Basic of Navigation

Practical Exam Scenarios

For these scenarios you can use either real world weather or clear skies.  Do not select other weather scenarios.
These are to be VFR flights using a stock FSX aircraft (including those who use P3D) - Baron 58 or Cessna 172 recommended - with departures to be done using the recommended pattern departure unless the pilot in command provides justification to do otherwise.  Pattern entry for landing must be done by the recommended procedure, including landings where crossing the field from the non-pattern side is required.  Navaid and airway references are used to provide the required route but the scenarios do not constitute a flight under instrument flight rules.  Sectional chart links are given but you may also use other map aids like Plan-G or Little Navmap..

For each scenario you will be expected to do the following - if you do not adhere to all requirements you will be required to repeat the practical exam:

  • Select the correct altitude based on direction of flight, terrain, obstructions or other factors for VFR flight

  • Make turns which minimize the maneuvers required to establish yourself on the direction of flight, when required

  • Identify and fly a reasonable course to intercept the desired VOR radial, NDB bearing or airway when required.  Anticipate turns at intercept points to minimize deviation from the prescribed course.

  • Verify each navaid used by the identifier code for each navaid. (Have your navigation radios tuned ahead of time in anticipation of changeover from one navaid to another).

  • Departure and landing should use the most optimum runway for winds if winds are a factor and must be flown consistent with published pattern procedures (see the Sectional chart).  When a cross-field entry is required this should be done using the recommended procedure.  Non-standard pattern turn direction will be identified on the sectional.  (You can zoom in and out when viewing the sectional and move the sectional chart by clicking and holding and moving the mouse)

  • Proper radio procedures for non-towered airports must be used.  If needed you can review the information on our Aviation Communications page.

  • Use of the autopilot for vertical navigation is permitted.  ALL LATERAL NAVIGATION must be one by hand.

As always, if you find an error in a scenario or find that there is a dependency in or absence of a navaid or airport in your flight simulator vs. what is shown on the Sectional please let an instructor know about the issue.

NOTE:  In lieu of one of the scenarios below the examiner may chose to fly an NDB or VOR approach.  In general this option is available to pilots doing real-world training although others may be considered if requested.  In order to exercise this option you should be familiar with the Basics of Reading Approach Plates and the fundamental principles of Procedure Turns, Circle to Land and DME Arcs.  

Scenario 1

See the Sectional for reference

Depart Fairbury Municipal (KFBY)

Intersect the 212 degree bearing of the Fairbury NDB (FBY, 293.0 KHz) outbound to the north northeast

Join V532 and fly to the Lincoln VORTAC (LNK, 116.10 MHz)

Cross the LNK VORTAC, remain on the 010 degree radial of the LNC VORTAC and switch over to the Wahoo NDB (AHQ, 400.0 Mhz) and continue to the Wahoo NDB.
At the Wahoo NDB fly outbound on the 241 degree bearing heading northeast for 24 NM to land
Confirm your location at or just prior the destination airport using the Omaha VORTAC (OVR, 116.30 MHz) - the destination airport is on the 302 degree radial of the OVR VORTAC


Scenario 2

See the Sectional for reference

Depart Heart of Georgia Regional (KEZM)

Fly direct to the McRae NDB (MQW, 280.0 KHz)
Cross the McRae NDB and fly direct to the Hazlehurst NDB (AZE, 414.0 KHz)

Continue across the Hazlehurst NDB and fly outbound on the 323 degree bearing to intersect the Victor airway V51

Fly on V51 to the Alma VORTAC (AMG, 115.10 MHz) and intercept the Victor airway V157

Fly on V157 to the Waycross VORTAC (AYS, 110.20 MHz)

At (or shortly before) the Waycross VOR fly outbound on the 104 deg radial for approximately 8 NM

Land at Waycross-Ware County airport (KAYS)

Scenario 3

See the Sectional for reference

Depart Woodward (KCDN) to the west
When in range of the Winnsboro NDB (FDW, 414.0 KHz), fly direct to the FDW NDB
Tune to the Colombia VORTAC (CAE, 114.70 MHz) in preparation to intercept V311 airway (near the Whiteplains airport)

Enter V311 and fly southeast to the Colombia VORTAC

Cross the Colombia VORTAC and fly outbound on the 134 degree radial
Tune to the Vance VORTAC (VAN, 110.40 MHz) - when approximately half way between the Colombia and Vance VORTACs switch and fly to the Vance VORTAC

At the Vance VORTAC Turn and fly outbound to the east on the 068 degree radial for to Santee Cooper Regional (KMNI) approximately 14 DME on the VAN 068 degree radial)
(Santee Cooper Regional has an on-field NDB - Manning NDB, MNI, 381.0 KHz).  Land at KMNI

Scenario 4

See the Sectional for reference

Depart Stillwater Municipal (KSWO) to the east and intercept the 118 degree radial of the Stillwater VOR (SWO, 108.40 MHz). 

Fly outbound on the SWO 118 degree radial until you intercept the 180 degree bearing of the Cushing NDB (CUH, 242.0 KHz).

Fly to the Cushing NDB and at the NDB turn to fly outbound, heading east southeast on the 283 degree bearing of the CUH NDB for approximately 20 NM (you will overfly an airport approximately 18 NM from the CUH NDB).

Intercept the Victor airway V436 (TULSA VORTAC - TUL, 114.40 MHz) and fly on V436 towards the TULSA VORTAC
When you are 14 DME from the TULSA VORTAC (there will be an airport to the northeast) intercept the 317 degree bearing of the William Pogue Sand Springs NDB (OWP, 362.0 KHz) which is located at Pogue Municipal airport (KOWP).  Land at that airport

Scenario 5

See the Sectional for reference

Depart Wilburton Municipal (H05) to the west.  Fly to the Mc Alester VORTAC (MLC, 112.00 MHz)
At the Mc Alester VORTAC turn to fly outbound on the Victor airway V272
Fly on V272  to the HOLLE intersection (35 DME from MLC)
Turn at HOLLE to fly northwest, inbound on the 324 bearing of the Seminole NDB (SRE, 278.0 KHz)

At the Seminole NDB turn west northwest and fly outbound (to the northwest) on the 108 degree bearing of the SRE NDB for 14 NM to Shawnee Regional airport - KSNL - (triangulate using other navaids to confirm your location as needed).
Land at Shawnee Regional airport.