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I would appreciate some insight as to what I’m doing wrong or missing.

I just completed a XC flight practicing VOR/GPS Navigation. I was inbound to KLOL from KRNO with the lovelock VOR frequency (116.5, 040 Radial) dialed in. I was southwest of the VOR on a heading of 030 and at an altitude of 9500.

The issue is, I could not get the VOR to designate a “TO” flag unless I turned the OBS to the reciprocal of around 220. This radial should indicate a “FROM” flag.

This is so confusing because I’ve cross-checked this on multiple simulators just to make sure I wasn’t going nuts. Dialing 220 should indicate “FROM” but it indicates “TO”.

Can anyone help me figure out what I did wrong?

Photo of the navigation instruments (GPS, VOR CDI) taken during the flight

A closeup of the GPS Map

Sectional chart

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to AviationStackExchange. At what altitude were you flying? $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Mar 15 at 9:19
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you! I used to use stack exchange for programming, when I saw there was an aviation section, I knew it would be incredibly helpful. I was flying at 9500 msl. $\endgroup$ – cheelo007 Mar 15 at 13:36
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A quick review of the US Chart Supplement shows that the Lovelock VOR (LLC) is unusable at your current altitude and position. The VOR is 3.6 NM North by Northwest from the field. Your aircraft is 24.5 NM South by Southwest of the field. Your aircraft would have to be at or above 9600 feet MSL to receive a useable signal from the LLC VOR. This makes any reading you receive from your Nav radio receiver OBS or CDI suspect.

enter image description here
Source: skyvector.com

The probable reason for the VOR indication to work in a sim is that the sim does not replicate real world radio telegraphy. It is only basing the VOR CDI display on geographic position and magnetic variation.

Something of which to take note is the VOR equipment elevation of 4760 feet MSL, versus the highest point Southwest of the VOR at 6348 feet MSL. There is also a microwave tower West of the VOR. These things should be taken into consideration in flight planning.

If you were to use actual IFR charts, routes and procedures, you would notice that you are not allowed to fly below 10,000 feet MSL to still guarantee that you receive the LLC VOR signal on the Victor airway from the FMG VOR to the LLC VOR. As a matter of fact, prior to the HIXUP waypoint, the minimum enroute (IFR) altitude using GPS is 10,300 MSL. The Minimum Obstacle Clearance Altitude of 9500 feet does not guarantee signal reception.

ifr
Source: skyvector.com

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