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How Do You Plan a Flight?

A golden rule for navigation is ‘plan the flight and fly the plan.’

Step 1: Map selection is determined by the nature and speed of flight. If one travels at high speeds a high resolution 1:250,000 aeronautical map will not be suitable; a 1:1,000,000 scale aeronautical map will be a lot more useful. A 1:250,000 map will be used on approach to airports detailing surrounding information. The Lamberts Conical Projection allows for a straight line being the shortest distance between two points.

Step 2: Consult route and aerodrome weather forecasting services and reports (Isobaric charts, satellite and radar images with associated short and long-term forecasting).

Step 3: Plot the route on the selected map, taking full cognizance of controlled airspace, airspace restrictions, danger and prohibited areas.

Step 4: Consult the AIP’s and NOTAMS for ATC liaison procedure, fuelling, safe altitudes, alternate aerodromes, NAV/COM frequencies and waypoint coordinates.

Step 5: Compile a flight log with consideration for weather, fuel requirements, check points, time and distance observation marks.

Step 6: Compile and file an ATC flight plan.

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