator, you should see the CDI moving and the to/from indicator changing from a red flag to an arrow pointing upward. Enter the correct heading by turning the OBS selector slightly to the left for a course of 6 degrees.
Now, set the autopilot to an altitude of 10,500. Set your trim and lean out your fuel mixture to about 50% and take off. Don't forget to monitor your fuel mixture since we are at a high altitude. When you're clear of the runway, turn on the autopilot and ALT switch and begin flying to the VOR.
When the arrow begins pointing downward, get the next VOR radial, in this case, 252. Enter it into the VOR indicator, enter the frequency for IDA (113.85) into the NAV 2 radio, and watch the VOR indicator. Keep an eye on the mountains, as you will be flying very close to some of them.
When flying between mountains look for valleys and mountain passes and fly along/between those. Attempting to gain altitude quickly enough to fly over the tops of mountains can result in a stall as you're losing too much air speed. The risks associated with mountain flying are, of course, worth the scenic views!
Save the flight and we will pick up here later.