Preflight planning is a very important element of any flight and especially so when going on a cross country flight. There are a number of items to be done in preparation for a VFR cross country in such a way that nothing is overlooked and the intended flight is done as safely as possible.
Knowing which questions to ask the weather briefer, reading aviation weather charts is the subject of the document below.
Eurocontrol Guidance Notes
Excerpt from the document:
Airfield weather forecasts (TAF) indicate the expected weather at the aerodrome for the period stated. The information is presented in a set sequence, and in an internationally agreed code, much of which is shorthand English. A TAF with its decode is illustrated in the Annex.
Like any forecast, a TAF can only be a best estimate of the conditions to come, which may turn out worse than anticipated. It is important to check that the actual weather at the aerodrome agrees with the forecast.
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