Unit 1 – Navigation Ground School

Exercise

Work through each cross country preparation topic in this unit. Each topic is a building block that will help you develop knowledge and skill to conduct the preflight preparation for a cross country flight. As you work through each topic, you will prepare for three cross country flights during the preparation for this unit that you will fly in the simulator.

At the end of your preparation for this lesson you should have these materials completed:

  • Sectional chart with the three flights charted.
  • Three completed navigation logs, one for each flight.
  • Printed or online-accessible weather briefing for this flight.
  • Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) entries for KPRB, KBFL, KSBA, and KSBP.
  • Airport Diagrams for KPRB, KBFL, KSBA, and KSBP.

Bring these materials to the session for review with your instructor.

Discussion
Topic Be able to answer: Resources to study:
Practical Knowledge Sectional Chart Review

  • What are the different types of aeronautical charts and when would you use them?
  • What are the scales of the different aeronautical charts?
  • Do you need to always have current sectional charts on board the aircraft?
  • How often do charts expire?
  • Where is information regarding MOAs, alert areas, restricted and prohibited airspace found on a chart?
  • Interpret the airport data on the SFO sectional for Sacramento International airport.
  • Tell me about the magenta barbed airspace around Travis AFB.
  • Where can you find altitudes, hours of operation and controlling agencies for special use airspace?
  • What is a military training route? What is the risk of a MTR? How are they depicted on the chart?
  • What is the ADIZ?
  • What is the significance of a charted wildlife refuge or wilderness area? What is the symbol for this type of area?
  • What is a TRSA?
  • What is the significance of the white boxes with ‘CTC SANTA BARBARA APP’ around Santa Barbara Class C airspace?
  • What is the purpose of the VFR Flyway Planning chart on the backside of a TAC?
  • Where can you find hours of operation and frequencies for tower controlled airports on a sectional?
  • What is a Victor airway?
  • What is the symbol for parachute operations? What is the significance of this? How would you check to see if parachute operations are in progress?

Review pages 15-1 through 15-3 in Chapter 15 – Navigation of the PHAK.

Review the Aeronautical Chart User Guide

Review the sectional chart legend and the SFO sectional.

Practical Knowledge Interpreting Performance Charts

  • What are the factors that affect airplane performance at takeoff and landing?
  • What performance charts are available for your airplane?
  • How do you determine the performance of the airplane at cruise altitudes?
  • Calculate the time, distance and fuel to climb from Cameron Park to 6500 ft.
  • Calculate the time and fuel burned to fly 45 NM if flying at 6500 on a standard day.
  • How much fuel does your airplane burn during engine start, run-up and taxi?
  • What is the required VFR fuel reserve? What is a better fuel reserve?
Review the performance charts in Chapter 5 of your airplane’s flight manual. Pay close attention to the Notes section of charts, which typically will provide additional calculations to account for non-standard temperature, winds and other conditions.
Practical Knowledge Gathering Aeronautical Data

  • What is an airport diagram?
  • What information is displayed on an airport diagram?
  • What types of airport have airport diagrams?
  • From where can you obtain airport diagrams?
  • What are hotspots?
  • Where can you look up the details of a hotspot?
  • Interpret the airport facility directory (A/FD) entry for the Modesto Airport
  • Where is fuel available at the Modesto Airport?
  • Where can you look up fuel prices at the Modesto Airport?
  • Where can you park for free at the Modesto Airport?
  • What is a ramp fee?
  • What is the ramp fee for using Skytrek Aviation at Modesto Airport?

Use the airport facility director (A/FD) to look up aeronautical information, airport diagram and hotspot information for KPRB, KBFL, KSBA, and KSBP.

Complete the Airport Frequencies / Information section of the navigation log for each flight.

Use the legend at the front of the SW A/FD to ensure you can interpet all information.

You can use a printed copy of the A/FD or access the digital version here.

Practical Knowledge Tower Controlled Airport Operations

  • What type of pattern entry assignments can be given by a tower controller?
  • How do you fly a straight in approach to landing?
  • After landing at a tower controlled field, what should you do?
  • After landing at tower controlled airport, when do you switch to the ground controller’s frequency?
  • Before engine start at a tower controlled field, what should you do?
  • When taxiing out to the active runway for departure, when do you switch to the local (tower) controller’s frequency?
  • If you are unfamiliar with the taxiway layout at a tower controlled airport, who and how can you ask for assistance?
  • How do you inform ATC that you cannot comply with a request?
  • What is a Land and Hold Short Operation (LAHSO)?
  • What information must you understand in order to accept a LAHSO clearance?
  • Do you have to accept a LAHSO clearance?
  • As a student pilot should you accept a LAHSO clearance?
  • What is clearance delivery?
  • What types of airport have clearance delivery?
  • When do you use clearance delivery?
  • Why does McClellan have a clearance delivery frequency?
Review AOPA’s Safety Advisory on Operations at Towered Airports.
Practical Knowledge Runway Incursion Avoidance

  • What is a readback?
  • What is the purpose of a readback?
  • Which instructions from the controller must be read back?
  • When you become uncertain of your position or instructions at a tower controlled airport, what are you going to do?
  • Describe how taxiway-runway intersections are marked.
  • When taxiing across an inactive runway, what should you do?

