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New Pilots First Flight 2 small logo

Planning the flight!

The starting point for this first flight is Brisbane Airport, the flight number is YMA645. Set up flight sim so that you are parked at the terminal building on the apron at Brisbane (YBBN). Make sure you are in the Compass Embraer, you can use either the E195 or the smaller E175..  If you are using online ATC then you will need to file your flight plan in this program as well. If you have used our CADS system to get details for the flight the flight plan will be listed on your dispatch sheet, as well as you assigned gate.

We suggest if you are not using a real weather generator (such as our preferred option, ActiveSky or REX) that you check the weather from the Bureau of Meteorology site ( You can gain access to the aviation weather pages by entering the user name aviation and the password bom0007 when prompted. If the weather is such that you need an alternate then that needs to be taken into account. Mackay and Proserpine are the closest, but if the weather is bad at Hamilton island then it is likely to be so at these two ports as well. Townsville and Rockhampton are the next two closest ssuitable alternates. You can then set up flight simulator so that the weather is what it actually is in Brisbane.  Remember also to set your FS preferences so that the airspeed indicator is showing Indicated Air Speed (IAS). If you are using a weather generator addon and also flying on the VATSIM network you must check the "Use VATSIM Weather" option.

Calculate the amount of fuel you need for the flight. The Embraer will do this automtically for you when you enter your flight plan (see the tutorial). The feelThere E175 is accurate, however there is a known bug in the E195 which undercalculates by about 8%. If you are using FSInn or Squawkbox you will need to enter your fuel as an endurance in hours and minutes, and if you have one, an alternate, into your flight plan. Use the information in the flight manual to calculate the various critical speeds.

After you've competed you walk around you are ready to climb into the right hand seat and take YMA645 to Hamilton Island. The scheduled departure time for this flight is 0130Z, which is 11:30 am local time in Brisbane (all Compass timings are expressed in Zulu, or UTC time) . Feel free to choose your own departure time, although while you are getting used to this aircraft we suggest a day time flight is best. You might like to make the return flight a dusk departure and night landing.


Now the fun really begins ...

Compass recommends the feelThere Embraer. There is a very good tutorial in the user manual that takes you through the pre-flight and FMS programming sequence. The route from Brisbane to Hamilton Island is:


When ready check the ATIS (either the FS built in one, or if you are flying online then the ATIS set by the contoller online) and set the QNH on your altimeter. Follow the instructions in the Embraer manual to prepare for this flight. This also includes tables to calculate your takeoff speeds. The dearture airport is Brisbane (YBBN) and the destination is Hamilton Island (YBHM). Do not enter a SID (Standard Instrument Departure) at this stage. Use the runway given in the ATIS message, at brisbane this will almost always be either RWY 01 or RWY 19.

You are now ready to get moving. At Brisbane Brisbane Delivery (BN_DEL) is the real life station that would give you your clearance, however on VATSIM not all controllers may be present. VATSIM policy has controllers offer services in a "top-down" fashion so if Brisbane Ground (GND), Brisbane Tower (TWR), Brisbane Approach (APP) or Brisbane Centre (CTR) are online they will be able to give you your clearance (the pecking order of who you should contace would be first GND, the TWR, then APP, and finally CTR). As part of your airways clearance you will almost certainly be given a SID, you should now enter this into the FMS.

GND will give you both your taxi and push back clearance. NOTE: For domestic flights in Australia a start clearance is not required unless specified in the ATIS, so don't ask for one.

Taxi to the assigned runway, Brisbane has taxiways that will take you all the way to the threshold at both ends, and GND may have given you specific instructions on which taxiways to take. You may need to refer to the airport diagram to follow these. When you are ready for takeoff change frequency to TWR and report "Compass six forty five, ready". TWR will either give you a takeoff clearance, or issue other instructions (such as to line up and wait or to hold short of the runway) Once you have permission to enter the runway (a takeoff clearance automatically gives you clearance to enter the runway) turn on the strobes and your landing lights as you are entering. If you haven't already done so extend the flaps to your choosen setting.

Once you have your take off clearance and departure instructions smoothly advance the throttles until N1 reaches 97%, release the brakes and accelerate. At V1, you are committed, at VR pull back on the stick and you're airborne! Allow the nose to come up to 8°, retract the undercarriage once you have a good positive rate of climb and gradually retract the flaps according to the schedule in the operations manual.  You now need to call Brisbane Approach (APP).  Below 10,000' your speed is limited to 250 kts, if you are following the Embraer tutorial and engage the autopilot the FADEC system in the aircraft will throttle back to hold this speed.

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