You are on page 1of 4

Private Pilot Lesson Plan Notes - Cross Country Flight Planning Outline Page 1 of 4

Introduction:

The following procedure is intended to help lead the student through Cross Country planning
procedures in an efficient manner. Several steps of the VFR Cross-Country Checklist may be
completed prior to the day of the flight. It is generally recommended that these steps be
performed as early as possible to reduce errors when planning is rushed.

Required Equipment:

1. Current charts applicable to Cross-country from departure to destination


2. Current Airport/Facilities Directory
3. Pilot's Information Manual or POH for aircraft to be used
4. Navigation Logs and Flight plan forms
5. Plotter
6. Flight Computer (E6B)

Procedures:

1. Check chart currency and locate departure and destination airports.

2. Determin the best route considering:


A. Departure Airport - Runways and lengths available
B. Route - Navaids, Obstructions, Airspace
C. Destination Airport - Runways, Airspace, Services, Frequencies
D. Alternate Plan of Action if flight cannot be completed as planned

3. Determine weather reporting stations


* Note - Most blue airports on sectional have weather reporting capabilities.

4. Perform a complete weather check


A. Departure: METAR, TAF, and Notices to Airmen (NOTAM)
B. Enroute: Winds Aloft (FD), Area Forecasts (FA), TAF, METAR. Pilot Reports (PIREP). Significant
Weather (SIGMETS, AIRMETS, Convective SIGMETS). Center Weather Advisories. Notices to
Airmen (NOTAM)
C. Destination: METAR, TAF, and Notices to Airmen (NOTAM)
D. Check Surface Analysis, Weather Depiction, Radar Summary, and Surface Prognostic Charts for
areas of MVFR, IFR, and precipitation
* Note - FARs require an official weather briefing prior to any flight not in the vicinity of an airport to assist you in
obtaining weather information. The phone number for FSS is 1-800-WXBRIEF.

5. Determine winds aloft direction/speed and enter this information in NAVIGATION LOG.

6. Check NOTAMS and Airport/Facilities Directory.


A. Review Class D and FDC NOTAMS for significant items
B. Check runway, communications, and service information at airports of intended use in
Airport/Facilities Directory.
C. Enter this information on NAVIGATION LOG

7. Determine COURSE CHANGE CHECKPOINTS


A. Consider airspace and obstructions
B. Enter these checkpoints in PREFLIGHT LOG

8. Draw True Course (TRUE CRS) lines


 On your Sectional Chart, draw a course line between the points of intended flight. This line should
be heavy enough to be seen but not so dark as to obscure symbols on the chart.
 Prominent landmarks such as small towns, roads, railroads, lakes, and streams should be used.
One should never place complete reliance on one landmark, but use a combination of at least
two, if practical.

9. Measure True Courses, Distances, and Variations


A. Enter TRUE CRS's in PREFLIGHT LOG
 Lay plotter along course line and measure TRUE CRS at intersection of a latitude line or
longitude line as near as possible to center of route.

http://www.ingramcfi.com/user/File/lesson-plans/private-pilot/cross-country-notes.htm 10/3/2010
Private Pilot Lesson Plan Notes - Cross Country Flight Planning Outline Page 2 of 4

 Be careful to use correct scale (Sectional, NM).


 Enter this information in PREFLIGHT LOG.
 Repeat step 9A for all remaining FLIGHT LOG legs.
B. Enter DIST's in PREFLIGHT LOG.
 DIST to TOC will be determined instep 13
 Measure DIST between COURSE CHANGE CHECKPOINTS.
 Be careful to use correct scale (Sectional, NM).
 Enter this information in PREFLIGHT LOG.
 Repeat step 9B for all remaining FLIGHT LOG legs.
C. Enter local variations (VAR) in PREFLIGHT LOG.
 Use an isogonic line close to the center of route.
 Enter this information in PREFLIGHT LOG.
 Repeat step 9C for all remaining FLIGHT LOG legs.

10. Determine cruise altitude.


A. In selection of cruise altitude consider:
 Terrain and obstruction clearance
 Clouds and weather (VFR minimums)
 Winds aloft
 Hemispherical rule (Even vs. Odd)
B. Enter this MSL ALT in CRUISE DATA.

