Real Answers from Real Pilots

Cross Country Planning Checklist

(Joshua McDowell) #1

All,

I am about a week away from doing my solo long cross-country. I’ve done a few cross-country plans, but I don’t have a systematic means of planning for them. I am thinking about creating a checklist (beyond the navlog) for making those plans. Before I make one, I wanted to ask if there was anyone on here that has a checklist they use for making cross country plans. If so, would you be willing to share? Happy flying!

(Sergey Kireyev) #2

Do you mean what information to verify/collect before flying, or where to do what during the actual flight (i.e. here I contact departure/approach/tower, start descent, etc)?

(Joshua McDowell) #3

Strictly the planning phase. My intention is to make the steps simple, but detailed. For example:

  1. Pick starting and endpoint.

  2. Create legs for the trip.

  3. Identify, and mark visual cues to verify aircraft location.

  4. Identify any controlled airspace requiring special clearance (Class B, Class C, MOA)

These are only a few of many things I’m thinking of when making a flight plan, and I think if I had a detailed checklist (similar to aircraft startup), it would lead to a more systematic flight planning process. Does ATP use anything like this? Thanks for the response Sergey. I’ve read your thread, I really enjoyed your training updates, and your story. I’m looking forward to seeing which airline you work for.

1 Like
(not5150) #4

You mean this?? It’s in the welcome package, after you send in your deposit.

2 Likes
(Sergey Kireyev) #5

I think that the steps you have identified plus selecting an altitude appropriate for flight and identifying TOC and TOD points for that altitude are about all that you can create a “checklist” for. VFR flight planning for me was a learned process that took a bit of practice to refine. Generally speaking, I try to draw as straight of a line from airport to airport as possible, and then adjust the route segments as little as possible to avoid various hazards (such as special use airspace). Then for each flight, I run through the NWKRAFT set of information as things such as a pop up TFR can substantially affect your initial plan of action.

(Tom Tolento) #6

Another thing you can do that really helped give me some piece of mind as a student and I still do as a private pilot was any airport I fly near I would print out their chart supplement and highlight important info (airport, freqs, runways, active notams) to just keep in the cockpit for an in case of emergency type thing. I would identify and print at least 1 per checkpoint leg and then during the flight after stopping and restarting the timer, verifying my calculations were right and doing my flow I would toss the page that is now behind me in the back that way the next page to grab would be the next emergency spot.

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(Joshua McDowell) #7

Awesome, thank you for the feedback gents. It’s much appreciated.

#8

Joshua,

Have you asked your instructor for help?

Adam

(Joshua McDowell) #9

Adam,

I have asked him about cross country planning, and he disclosed it was not his strongest subject to teach. He referred me to a ground instructor, whom I met with and got some great guidance. I know what information I need to collect in preparation for a XC flight, I just think it would be beneficial to use a checklist to create the plan.