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Flightgear Practice Flights #1: San Francisco to Half Moon Bay

Updated on May 12, 2011

Flightplan KSFO-KHAF: Click to Enlarge

For all you flight enthusiasts and flight simmers, just thought I'd share some practice flight plans that I created to practice flying on Flightgear with the Cessna 172.

These are of course, my inventions, and have nothing to do with the actual flights, neither would these probably be acceptable for a pilot. It just helps me tune my air navigation skills, and I hope it helps you too!

If you have no clue about flight navigation, stop right here, and head over to this article for a crash course on radio navigation. If you like theory though, read Flight Simulator Navigation. It is an excellent, award-winning tutorial on air navigation. Pay careful attention to NDB and VOR navigation and approach tutorials and practice the flights in the tutorial before starting out on this flight plan.

Having said that, lets look at our plan. The navigational aids we are going to use are as follows

  1. The KSFO VOR
  2. The SAU VOR
  3. The BRIJJ NDB

The frequencies for these navaids are mentioned in the flightplan. You should download and study the flightplan and keep it with you for reference during your flight.

The actual flight path is indicated with slightly thicker green arrows. The red lines are lines drawn to navaids for reference used to design the flightplan. These red lines show you wihich navaids are used for decision making at any point in the flight path. Numbers at each intersection in the flight indicate the target height you should reach when you touch the intersection point.

To fly this plan, simply set the NAV1, NAV2 and ADF frequencies in the Radio Settings panel, and start your flight. Set the OBS headings on the NAV1 and NAV2 indicators to the indicated heading. Also start the engines of your aircraft with the parking brakes on and set the ADF indicator heading to match your gyro. If you don't see the indicator on your screen, you may need to adjust the view angle just a wee bit so that the ADF indicator comes into view. Hide the yoke if you can't see the ADF indicator clearly.

In the first section of your flight, keep on the 28 radial from the KSFO VOR.Keep the flight going on the VOR with NAV1 until you see the NAV2 indicator moving towards the center of the gauge.Take a standard turn and align with the SAU VOR on radial 17.Once your aligned, its time to start descending. Turn your attention to the ADF indicator now so that you can find the right spot to take a turn for the final approach.The moment the ADF heading shows 70, make a standard left turn towards 120(Marked 12 on the gyro) and align with the runway.After that, its up to you to make a skillful and beautiful aigned approach and landing on the wonderful and scenic Half Moon Bay!

Hope you liked the plan. If you flew this plan and liked it, send me a comment or two. If you're a pilot, let me know if there are any corrections I need to make to this flightplan. I'd love to hear from you all.

I will be posting many more plans as I explore Flightgear. I hope it helps other fellow simmers and aspiring pilots have a great time flying!


As promised, here is the next practice flight! Enjoy!!!


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Hi!....I want to hide the yoke . How to do that ?

    • profile image

      Zain Ally 

      3 years ago

      I just came across your article on navigation recently and after reading that wanted to take this first practice flight. the ADF does not work for me at all. I am using FlightGear 3.2.0. My ADF is switched on, frequency set to 379 but the needle barely moves. Interestingly, the inbuilt map does not show BRIJJ NDB, nor does the ADF relay any morse code. I am suspecting that BRIJJ is not active in FlightGear 3.2.0. Could that be?

    • mahadevank profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Bangalore

      I'm checking this page after nearly two years, so glad to see that the tutorials were useful. If you people are still active, I'd love to write out more flight plans!

      @kaz should work fine even in 2.0 too.

      I wrote out these plans after flying them myself :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Worked for me, at least at the moment when i realised that i have to switch the ADF receiver from Antenna to ADF :D

      thanks for your great tutorials!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      didn't work for me maybe cause im flying 2.0

    • aravindb1982 profile image

      Aravind Balasubramanya 

      6 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      You've got me eager to try it out. The way you describe it, one can think that one is flying the real thing. No wonder that it is a flight simulator!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Interesting information.

    • mahadevank profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Bangalore

      Wow! Didn't expect to hear from someone so quickly. Hope you flew this plan and enjoyed it!

    • Phillbert profile image

      Phillip Drayer Duncan 

      7 years ago from The Ozarks

      Very cool!


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