5 Things I Do Before a Long VFR Cross Country - MzeroA Flight Training

  • Published on Jan 30, 2018
  • m0a.com What are some things you do before a long cross country? In this video I share with you 5 things out of I'm sure hundreds we do before a long VFR cross country.

Comments • 96

  • HookieDaWookie
    HookieDaWookie 2 months ago

    Personal minimum in a commercial operation = Legal minimum

  • the geek
    the geek 5 months ago

    If you get a new digital toy you aren't that familiar with, don't plan on having it be the rock star of the trip. If I get something new like a Stratux for example. I would do several local flights close to my home airport before deciding I want to use it on a long VFR.

  • martinjberger
    martinjberger 5 months ago

    if its a new airport ill call fbo for local info

  • Daniel McLaughlin
    Daniel McLaughlin 6 months ago

    Canceled a 100 nm flight for commercial rating tomorrow. Forecast was showing a large area of isolated thunderstorms 10 miles south of my entire route and also just east of my home airport. Probably wouldn't take much in terms of winds and temperatures to shift that area over my entire route of flight. I wont fool with thunderstorms in a 172. I'll wait till sunday when is clear :)

  • Ashley Wincer
    Ashley Wincer 7 months ago

    Be familiar with other enroute airports off track and their notams, just in case a diversion to an unplanned airport is needed..

  • Gabriel Alfaro
    Gabriel Alfaro 11 months ago

    What would you recommend a personal weather minimum be for a brand new pilot flying VFR?

  • JDot
    JDot Year ago +3

    HEY JASON! Im a student pilot. Im hoping that you will notice this. Can you do a video about Computing for Top of Climb and Descent. Im having trouble with it when im filling out my navigation log. Thanks!

  • Eddie Adventure
    Eddie Adventure Year ago

    Old school backup. Absolutely!

  • the10thleper
    the10thleper Year ago +1

    I like your style, you show great concern for your students. I wish my flight instructors showed half as much as you do. You are well spoken and very confident. You also know how to smile. I can't stand flight instructors "people" that never seem to smile. Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to talk with a Boot camp drill Sargent.
    Thank you, Thank you for actually caring about others. Everybody around you, especially your parents have to be so proud of you. I know we are, Take care Sir. Please tell your parents a stranger said Thank you and good job.

  • Michael Lloyd
    Michael Lloyd Year ago

    I thought for sure that ForeFlight would include frequencies if I printed a flight plan... nope. Looks like I need to merge the old with the new. Great video

    • the geek
      the geek 5 months ago

      If you haven't tried it recently it does now.

  • DANIEL Rettagliata

    Weight and Ballance

  • Ronald
    Ronald Year ago +1

    If you wear glasses, like I do, make sure you have a spare set on you. Put 'm in a spot where you can find them without "looking"...

  • Ronald
    Ronald Year ago

    For the really long X-countries: Quit drinking anything two hours before departure, make that final bathroom stop as late as possible. Bring water but zip it very slowly and with long intervals. You might consider a portable urinal. Bring dry cookies or food bars that absorb fluids. All of the above is after many long 6 hrs plus X-countries over the deserts of the south west...

  • Ben Larsen
    Ben Larsen Year ago +3

    I’m a MV-22 Osprey instructor pilot. This is what I have learned watching hundreds of students make these mistakes. Look at the weather forecast first. That can essentially dictate where you go. Pick a SUITABLE airfield; read the AF/D for that airfield, check applicable NOTAMS, call the FBO. Can you go? If yes then the first thing you should do is decide how much fuel you want to land with (with reserves) just like having your own personal weather minimums. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.Then work backwards for your route from the destination to departure. Have bingo/ go-no go points a long the way and ALWAYS have SUITABLE divert airfields you can use in case of emergencies or bad weather or whatever reason. Basically have a plan to deviate from. Plan for the worst. We are constantly analyzing risk and making a plan to mitigate those risks.

  • johnpro2
    johnpro2 Year ago

    During planning phase ,open google maps..Use the distance measuring tool provided and place on departure and arrival legs ...then change to the satellite view and look and the destination airport and anything else prominent so you will feel familiar with the area when you arrive, This has saved me from certain failure in some check rides by being familiar ahead of arriving.