Study Appendix A – Runway Incursion Avoidance in the PHAK.

Practical Knowledge Airspace Review

Describe the airspace between KPRB, KBFL, KSBA, and KSBP. Include in your description including airspace classification, VFR ceiling and visibility minimums, equipment requirements, communication requirements, and certificate requirements.

  • Is there any special use airspace along the route of flight?
  • Are there any obstructions along the route of flight?
Review the airspace for each flight, not just along the plotted courses, but at least 10 NM each side of the course. Remember the airspace is three dimensional and airspace typically changes as your approach and depart airports.
Practical Knowledge Obtaining a weather briefing for cross country flight

  • Interpret the weather briefing, including the synopsis, area forecast, enroute and destination weather.
  • Describe the adverse conditions exist along your route of flight.
  • Which NOTAMs affect your planned flight?
  • Which runway do you expect to be use in use at Modesto and Concord?
  • Are there any TFRs along your planned route of flight?
  • Are there any sporting event TFRs?

Obtain a weather briefing for a cross country flight to KPRB – KBFL – KSBA – KSBP. Be sure to list KBFL and KSBA as alternates so that the briefing includes NOTAMs for these airports. Either bring notes from a flight service phone briefing, a printed copy of a weather briefing from LMFS/DUAT/DUATS, or have it available to view in the Lockheed Martin Flight Service portal.

Fill in the weather section of the navigation log for each flight.

Learn about Sporting Event TFRs

Practical Knowledge Navigation Logs

Be prepared to brief your instructor on the navigation log for each flight.

Study the Complete a navigation log guide.

Prepare a navigation log for three cross country flights: KPRB to KBFL, KBFL to KSBA, and KSBA to KSBP.

Practical Knowledge Flight Service

  • What services does Flight Service provide?
  • How do you contact Flight Service on the ground?
  • How do you contact Flight Service in the air?
  • What is the call sign for Flight Service?
  • What is the typical frequency for Flight Service?
  • How do you communicate with Flight Service over a navaid?
  • What is a remote communications outlet?
  • What are the three types of weather briefings and when would you request each type?
  • What is Flight Watch?
  • What services are available from Flight Watch?
  • What is Flight Watch’s frequency?
  • What is the callsign for Flight Watch?

Complete the ASI course on Flight Service

courseflightservice

Complete the ASI course on PIREPs

coursepireps

Practical Knowledge Filing a flight plan

  • Review the flight plans for the three cross country flights.
  • What is the purpose of a VFR flight plan?
  • What is a DVFR flight plan?
  • How do you file a flight plan over the phone?
  • How do you file a flight plan over the radio?
  • How do file a flight plan using the internet?
  • How do you activate a flight plan?
  • How do you close a flight plan?
  • What will happen if you fail to close a flight plan?

Complete the Flight Plan section of the navigation log for all three flights.

Practical Knowledge Weight and Balance

  • Review the weight and balance calculations for the three flight.
  • How does how we load the aircraft affect the stability of the aircraft?
  • How does how we load the aircraft affect the performance of the aircraft?
  • How does adding, subtracting and moving weight affect the aircraft’s weight and CG?
  • How will the CG move as fuel is burned?

Complete the Weight and Balance section of the navigation log for all three flights.

Practical Knowledge GPS Navigation

  • Describe the aviation GPS navigation system.
  • Describe the Direct To function of your airplane’s GPS.
  • Describe the Flight Plan function of your airplane’s GPS.
  • Describe the Nearest function of your airplane’s GPS.

Complete the ASI course on GPS Navigation for VFR flights

coursegpsforvfr

If you are training in airplane equipped with GPS, study the pilot’s guide for the GPS. Be able to explain the Direct To, Nearest and Flight Plan functionality.

Practical Knowledge Diversion, Lost Procedures and Lost Comm

  • Describe the procedure to use if lost on a flight.
  • Describe situations when you’ll need to divert.
  • Describe the process of diverting.
  • Demonstrate how you will use your resources in the cockpit to determine magnetic heading, distance, time and fuel to an alternate airport.
  • Describe how you will manage a lost communications situation.
Review pages 15-34 through 15-35 in Chapter 15 – Navigation of the PHAK.
Practical Knowledge Cockpit Resource Management

  • What materials and tools should you bring with you on a cross country flight?
  • How should you organize these materials?
  • What other cockpit tools should you be familiar with?
  • What other resources are available on a cross country flight?
Practical Knowledge Online and Tablet Flight Planning Here are some examples of online and tablet flight planners that you can use to check your flight planning work while in training.