Jun 02 2008

Intro to Cross Country Flight

Category: LessonsDaniel @ 11:00 pm

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to fly what I’ll call a mini cross country flight. My CFI and I didn’t have enough time to plan and fly a full cross country flight (greater than 50 nm away), but we didn’t want to waste the gorgeous weather. So, we decided to do a 5-leg circle around some of the local airports to give me a flavor of the techniques and skills necessary for a true cross-country flight. Our plan was to depart Westosha and head over to Racine, then East Troy, Lake Lawn, Grand Geneva, and back to Westosha. All in all, it would be over 80 nm round trip.

The trip was a lot of fun, and was really my first flight where I got to navigate to places other than Burlington (which is very close to Westosha). There was a fair amount of wind that day (as Todd even notes in his blog)…so the landings were very challening since all these airports didn’t have many choices that avoided some sort of crosswind. I was quite satisfied, though, that every landing was very smooth (even with the crosswinds). We used general visual navigation and dead reckoning techniques and didn’t need to utilize VOR radials for such short flights. We’ll utilize that sort of navigation on my next true cross country which should hopefully be next weekend.

I’m off to various parts of the country for work this week and although I’ll be in planes a lot, I won’t have the opportunity to pilot (unless United and the FAA change their rules). I can’t wait until next week!

This lesson I logged 1.7 hours.

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2 Responses to “Intro to Cross Country Flight”

  1. Todd says:

    Does the plane you are training in have GPS? I recommend not turning it on for a few of your cross country flights. I found whenever I flew cross country flights during my training that had GPS or Loran I cheated more. I am glad that much of my training came in a Cessna 152 that had no fun gadgetry and required me to get more comfortable with the VORs, Dead Reckoning and pilotage.

    Sounds like a fun flight and I am sure you did have your fair share of crosswinds as some of those airports look like they were oriented perpendicular to the wind.

    Good luck next weekend. Have you decided where to plan your first official cross country?

  2. Dan says:

    I train in a Cessna 152 as well (a 1981 usually)…so there’s no GPS or Loran. I could totally understand the possibility of “cheating” but I’m glad that’s not even an option for me!

    I haven’t decided yet where to fly on my first official cross country…but I’ll figure it out soon!

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