Section 9, Lesson 1
In Progress

Cross Country Flight

Cross Country Flight: Auburn Municipal (KAUN) to Chico Municipal (KCIC)

Now we’re going to put it all together and plan a cross country flight in Northern California and fill out a Navlog. The Navlog should help you organize your planning and provide quick reference during flight, but the most important part of cross country planning is to keep a “big picture” in your head. Once you finish this lesson, practice planning other cross country flights until you feel comfortable with the process.

The Basics

Airport: We’re going to KCIC, which is a class D airport in the northern Central Valley. It has two parallel runways, 31L/R and 13L/R, the longest of which is 6700 feet. It’s located at 240 feet MSL. We’re departing KAUN, which has one runway 25/07 which is 3700 feet long and at 1500 MSL.

Best Guess Heading: 320 True

Clock: We plan to leave around 1600 PST, which is 0000 Zulu

Distance: Roughly 60nm

Estimated Time En-Route: We’re flying a 172 with a cruise airspeed of 105 knots true airspeed at 4,500 feet. ETE is somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes, so we’ll err slightly high and 40 minutes. We like to add 10 minutes extra for taxi, takeoff and a slower climb. So roughly 50 minutes.

Fuel: Conservatively we burn 10 gallons and hour, so we’re looking at about 10 gallons, plus at least 30 minutes of reserve. We like to have extra fuel, so we’re going to use an hour of reserve fuel, leaving us with a minimum of 20 gallons required.

Fill Out What We Can – pg. 1 of AUN-CIC Navlog PDF
Ok, now that we’ve got the basics let’s do the following:

  • Measure the distance
  • Measure the true course
  • Compute the magnetic course
  • Choose a cruise altitude
  • Use performance charts and E-6B to determine time, fuel and distance to climb, TOC and TOD
  • Pick checkpoints along route of course
  • Use performance charts to determine cruise speed
  • Get a weather and NOTAM brief

Reference page 1 of the Navlog document.

Run Calculations – pg. 3 of AUN-CIC Navlog PDF
Use the E-6B to calculate your wind correcting, magnetic heading and groundspeed. Next, use the E-6B to calculate estimated time on each leg and estimated fuel burn on each leg.

You can also write in your estimated time of departure (1600 local) and our fuel onboard, which, when we walk out to the airplane we find to be 35 gal.

Reference page 3 of the Navlog document.

Finishing Touches – pg. 4 of AUN-CIC Navlog PDF
Once that is complete, all that is left to do is go back through and total everything up, fill out the ATE, ATA and Delay boxes en-route and write the headings, distances and times on the left hand side near your checkpoints so that you can fold the sheet over and reference those numbers quickly while you fly.

Once we’ve accomplished all that we can start moving left to right, top to bottom through the remainder of the Navlog.

Additional Resources