It is a form designed to be used by pilots generally flying VFR cross-country flights. Why is it? Traditional VFR Flight planner forms have not been designed with the pilot in mind. Specifically, this form has been designed for use on kneeboards without the folding, flipping, and reclipping necessary of most standard 8. How do I use it? Print out the flight planner onto the front and back of a standard 8.
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There are many ways to digitally plan such a flight — AOPA has a very nice online flight planner for members — but my preference is to do it the old school way: waypoints, courses and distances plotted out on a sectional. Excel, well, excels at this kind of number crunching. But unlike a paper planner, Excel takes care of all the math for you.
You just supply the waypoint and distance information. This planner is particularly elegant because once you fold it, it hides the nonessential information and presents you with only what you need at a glance to fly the route: altitude, compass heading, distance, timing information. Instructions: Determine and plot your waypoints, courses and distances on a sectional like you normally would.
Fill in the yellow-background cells of the spreadsheet. Fill in the Airport Info block for quick reference in flight. I also like to sketch the destination runway and traffic pattern in the blank area below that.
Folded, taped, punched and ready to use click to zoom. Fold it twice so that the two big, bold vertical lines meet; I then like to tape the fold down. Remember, garbage in, garbage out.
Like any planning tool, its value only goes so far when compared with the real world. I hope that you enjoy this tool.
If you think of any ways I can improve it, please let me know.
Dax’s VFR Flight Planner and FAA Flight Plan Forms
Flight Planner Pad