Inoperative GPS enroute to Chico, CA

Practice VFR or IFR navigation without GPS enroute from RBL to CIC. Review chart symbology and IFR alternate requirements.

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Departure Airport

Identifier: KRBL
Name: Red Bluff Airport
Location: Red Bluff, California

Distance: 28 nautical miles

PilotEdge ATC coverage:

Chico Municipal Tower, San Fransisco Approach

Arrival Airport

Identifier: KCIC
Name: Chico Municipal
Location: Chico, California

General Considerations and Preflight Review

  • Aircraft loading (weight and balance) at your discretion

  • Inoperative equipment: GPS

    Set up this failure when starting the sim.

    • X-Plane 11: Search for GPS in the failures menu and set GPS 1 and GPS 2 to Failed

    • MSFS2020: There is no GPS failure by default, so either switch the GPS to a page without the moving map or other data, or try an add-on such as RandFailuresFS2020

  • Recommended reading: AC 91-67, Figure 2. Think about what factors to consider when deciding whether you can depart with inoperative equipment like GPS.

  • If you finish the flight quickly and would like to fly further, consider departing to the Oroville airport (KOVE) for your final landing.

If you want to fly under VFR:

  • If real-world weather is IMC: Set weather to clear skies and calm winds

  • Since your GPS is INOP, the focus for today’s flight will be using visual references (aka ”pilotage”) to get to Chico.

    For more information about pilotage, check out the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Chapter 16

  • There is a fair amount of chart clutter along the route when it comes to roads, railway tracks, power lines, and rivers.

    So in your preflight planning, try to be very clear as to what you need to look for in the air.

  • Review the Topographical Information on the San Francisco sectional chart legend

    You will notice that is other topographical information depicted on the chart that is not on the legend.

    To identify these markings, refer to the Aeronautical Chart Users’ Guide starting around page 34.

  • What is a good landmark we can use to know when it is approximately time to contact Chico Tower?

If you want to fly under IFR:

  • Since your GPS is INOP today, if you’re filing a flight plan on PilotEdge/VATSIM, ensure you file the correct equipment suffix

  • Note that DME is required for the ILS 13L approach (the only non-RNAV approach).

    Since your GPS is inoperative, if you don’t have dedicated DME equipment, think about whether an alternate airport is required for us to complete the flight.

    Recommended reading: 14 CFR 91.169 (b)(1)

  • What would be an acceptable alternate airport?

  • What weather minima would be required at this alternate airport?

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