11. Determine PA, TEMP and DA for cruise altitude. Use either averaged conditions or conditions close to
center of route.
A. Calculate Pressure Altitude (PA)
 Determine average altimeter setting from SA's along route of flight
 Subtract 29.92 from this average to determine pressure variance in inches from standard
 Multiply this pressure variance by 1000 to determine pressure altitude variances in feet
 Subtract this variance (either + or -) from MSL ALT to determine PA
 Enter PA in CRUISE DATA
B. Estimate Outside Air Temperature (OAT)
 Select two winds aloft temperature forecasting levels nearest to the MSL ALT.
 Subtract lower level forecast temperature from higher level forecast temperature.
 Divide differences by number of thousands of feet between forecasts levels (typical 3).
 Use quotient from above division as actual lapse rate.
 Apply actual lapse rate to nearest forecast temperature aloft to estimate OAT.
 Enter this OAT in TEMP section of CRUISE DATA.
C. Compute Density Altitude (DA)
 Input OAT and PA into computer to compute DA.
 Enter DA in CRUISE DATA.

12. Determine %BHP, RPM, KTAS, and GPH for cruise performance.
A. Select desired Brake Horse Power.
B. Determine required RPM, KTAS, and GPH for desired BHP.
 Always read CONDITIONS and NOTES at top of each chart in Performance Section of
Pilot's Information Manual. Apply in order given.
 Enter CRUISE PERFORMANCE chart with DA (rounded to nearest 1000 feet) for PA.
 Use Standard Temperature Column.
 Read required RPM, KTAS, and CIPH from chart.
 Enter this information in CRUISE DATA.
* Note - Determine what percentage power you are going to use. It is generally accepted that you would set
your power for cruise at 75%, 65%, or 55%.
75% - power setting would be used when you want to get to your destination as quickly as possible.
However, the fuel consumption will increase substantially.
55% - power would be used when you want to use as little fuel as possible and you are not concerned
with how long it is going to take to fly to the destination. However, in some cases, this power
setting may allow you fly long distances without having to refuel. In which case, you may save
time by skipping a fuel stop.
65% - power setthg is an acceptable median to use. You can fly faster than 55% and use less fuel and
engine wear than at 75% power.

13. Determine Distance, Time, and Fuel to Climb.


 Always read CONDITIONS and NOTES at the top of each chart in Performance Section of Pilot's
Information Manual. Apply in order given.
 Locate PA climbing to (round to nearest 500 feet) on TIME, FUEL, and DISTANCE TO CLIMB

http://www.ingramcfi.com/user/File/lesson-plans/private-pilot/cross-country-notes.htm 10/3/2010
Private Pilot Lesson Plan Notes - Cross Country Flight Planning Outline Page 3 of 4

chart.
 Read required miles (DIST, minutes (ETE). and gallons (FUEL BURN).
 Subtract DIST, TIME, and FUEL for PA climbing from.
 Enter these differences in PREFLIGHT LOG to TOC.

14. Determine MAG HDG, EST GS, ETE, and FUEL BURN for each remaining COURSE CHANGE LEG in
PREFLIGHT LOG.
A. Compute MAG HDG to COURSE CHANGE CHECKPOINT.
 To Compute True Heading (TB), Input TC, Wind Direction, Wind Speed, and KTAS into
Flight Computer.
 Apply VAR to TH to determine MAG EDG.
 Enter this information in PREFLIGHT LOG.
B. Compute EST GS between COURSE CHANGE CHECKPOINTS and enter this information in
PREFLIGHT LOG.
C. Compute estimated time enroute (ETE) to course change.
D. Compute FUEL BURN.
E. Repeat steps 14A - 14D for each leg in the PREFLIGHT LOG.

15. TOTAL the DIST, ETE, and FUEL BURN columns in the PREFLIGHT LOG.

16. Calculate weight and balance, takeoff and landing performance.


A. Calculate WEIGHT AND BALANCE.
 Enter BASIC EMPTY WEIGHT and MOMENT of aircraft
 Fill in appropriate WEIGHTS and MOMENTS down to ZERO FUEL WEIGHT
 Total all WEIGHTS (ZERO FUEL WEIGHT) and MOMENTS (ZERO FUEL MOMENT)
 Divide ZERO FUEL MOMENT by ZERO FUEL WEIGHT
 Enter this quotient in ZERO FUEL CG
 Enter USABLE FUEL WEIGHT and MOMENT
 Add USABLE FUEL WEIGHT and MOMENT to ZERO FUEL WEIGHT AND MOMENT
 Enter these sums in RAMP WEIGHT AND MOMENT
 Subtract START. TAXI, RUNUP fuel WEIGHT and MOMENT from RAMP WEIGHT and
MOMENT
 Enter these differences in GROSS TAKEOFF WEIGHT and MOMENT
 Divide GROSS TAKEOFF MOMENT by GROSS TAKEOFF WEIGHT
 Enter this quotient in TAKEOFF CG
 Subtract FUEL BURN TO DESTINATION WEIGHT and MOMENT from GROSS
TAKEOFF WEIGHT and MOMENT
 Enter these differences in GROSS LANDING WEIGHT and MOMENT
 Divide GROSS LANDING MOMENT by GROSS LANDING WEIGHT
 Enter this quotient in LANDING CG
 Ensure all Weights and CG's are allowable
B. Calculate Pre-Departure Briefing Data
 Always read CONDITIONS and NOTES at the top of each chart in Performance Section of
Pilot's Information Manual. Apply in order given.
 Either round Gross Takeoff Weight, PA, and Temperature up for safety, or interpolate for
accuracy.
 Enter appropriate data in Speeds section
 Enter appropriate data in Altitudes section
 Enter appropriate data in Flaps section
 Enter appropriate data in Emergencies section
C. Calculate Pre-Landing Briefing Data
 Always read CONDITIONS and NOTES at the top of each chart in Performance Section of
Pilot's Information Manual. Apply in order given.
 Either round Gross Takeoff Weight, PA, and Temperature up for safety, or interpolate for
accuracy.
 Enter appropriate data in Speeds section
 Enter appropriate data in Altitudes section
 Enter appropriate data in Flaps section
 Enter appropriate data in Emergencies section