  • Kibet Yego
    Kibet Yego Year ago

    Expect the unexpected.I was diverted multiple times.Ended up cutting my flight short.

  • Juice McGoose
    Juice McGoose Year ago

    Even if you're a schtickler for the ipad, at the very least print out the your-fave-app generated navlog!

  • plane15man
    plane15man Year ago

    Don't forget to pick up flight following. Flight following saves lives.

  • johnpro2
    johnpro2 Year ago +1

    When airborne, line up with the directional gyro or compass as planned and pick a prominent land mark straight ahead.
    This will keep you on track for much longer.

  • The Flying Reporter

    I endorse all of these points Jason. Nice video.

  • Tom
    Tom Year ago

    I have 2 backup GPS nav systems (iPad + iPhone based) in addition to the permanently mounted system. Keep hydrated. Bring a pee bottle. File a flight plan and use VFR flight following. Know your planes fuel burn rate & fuel remaining with the utmost accuracy. Fly "IFR" ("I follow roads")...minimize time over inhospitable terrain in a single engine airplane. "Direct-to" isn't going to get you there all that much sooner. Bring basic camping/survival gear in case you have to put down in a remote area.

  • Mike Golf
    Mike Golf Year ago +2

    Sectionals, CR3, kneeboard, paper pad and 3 pencils. Nowadays also 3 pairs of glasses.....still legal if I lose one. The high tech is the backup, not the other way around. Much more satisfying.

  • Carm N
    Carm N Year ago

    here where can i get spreadsheet version of that old fashioned nav log?

  • Matei Beloiu
    Matei Beloiu Year ago +10

    I create routes over airports as much as possible. For the XC flying I do, I find that "zig zagging" a bit over airports vs. going direct costs on average only 5-10 minutes, which is very much worth the piece of mind knowing that I have an airport/air strip within gliding distance at all times. If airports are scarce over the flight path, I take into account the terrain and plan my flight as much as I can over flatter terrain or fields. And yes...for longer XC flights, I always compute the flight plan manually (takes several hours) and cross reference it to foreflight and DUATS.

    • Katelin Nading
      Katelin Nading Year ago

      Matei Beloiu ooo this is good! Thanks for the tip.

  • Gary
    Gary Year ago

    I always file a flight plan and get an outlook briefing the night before followed by a standard briefing the day of. I use flight following and stay in touch with flight service throughout the flight. The bottom line is ALWAYS use every available resource with EVERY flight.

  • 365Aviation
    365Aviation Year ago

    Where can I find a digital nav log like the one shown at 02:33?

  • Tobin Dodge
    Tobin Dodge Year ago +24

    In Alaska simple things can save your life. Today we cancelled a 425nm, X-country, because of a low voltage showing on the meter. During run up the charge/discharge was not showing properly, but almost decided to go anyway... took a lap in the pattern to see if extra power would fix it, we barely landed & got back to parking before electrical quit.
    Took it to an A&P, turns out it was more then just a cold battery. At -17f temp at departure, we are very thankful for the little minimum checks.

    • TheBigShowDown
      TheBigShowDown Year ago +2

      Thanks for sharing, mate. You taught me something.

