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General Flight Planning
VFR Route Selection
Navigation Flight Log
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.
The important parts of preflight planning involve checking flight information publications, aviation weather reports and determining airplane performance, including the computation of weight and balance and fuel requirements.
The influence of altitude, temperature and wind should not be ignored and you should be familiar with the pressure and density altitudes and the effect that they have on aircraft performance. Check the runway length and compare that to your takeoff requirements and the rotational and initial climb speeds recommended in your airplane's manual (POH).
The checklists presented here can be used as a guide for this phase of preflight planning and we have divided it into a couple of sections. Part one is what we call the preliminary preflight phase which can be done at any time.
Be sure to read the tips from Eurocontrol about VFR flight preparation and visual navigation, then the items to do any time before the flight are as follows:
Select your destination airport (airport planning) and obtain aeronautical information from either one below:
Plot the legs/course on the map/sectional:
Obtain departure, destination and alternate airport information (airport planning)
A current AIP (online), Airport/Facility Directory, Jeppesen Manual and NOTAMs are needed to obtain:
From the latest VFR / Sectional charts obtain information relating to:
Fill out your preferred navigation flight log:
Review any take-off and landing distance performance from the aircraft flight manual. In case of aircraft powered by two or more engines: the engine inoperative procedures and one engine inoperative performance data.
Obtain an ICAO Flight Plan (this one is active, fill in online and print it out), or a FAA Flight Plan, its the same as for a certified aircraft. Make sure you check the weight and balance before you go.