17. Compute FUEL ON BOARD


 Subtract TOTAL FUEL BURN in PREFLIGHT LOG from USABLE FUEL
 Input this difference (reserve fuel gallons), and GPH from CRUISE DATA into Flight Computer
 Compute reserve fuel (hours:minutes)
 Evaluate adequacy of this reserve fuel
 Add this reserve fuel (hours:minutes) to TOTAL ETE in PREFLIGHT LOG

http://www.ingramcfi.com/user/File/lesson-plans/private-pilot/cross-country-notes.htm 10/3/2010
Private Pilot Lesson Plan Notes - Cross Country Flight Planning Outline Page 4 of 4

 Enter this sum (FUEL ON BOARD) in Flight Plan

18. Fill out a FAA Flight Plan and file with FSS

19. Enter pertinent information in FLIGHT LOG


A. Select Dead Reckoning checkpoints
 Look along route of flight for easily identifiable landmarks to use as groundspeed
checkpoints
 The ON COURSE CHECKPOINT should be selected considering distance to climb and
possible departure paths
 The next checkpoint should be approximately 20 miles from the ON COURSE
CHECKPOINT
 Subsequent checkpoints should be every 5O to 60 miles
 Any course change should have an immediately groundspeed checkpoint approximately
20 miles from COURSE CHANGE CHECKPOINT
 Numerous pilotage checkpoints should be identified but not entered in FLIGHT LOG
 Enter Dead Reckoning checkpoints in FLIGHT LOG
B. Enter MAG HEADINGS in FLIGHT LOG from PREFLIGHT LOG
C. Enter TOTAL DIST on FLIGHT LOG from PREFLIGHT LOG
 Measure distance on sectional chart between Dead Reckoning checkpoints
 Enter this distance in FLIGHT LOG
 Subtract distance for REM DIST above
 Enter this difference in REM DIST below
 Repeat step 19C for each leg of the FLIGHT LOG
D. Enter EST GS's in FLIGHT LOG
 Enter EST GS from DEPARTURE POINT to ON COURSE CHECKPOINT from EST GS in
PREFLIGHT LOG from TOC to first COURSE CHANGE CHECKPOINT
 Enter EST GS between ON COURSE CHECKPOINT and next checkpoint
 The only other EST GS's that should be entered are those immediately following
COURSE CHANGE CHECKPOINTS
E. Enter ETE's in FLIGHT LOG
 The first ETE from DEPARTURE POINT to ON COURSE CHECKPOINT must account for
both time to climb to TOC and remaining cruise time to ON COURSE CHECKPOINT
 Compute time from TOC to ON COURSE CHECKPOINT by using cruise EST GS and
DIST from TOC to ON COURSE CHECKPOINT
 To this time add ETE to TOC from PREFLIGHT LOG
 Enter this sum in ETE from DEPARTURE POINT to ON COURSE CHECKPOINT in
FLIGHT LOG
 The ETE from ON COURSE CHECKPOINT to the next checkpoint should be calculated
by using EST GS and DIST between these checkpoints
 Enter this ETE in FLIGHT LOG
 The only other ETE's that should be entered in the FLIGHT LOG are those immediately
following COURSE CHANGE CHECKPOINTS by using EST GS and DIST between these
points
 Enter these ETE's in the FLIGHT LOG
F. Enter FUEL in FLIGHT LOG
 Enter FUEL (hours:minutes) in the FLIGHT LOG from the FUEL ON BOARD in FAA Flight
Plan
G. Enter miscellaneous information in FLIGHT LOG

http://www.ingramcfi.com/user/File/lesson-plans/private-pilot/cross-country-notes.htm 10/3/2010