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Flight Planning. Plan the flight, fly the plan. Technique. 1. Plot Course a. Get true course b. Select checkpoints (9 – 22nm) c. Start nav log 2- Weather briefing a. Go/no-go decision b. Adjust route if necessary c. Select altitude 3- Performance Calculations a. Wt/Bal

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flight planning

Flight Planning

Plan the flight, fly the plan

technique
Technique

1. Plot Course

a. Get true course

b. Select checkpoints (9 – 22nm)

c. Start nav log

2- Weather briefing

a. Go/no-go decision

b. Adjust route if necessary

c. Select altitude

3- Performance Calculations

a. Wt/Bal

b. Takeoff/ldg dist

c. Time/fuel/dist to climb

d. Time/fuel in cruise

e. Complete nav log

4- File if desired and execute

plot course
Plot Course
  • Using your plotter, draw a line from center of departure point to center of destination airport
    • Look for hazards along your route
      • Special Use Airspace
      • Terrain
      • Large bodies of water
    • Adjust course if necessary
  • Find your true course
    • Lay plotter down with top edge along route
    • Place center on a line of longitude
    • Read true course on East or West scale
  • Mark mileage in 5 or 10 mile intervals on your route
  • Example: SBN to SMD (Smith Field in Fort Wayne)
checkpoint selection
Checkpoint Selection
  • What makes a good checkpoint?
    • Precision
      • An intersection of two roads is more precise than the point where your course is supposed to intersect a road
    • Visibility
      • Radio towers make poor checkpoints because they are difficult to see from the air
      • Airports make great checkpoints because they are very easy to see from the air
    • Distinctiveness
      • Using a lake as a checkpoint when flying across New Mexico makes sense
      • Using a lake as a checkpoint when flying across east Texas increases your odds of mistakenly identifying your checkpoint
checkpoint selection1
Checkpoint Selection
  • Selecting the first checkpoint
    • Should be within 5-10 miles of departure point
      • Establishes your initial heading as correct
  • Additional checkpoints
    • Select additional checkpoints every 9 – 22 miles thereafter
  • Example:
    • I chose the following checkpoints:
      • Golden Dome / Basilica (initial point)
      • Bypass road south of Elkhart
      • Syracuse
      • Merriam
weather briefing
Weather Briefing
  • Get a weather briefing from an official source
    • 1-800-WX-BRIEF
    • DUAT or DUATS
  • Make a go/no-go decision
    • “VFR flight not recommended”
    • Conditions beyond your ability
      • Winds
      • MVFR or IFR clouds and weather
      • Convective activity
      • Precipitation
  • Adjust route if necessary
  • Select altitude
    • Winds Aloft will inform this decision
performance calculations
Performance Calculations
  • Weight and Balance
    • Weight information will be required for performance calculations
    • Example: Assume max gross weight
  • Takeoff / Landing distance
    • Ensure your aircraft is capable of making it out of your departure airport and in/out of your destination airport
performance calculations1
Performance Calculations
  • Time / Fuel / Distance to Climb
    • Cessna charts make this calculation very simple
    • Take value at your cruise altitude and subtract value from departure pressure altitude
    • Make approximations as appropriate
      • There is no need calculate to a level of precision beyond what is given in the chart
      • Therefore, find:
        • Time to the nearest minute
        • Fuel to the nearest tenth gallon
        • Distance to the nearest mile
performance calculations2
Performance Calculations
  • Time / Fuel / Distance to Climb Example
    • Climb from SBN (799 ft) to 4,500 ft
    • Weather:
      • SBN 07010G15 10SM CLR 13/M02 A2997
    • Approximations
      • Difference between pressure alt. & true alt is 50 feet, negligible
      • Difference between SBN elevation and 1000 foot entries is negligible
    • Values for 4,500 feet (by interpolation)
      • Time: 7 min
      • Fuel: 1.7 (conservative estimates dictate rounding up)
      • Distance: 10 miles (only valid in zero wind)
    • Values for 1,000 feet
      • Time: 1 min
      • Fuel: 0.4 gal
      • Distance: 2 miles
    • Climb totals
      • Time: (7 – 1) = 6 minutes
      • Fuel (1.7 - .4 ) = 1.3 (+ 1.1 for tax & takeoff) = 2.4 gal
      • Wind is nonzero, so note avg climb speed: 76 knots
performance calculations3
Performance Calculations
  • Before we can complete nav log, we need to find our top of climb (TOC) & top of descent (TOD) points
  • Procedure
    • Use Winds Aloft to find groundspeed
    • Use time-to-climb to find distance
  • Example
    • Winds Aloft

