Tutorial: VOR Navigation
Provided by Joel Johnson and written by Jetjerry & Ottopilot
While the following tutorial was created using X-Plane, pilots of MSFS will also benefit from it, as the procedures are almost identical.
Important: links to the scenery mentioned in this tutorial are provided at the end of the tutorial.
The two airports mentioned in this tutorial are:
Springfield/Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport (KSPI)
Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport is a civil-military public airport in Sangamon County, Illinois. It is three miles (6 km) northwest of downtown Springfield, the capital of Illinois. It has three runways: 4/22 is 8,001 by 150 feet (2,439 x 46 m) concrete; 13/31 is 7,400 by 150 feet (2,256 x 46 m) asphalt; 18/36 is 5,300 by 150 feet (1,615 x 46 m) asphalt/concrete.
Champaign/University of Illinois Willard Airport (KCMI)
University of Illinois Willard Airport is south of Savoy in Tolono Township, Champaign County, Illinois. Willard Airport covers 1,799 acres and has three runways: runway 4/22: 6,501 by 150 ft (1,982 by 46 m) concrete, runway 14L/32R: 8,102 by 150 ft (2,469 by 46 m) concrete with ILS, runway 14R/32L: 3,817 by 75 ft (1,163 by 23 m) asphalt.
Purpose: To familiarize yourself with VOR radio navigation.
VHF omnidirectional radio range (VOR), is a type of short-range radio navigation system for aircraft, enabling aircraft to determine their position and stay on course by receiving radio signals transmitted by a network of fixed ground radio beacons, with a receiver unit. It uses radio frequencies in the very high frequency (VHF) band from 108 to 117.95 MHz.
This line of position is called the "radial" from the VOR. The intersection of two radials from different VOR stations on a chart provides the position of the aircraft. VOR stations are fairly short range: the signals have a normal range of between 25 - 200 miles.
Below are the three types found on charts.
You are at KSPI (Springfield, IL) and you wish to fly to KCMI (Champaign, IL). The weather is just above basic VFR (Visual Flight Rules [1000' & 3sm]), but you don't want to fly that low, so you file an IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) flight plan so you can make the trip at a higher altitude. You plan to descend to VFR conditions upon arrival and land visually.
You will follow Low Altitude Airways ("Victor" airways - as they are preceded by a "V" on the Low Altitude Charts), i.e. V10.
- Route: KSPI - V50 - AXC - V251 - KCMI
- Altitude: Between 5000 - 17,000 feet. Your choice depending on aircraft.
- Weather: Your choice. No wind. (suggest you fly this several times with progressively lower weather). Try using a ceiling of 3000 feet and a visibility of 3.5 miles when you think you have it mastered.
- Aircraft: Any airplane.
KSPI Airport Chart:
Low Altitude Enroute Chart (Segment between KSPI - KCMI): Chart L-27