Head in the Clouds, Charlie


My IFR clearance—a concept which I’ve been meaning to devote an entire bloggity-blog post to—was issued by air traffic control as follows:

Cessna three-two-three-romeo-foxtrot is cleared to the Napa County Airport via: on takeoff, right turn, heading zero-six-zero within one nautical mile of the airport, radar vectors IMPLY intersection, Victor one-oh-seven, Oakland, Victor one-ninety-five, CROIT intersection, Victor one-oh-eight, Scaggs Island, direct. Climb and maintain three thousand; expect five thousand, five minutes after departure. Departure frequency is one-two-one-point-three, squawk zero-three-two-three.

It took me about ten minutes to set up the departure.
Everything went mostly fine… until my vacuum pump failed.
Then it got interesting.

My intended (and cleared!) course (roughly, since the Oakland VOR isn’t depicted on this chart) is in blue.
The course I flew is green.
Altitude graph is highlighted in teal.
Commentary in red.
Not bad for my first attempt at a departure procedure, which included a instrument failure.
I immediately declared an emergency when equipment started failing, which is what you’d do in the real world, but “air traffic control,” (aka my flight instructor) said “Alright; radar services terminated, resume your own navigation, good day.”
Jerk. ;-)
All in all, it was a fun, useful day of (simulated) flying.