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RFields5421

Flying VFR, low on fuel and the destination airport is only doing IFR Approaches.

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What do you do? I was flying the Cessna 172 from Mackinac Island to Battle Creek and the weather deteriorated on the way. When I asked to land I was denied and I can't personally do instrument flying(been out of simming for a couple of years). I could see the airport, the visibility wasn't that bad so I landed anyway , since it is a sim afterall. But what if this happens in real life and you're low on fuel? Its not like you can fly around for long looking for a place to land. Would ATC turn you back if you're flying VFR and the weather starts getting round and your tiny plane is tossed? Do you argue with ATC until they give in? Do you land on the road? Crash?

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I'll give it a stab.There are plenty of places to land in between Mackinac Island and Battle Creek-and based on your preflight weather briefing you should have possibly never attempted the trip(it never hurts to be a weather chicken as a vfr pilot)- once you saw things were going sour, you should probably have landed at the closest airport to wait it out or returned to an area of better weather where you could land. When you plan your flight initially you should have a back up plan in mind in case things don't go as expected (such as a good idea of of how the weather is trending, where to head if the weather goes sour, airports along the route you could stop at to wait it out, and your fuel range to do any of the above).However, since you continued(and sometimes despite good plans things just don't turn out right), once in contact with atc you should have confessed you were not ifr rated, minimum fuel, and if necessary declared an emergency. True-you might be in trouble with the Faa after you landed-but at that point atc would do their best to either vector you to a vfr airport within range-or do their best to get you down safely. Even though I am ifr rated, I always have an idea of where I can head to better weather. I also always plan a maximum 3 hour leg on a plane with a 4.7 hour range. If I am not doing the approach by the third hour-the airport better have pretty good conditions for me to continue-or I will choose an alternate airport to land at. In any case I refuse to ever fly over 3.5 hours-period-and my choices are made with that plan in mind. I also fly with live xm weather feeds and consider that to be the most useful thing around. The whole flight I monitor the trends, nexrad and the metars for all the airports I am passing over and within my route. This way I can constantly replan to stay within my 3-3.5 hour rule.Glad you made it! :-) Running out of fuel and getting into weather over the pilot's abilities are consistantly what get pilot's into the most trouble.http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpgForum Moderatorhttp://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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Not a real world pilot, but the most important thing is your flight planning. Make sure to have backup locations to go to, and make sure to have plenty of fuel. I would imagine the 45 minutes of extra fuel rule applies here as well. Next important thing is a good chart. I prefer paper charts since they make life much easier even in the sim. I just ordered all the sectionals for U.S and Alaska, and it was very expensive, but it's worth having for many reasons. Knowing where you are at all times and being able to grab the map quickly to find the best place to divert is key. Obviously the sim limits how realistic you can be in this regard, since you can't ask ATC for the closest VMC airport. Best bet is to have a few key locations on paper for ATIS frequencies and tune to them to see where to go. The sectionals have the ASOS/AWOS frequencies on them for a lot of airports.

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For Flight Simulator you have two choices.1. Land at that airport anyway, or2. Open the flght planner and file an IFR flight plan with the airport as the destination. Do NOT allow FS to move your aircraft to the origin airport in the FP.

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