Flight Planning Links for Students
Here are 10
favorite links used for normal flight planning. Some are local only but ALL are
used for X-country. Pilots develop their own favorites but this narrative gives
an example of how and why you want to review this information before every
flight, even a training flight.
FOR JUST A LOCAL FLIGHT:
(Check all of these before leaving the house)
Weather Underground. Includes the latest aviation status at Florence, or
wherever you choose to review. It gives you ceiling, wind, and flight
rules such as VFR, MVFR, IFR or LIFR as well as a non-aviation forecast
for day and night by day.
for the states you'll be flying in today. Check even for local flight.
Check it right before leaving for the airport. Violating a TFR is
NOTAMS up to the minute. Again, one final check before going out the
door. For a local flight use the "Radius" search. Keep it at a 20 mi
radius of KFLO. For a flight to another airport use the "Flight Path
Search" by entering KFLO and the destination, like KFAY for instance.
NOTAMS tell you a bunch about each airport, what's closed today, not
working, detours on the ground, radio freqs out, etc.
contraction explanations. Sometimes it's hard to read the NOTAMS without
a cheat sheet, which is what this link is.
have to learn how to do manual Weight and Balance calculations. Do
everything them by hand. You will have to demonstrate this skill to the
FAA flight examiner. More important, if your W&B is outside the
envelope, you can easily DIE. How's that for motivation! You may see 4
seats in N517DL but its seldom you can have 4 people in the plane unless
the back seat folks are small and you have less than full tanks. This
application lets you play with the numbers until you see if you can
safely fly. Don't mess around with W&B. Even a commercial jetliner does
such a calculation before every take off.
FOR LOCAL AND ALL FLIGHTS
TO ANOTHER AIRPORT OR AREA,
ADD THESE ADDITIONAL LINKS
AOPA airport directory. Learn all about your destination airport.
Runways, freqs, services, special rules about pattern work. You
might consider printing the information and taking it with you along
with your sectional chart and Navlog for the trip that will include
current weather built in by the computer. Link below for the AOPA
NAVLOG flight planner and where it is found.
MOA current and planned status. We have lots of MOA's in the
Southeast. It's helpful knowing when they are "cold" so you can
relax somewhat or "Hot" where your eyeballs need to be glued to the
AOPA flight planner version 2. You can do all rough flight planning
first, just to see rough
estimates of times, restricted air space, etc. Then key in your
waypoints on the AOPA flight planner. You can even store a route you're
thinking of using. At 12 hours from takeoff the Nav Log in the AOPA
flight planner merges with Federal weather projections, especially the
winds aloft forecast. You might now see that it will take 1:45 to get
somewhere and 40 minutes to get back. Looking closely at the log, it has
adjusted your ground speed based on forecast winds aloft. If also gives
you adjusted compass headings to get you to your waypoints.
AOPA weather. A favorite future weather tool.
that's it for a flight to another airport, and most of this is used for a
local flight. Consider keeping all the links in a special folder on your
computer desktop. Name that folder something akin to "CHECK BEFORE I
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