Planning My First Cross Country Flight

John HurlbutUncategorized0 Comments

No, I’m not going to the East Coast.  Yet.  But I did just book a flight lesson for next Sunday, June 22nd (weather permitting) that will be my first dual instruction cross country flight.  A cross country (XC) flight is defined as a flight that is more than 50 nautical miles from your home airport.  I’ve chosen to fly to Bowerman Field (KHQM) in Hoquiam, WA.

The flight should look something like what’s depicted here in Foreflight.  It will require me to talk to controllers at McChord (KTCM) and Olympia (KOLM) as I transition across their Class Delta (D) airspace.

Meg will be looking for my overall flight plan.  Not only the route we’ll fly, but how high we’ll fly, how much fuel we’ll consume, how fast we’ll go, and how accurately I predict when we’ll hit certain checkpoints.   I’ll need to be especially cognizant of the weather, paying attention to the short and long range forecasts, as well as looking at the winds aloft to see what kind of effect that will have on our course, heading, and fuel consumption.  She’ll be looking at my decision making ability, especially go/no go decisions.

This is really exciting for me!  I’ll actually finally be able to use my E6-B Flight Computer.  I’m also shopping around for kneeboards to keep everything organized in the plane while we fly.  Being a southpaw though, I’m supposed to fly with my left hand, but I’ve also got to write down clearances with my left.  So this will be interesting.  I’m hoping to have video of the flight out and back and may post a few snippets here and there of it.

Any pilots out there want to offer me some suggestions for planning this first epic flight, feel free to comment!! I’ll need all the help I can get! 🙂

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