Unit 5 – Dual Night Cross Country and Pattern Work

Preflight Exercises

Plan a cross country flight from O61 to a destination as discussed with your instructor. Ensure that in your planning for this flight, that by the completion of this flight you have accomplished the three night flight experience requirements for a private pilot certificate:

  • 3 hours of night flight training in a single-engine airplane
  • One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance; and
  • 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.

Ensure that your destinations airport(s) lights are operational, and ensure that the runway you will likely use (based upon forecast winds) has a visual glideslope.

If its possible to use radio navigation during any of these flights, add this as a backup navigation method to pilotage and deduced reckoning. If your airplane is GPS equipped, plan to use the Flight Plan mode as a backup navigation method.

File the flight plans for each flight. File the ETD for the first flight start approximately 1.5 hours after the scheduled lesson start time. File the ETD for the subsequent flights based upon the time enroute for the previous flight, plus a 30 minute buffer.

Make a checklist in a sequence of all the tasks that you need to complete along the way for this cross country. Include navigation, communication and airplane checklist tasks. Here’s an example of a Cross Country Script.

Use a flight simulator at home, or the flight simulator at the flight school, to fly your planned cross country flight prior to actual flight. This will give you an opportunity to use your navigation log, check your flight planning, and aid you in identifying these new airports.

Bring to the lesson:

  • 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 O61 and your destination airports.
  • Airport Diagrams for your destination airports.
  • Cross Country script.
  • Takeoff and landing distance calculations for all three airports (include in the notes section on the navigation log).
Preflight Discussion
Topic Be able to answer: Resources to study:
Practical Knowledge Cross Country Planning Review

Navigation Log

  • All checkpoints use easily identifiable visual landmarks that are within a few NM of course.
  • Checkpoints are 10-20 NM apart.
  • Checkpoints included Top of Climb (TOC) and Top of Decent (TOD) checkpoints.
  • TOC based upon Time-Fuel-Distance chart from AFB.
  • TOD calculated based upon 500 FPM descent or 3° slope.
  • Review compass heading and altitudes for each leg
  • WCAs based upon winds aloft forecast for appropriate period, using appropriate reporting points and altitudes
  • Total distance, time and fuel calculated.
  • Fuel requirement includes fuel for start and taxi at each airport.
  • VOR frequencies, radials, TO/FROM and Morse ID

Sectional Chart

  • Course line and waypoints marked on chart
  • From what direction are the winds aloft on this leg?
  • Tell me chronologically about the airspace you are flying through on this leg, including VFR vis and ceiling requirements, equipment, and communication requirements
  • Tell me about any terrain or obstructions, parachute jumping, or special use airspace along your planned routes of flight.
  • What alternate airports are available on this leg in case you need to divert?
  • What is your planned RPM?
  • What indicated airspeed do you expect based upon expected TAS? (Hint: use your flight computer)
  • How do you expect to enter the pattern at your destination based upon the forecast winds?
  • What is your diversion procedure?
  • What is your lost procedure?

Radio Communication Review

  • Walk through the radio communication needed from departure to arrival.

Weather Briefing Review

  • Adverse Conditions (TFRs, AIRMETs and SIGMETS)
  • General Synopsis
  • Winds and Temps Aloft
  • Destination Wx
  • NOTAMs (including destinations and NAVAIDs)

Airport Review

  • Airport Diagram printed for each destination?
  • Traffic pattern altitude, runways, pattern entry, ATIS/AWOS, Tower, Ground, Approach and FSS
  • Which runway do you expect to land on based upon forecast winds?
  • Upon landing, which taxiway are you going to exit?
  • When the tower asks ‘where are you parking’ are you going to request a taxi back, or park at transient?
  • What are the taxi instructions to transient parking?
  • What are the taxi instructions for a taxi back?

Performance

  • Review takeoff and landing distances at all airports to ensure adequate for intended runways.

Weight and Balance

  • Review takeoff and landing weights and CGs.

A/FD

  • What will you be using as your current A/FD?

Cockpit Management

  • How will you organized your navigation log, sectional, airport diagrams, etc for each leg?

Flight Plans

  • Filed for each leg with appropriate ETDs?
Decision Making and Risk Mgmt Use the PAVE checklist to identify risks associated with the flight.
Flight Experience
Operation Expect to: Prepare by:
Cross Country Flight Prior to departure

  • Review cross country sectional chart and checkpoints
  • Review navigation log
  • Ensure communication and navigation equipment is set for the flight
  • Start timer before takeoff roll

Departure

  • Activate flight plan with Flight Service
  • Obtain VFR flight following from ATC

Cruise

  • Record time for flight between checkpoints; determine if winds aloft forecast is accurate and if fuel requirement has changed
  • Check destination weather with Flight Watch and/or ATIS/AWOS

Approach to landing

  • Brief approach
  • Complete before landing checklist

After Landing

  • Close flight plan with flight service
  • Store navigation log for later review