Flight Training - July 2020 - 30

Those statements are true for the most part,
although it's worth noting that many an instrument-rated pilot has had to cancel a trip because of
weather. Still, statements like these could lead you
to believe that you, "just a VFR pilot," are consigned
to pattern work and the occasional hop to the next
town over. Those statements are not a complete
picture of visual flight rules flying. You can go places
as a VFR pilot. You are not tethered to the traffic
pattern of your home airport. You can go 100 nautical miles or 500 nm; you can go to the beach, or to
the mountains, or to a fly-in that's long been on your
bucket list. Making these trips requires some extra
planning, flexibility, and more flexibility. And an
extra helping of flexibility.
FLEXIBLE FLIER

My mantra is, "If I have to be somewhere, I let the
professionals take me." I'll buy an airline ticket if
I am slated to attend a business function; a family
vacation where travel connections are involved; or
any situation in which my presence is a requirement
and/or expectation. I do not want any outside influences on my go/no-go decision.
Conversely, traveling VFR requires a willingness to change a departure time or date, a
destination, and a route at any point in a trip. And
the same thing holds for the return leg of the trip.
It has to be OK not to launch on that planned
departure day-it's OK to wait out the weather, the
winds, or perhaps your own mindset.

This may seem counterintuitive to what you are
taught during the cross-country phase of flight training: Plan the flight, and fly the plan. It's not, really.
Pilots frequently tweak plans to keep safe. Too much
crosswind at one airport? You won't land there;
you'll look for an airport with a runway that's more
closely aligned with the prevailing winds. Unforecast
headwinds? OK, you'll land short of your destination
to take on more fuel, if you need to ("Hope Is Not a
Strategy," p. 34).
THROW A DART

Some pilots want to go places-but they aren't sure
where they want to go. Draw a 100-nm circle around
your airport and see what's out there. At least one
of the airports on that radius is likely to have a good
airport restaurant. AOPA's online airport directory
(aopa.org/destinations) can help you search for
nearby activities such as hiking, boating, museums,
golf, and more. The airport directory is a great flight
planning tool because it includes frequently updated
information on fixed base operator fuel prices;
runway lengths and conditions; communications frequencies; operating procedures; and noise abatement
procedures (see "All Available Information," below).
Some pilots know exactly where they want to go,
but the idea of flying more than one state-or two, or
three-from their home airport is intimidating.
"A long cross-country is just a series of shorter
cross-countries," said Kansas Master CFI Thomas P.
Turner. "Don't be overwhelmed by a long trip; just

ALL AVAILABLE INFORMATION
Get on the computer; pick up the phone
FAR 91.103 requires every pilot in
command to become familiar with
all available information prior to a
flight, including but not limited to
weather reports and forecasts, fuel
requirements, alternative airports if
the planned flight can't be completed;
and runway lengths at the airport of
intended use. Much of this information
is readily available in U.S. chart sup-

An aerial image
such as this one
might give you
extra insights
about landmarks
and other clues
to help you find
the airport from
the air.

plements, which are available in paper
form and also online. AOPA's airport
directory, and most flight planning
programs and electronic flight bags, are
helpful resources as well.
But some of these resources are
skimpy when it comes to practical, local
knowledge such as: Where do I park
when I taxi to the FBO? Here's where
a phone call to the FBO or a local CFI

will be a quick and easy way to gain
additional knowledge.
How about landmarks near the airport
that will help you pick it out from the air?
You'll get an idea from a VFR chart, yes.
But for a close-up view, try Google Earth
or other satellite images that will put railroad tracks, rivers, highways, and other
landmarks in context with the airport
layout. -JWT


http://www.aopa.org/destinations

Flight Training - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - July 2020

Contents
Flight Training - July 2020 - Intro
Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover1
Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover2
Flight Training - July 2020 - Contents
Flight Training - July 2020 - 2
Flight Training - July 2020 - 3
Flight Training - July 2020 - 4
Flight Training - July 2020 - 5
Flight Training - July 2020 - 6
Flight Training - July 2020 - 7
Flight Training - July 2020 - 8
Flight Training - July 2020 - 9
Flight Training - July 2020 - 10
Flight Training - July 2020 - 11
Flight Training - July 2020 - 12
Flight Training - July 2020 - 13
Flight Training - July 2020 - 14
Flight Training - July 2020 - 15
Flight Training - July 2020 - 16
Flight Training - July 2020 - 17
Flight Training - July 2020 - 18
Flight Training - July 2020 - 19
Flight Training - July 2020 - 20
Flight Training - July 2020 - 21
Flight Training - July 2020 - 22
Flight Training - July 2020 - 23
Flight Training - July 2020 - 24
Flight Training - July 2020 - 25
Flight Training - July 2020 - 26
Flight Training - July 2020 - 27
Flight Training - July 2020 - 28
Flight Training - July 2020 - 29
Flight Training - July 2020 - 30
Flight Training - July 2020 - 31
Flight Training - July 2020 - 32
Flight Training - July 2020 - 33
Flight Training - July 2020 - 34
Flight Training - July 2020 - 35
Flight Training - July 2020 - 36
Flight Training - July 2020 - 37
Flight Training - July 2020 - 38
Flight Training - July 2020 - 39
Flight Training - July 2020 - 40
Flight Training - July 2020 - 41
Flight Training - July 2020 - 42
Flight Training - July 2020 - 43
Flight Training - July 2020 - 44
Flight Training - July 2020 - 45
Flight Training - July 2020 - 46
Flight Training - July 2020 - 47
Flight Training - July 2020 - 48
Flight Training - July 2020 - 49
Flight Training - July 2020 - 50
Flight Training - July 2020 - 51
Flight Training - July 2020 - 52
Flight Training - July 2020 - 53
Flight Training - July 2020 - 54
Flight Training - July 2020 - 55
Flight Training - July 2020 - 56
Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover3
Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover4
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