It is a form designed to be used by pilots generally flying VFR cross-country flights. Why is it? Traditional VFR Flight planner forms have not been designed with the pilot in mind. Specifically, this form has been designed for use on kneeboards without the folding, flipping, and reclipping necessary of most standard 8. How do I use it? Print out the flight planner onto the front and back of a standard 8.

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The angle between your course and true north. MC The angle between your course and magnetic north. Var Magnetic Variation The number of degrees left or right used to correct a true course to a magnetic course. CH Compass Heading This is the compass heading you will fly for a specific leg of your flight in your specific airplane. Print a copy of this planner out now and follow along using the tutorial. You can check out the other versions of this planner, as well as pilot submitted versions here.

Step Example Plot your course Using your plotter, draw a course line on your sectional chart. Use a pencil or better yet, an erasable highlighter so that its easier to view your course line. You may need to fly around terrain or airspace, navigate using radio navigation radials, or choose a route that is over airports. After drawing your course, examine the terrain and airspace along your route.

You may find that you need to alter the course. Also, this examination is the first step in developing situational awareness about your flight. Are there airports along your route of flight that are suitable for diversion? Are there any types of special use airspace, MTRs, parachute operations, wilderness areas, obstructions, or other unique features? Identify Checkpoints Checkpoints should be clearly identifiable landmarks along your route of flight, spaced every miles.

As you approach your destination airport, you should identify a 10 NM and 5 NM checkpoint to aid you in identifying the airport. They will also serve as triggers for making radio announcements at a uncontrolled field, or establishing contact with the tower at a tower controlled field. Measure Distances and True Course Using your navigation plotter, determine the true course along your course line, and measure the distances between checkpoints.

Enter these values in the navigation log, and total the distances. Find the reporting stations along your route of flight. If you unfamiliar with the station identifiers, searching for the identifer using flight planning website such as AirNav.

Obstacle Clearance — Compare the field elevation of your departure airport, destination airport and all terrain and obstructions 10 miles each side of your planned course to determine the height of the tallest obstruction. Add ft to this altitude. This is your minimum safe altitude that will ensure obstacle clearance, give you a few miles of glide range if the airplane experience engine failure, and will help you see checkpoints and your destination airport.

This is a minimum altitude, not the optimum altitude. Winds Aloft — Compare the true course for your flight with the winds aloft. Recall that the winds aloft are aligned with true north. Determine if specific altitudes have a favorable headwind or unfavorable tailwind. Generally, winds will increase as you climb. Generally, is going to be the most efficient altitude for a normally aspirated engine, balancing the highest TAS with least amount of fuel burned per knot of TAS.

Obstacle Clearance — In this example, we are departing from O61 field elevation and landing at Nutree field elevation There is no terrain or obstacles along the route of flight. This results in a good minimum altitude for this flight of ft MSL. You can use your Crosswind Component chart or the rule of thumb. This is a westerly course, requiring an even altitude plus ft. We could choose , , , etc.


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