3000 6000

FWA 0416 3615

    • For climb, use winds at 3000
    • Interpolate: winds at cruise altitude (4,500) are 020 at 16
performance calculations4
Performance Calculations
  • E6-B
    • Turn to wind side
    • Set wind direction (040) opposite true index
    • Mark wind velocity (16) up from grommet
    • Set true course (123) opposite true index
    • Slide the TAS arc (76) under the wind dot
    • Read ground speed under grommet (72)
    • Read wind correction angle at wind dot (12 deg left)
performance calculations5
Performance Calculations
  • Top of Climb point
    • Turn to computer side of E6-B
      • First question: How fast?
        • 72 (our calculated groundspeed for the climb)
      • Earlier, we computed the climb would take 6 minutes
      • Read distance (7.2) above minute (6) scale
        • For the mathematically astute, 6 minutes is 1/10 of an hour, so the TOC distance is a tenth of our groundspeed
performance calculations6
Performance Calculations
  • Top of Descent point
    • Figure a 500 foot per minute descent
      • From 4500 to 1800 (Traffic Pattern Altitude at SMD) is a 2700 foot descent, or 5.4 minutes
    • 130 knots is a good descent airspeed in the 172
    • Use same winds (040 at 16)
    • Flip to wind side of E6-B
      • Wind dot is still valid; slide up to 130 knot TAS arc
      • Read groundspeed under grommet (127)
      • Read WCA under wind dot (7 deg left)
    • Flip to computer side of E6-B
      • How fast?
        • 127 knots
      • Read descent distance (11.5 miles) over descent time (5.4 minutes)
performance calculations7
Performance Calculations
  • Check cruise performance to find TAS and GPH en route
  • Plan on max continuous power setting (75% BHP)
  • Temperature is standard
  • 500 foot difference on performance chart is negligible
  • Use 4000 foot data
    • KTAS is 114 knots
    • GPH is 8.6
complete nav log
Complete Nav Log
  • Measure distances between each checkpoint
    • Don’t forget to factor in your TOC and TOD points
  • Fill in each checkpoint and leg distance
  • Compute cruising groundspeed
  • Find cruising wind correction angle
  • Apply magnetic variation
  • Find ETE between checkpoints
  • Find fuel consumption between checkpoints
complete nav log1
Complete Nav Log
  • Example: Find cruising ground speed
    • (Previously interpolated) winds are 020 at 16
    • Go to wind side of E6-B
      • Set wind direction (020) opposite true index
      • Mark wind velocity (16) up from grommet
      • Set true course (123) opposite true index
      • Slide TAS arc (114) under wind dot
      • Read groundspeed under grommet (116)
      • Read WCA under wind dot (8 deg left)
complete nav log2
Complete Nav Log
  • Apply WCA to True Course
    • -L, +R
  • Apply magnetic variation
    • A check of the sectional indicates one isogonic line along route of flight, +5 deg W
    • -E, +W (East is least, West is best)
  • Result is magnetic heading
    • This is as far as we can go until we look at the compass card in the aircraft
complete nav log3
Complete Nav Log
  • Example (cont)
    • Find ETE between checkpoints
      • Already computed ETE (6 min) and fuel consumption (2.4 gal) to TOC point
        • Fill values in on nav log
      • Flip to computer side of E6-B
        • How fast? 116 knots
        • Read ETE underneath distance
          • Round off to nearest minute
    • Find fuel consumption between checkpoints
      • E6-B
        • How fast? 8.6 GPH
        • Read fuel consumed over minutes scale
        • Round to nearest tenth gallon
      • Subtract en route fuel from total
      • Assume a full fuel load (53 gal)
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