  • Greg Bossons
    Greg Bossons Year ago

    Here's my personal checklist that I made for my cross countries:
    - [ ] EAPIS filed AND accepted (INBOUND or OUTBOUND to USA)
    - [ ] CUSTOMS appointment made
    - [ ] AROWJIL (Grab Journey Log) and ensure updated
    - [ ] Weather/NOTAMS
    - [ ] Check for all destinations and en-route points
    - [ ] Check for alternate airports
    - [ ] Weight and Balance
    - [ ] Fuel Contingencies calculation
    - [ ] RWY length calculations? (if small)
    - [ ] Determine:
    - [ ] Frequencies (traffic, London radio, weather)
    - [ ] Circuit altitude
    - [ ] Expected RWY and how to enter traffic pattern
    - [ ] Where to taxi/park
    - [ ] Foreflight set up (iPad and Phone)
    - [ ] Load and set up aircraft
    - [ ] Map (VTA/VNC)
    - [ ] Phone
    - [ ] iPad (with chargers)
    - [ ] Keys/clipboard/pen
    - [ ] Journey Log
    - [ ] Kneeboard/Taxi Diagrams/Nav Log
    - [ ] Pens (2)
    - [ ] Personal Log Book
    - [ ] CFS
    - [ ] Documents to write and bring:
    - [ ] Taxi diagrams, frequencies (Traffic, London Radio, Weather), circuit altitude, expected RWY, how to enter traffic pattern
    - [ ] Headset(s)
    - [ ] LIFE VESTS
    - [ ] OIL
    - [ ] Paper bags
    - [ ] Extras: E6B…
    - [ ] File Flight Plan
    - [ ] Fuel Plane

    - [ ] Close FLIGHT PLAN
    - [ ] Update Journey Log
    - [ ] Update Personal Log
    - [ ] Update PTR

  • joe finn
    joe finn Year ago

    I take kneeboard copies of airports along my route and alternates with highlighted: TPA, elevation, runway lengths, ATIS, relevant radio frequencies. Easier than finding on charts and highlighting info makes me aware of issues.

  • Vincent Jobson
    Vincent Jobson Year ago +1

    1. Dual lateral and vertical navigation backup plans and identify at least two alternate airports per route
    2. OSF or “OH SH** FACTOR”. What kind of terrain will I be flying over and what will I need to survive in the case of the unthinkable.
    3. Weather briefing and forecast. Not just for the day of flight but two days on either side of my planned departure.
    4. Plan not to go. I always set up a backup plan for the day to make sure I avoid the need to get there. If I can’t fly what else can I do with the day? This avoids disappointment by making sure I always have something to look forward to.
    5. Get a good nights sleep. Hours in the air can take a toll on you, especially when solo. I always make sure I have 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep even if it means pushing back my departure time.

  • ///RONTOURAGE ///

    I fly like I was trained. Plan, plan, plan!

  • Robert Wiener
    Robert Wiener Year ago

    Contact flight following

  • Paul Bergman
    Paul Bergman Year ago

    Even though I fly with Garmin Pilot incl a GDL39 (also a /G plane) and FlyQ, I make out a cheat sheet of the airport information with frequencies, quick notes on one or more procedures, and the MAP instructions on a 5.5” X 8” piece of paper and put it in my kneeboard. I do this for an alternate(s) and my home airport as well, VFR or IFR. Once made out I just have to pull out the several I may need for that X-C. I have two small flashlights and one that I can clip to the visor or somewhere, plus extra batteries. I carry an extra older IPad with my apps that is charged and sleeping. I am prepared for partial panel and night at all times. I have a handheld radio with headset plugs. I also carry my emergency backpack with gloves, headlamp, extra warm top, watch cap, emergency food & water, first aid kit, flares, and fire starter. I live in the not so friendly Pacific Northwest (lots of mountains, Islands & water/remote terrain) where emergencies can lead to serious problems. I fly with more than one hour+ fuel reserves. I never fly with less than 3 degrees C temp/DP at night on shorter X-C and daytime ceilings below 4000’ X-C on 100 mi flights, and no warm fronts. I look at METARS & TAF’s along my route of flight and alternates about 6 or more Hrs in advance and one hour prior to flight w/my brief. I adjust destinations as needed or cancel. 🛫😎🛬

  • Gwen Walcott
    Gwen Walcott Year ago +4

    If it's less than 75nm, I approach it the same way I drive a car --- just get in and go, following my nose to the destination. If it is significantly more than 75 nm or to a place that I'm not familiar with -- first thing is review Air Nav to determine the FBO at the destination and then services (yes, I call them). Then, I do a DETAILED nav log (NOT computer generated) -- use rules of thumb and MEAs for altitude, speeds, power settings, Airways (rather go down along published routes than have CAP guess where I might be), enroute and terminal frequencies (NAV and COM --- GPS magenta lines are mere icing on the cake), alternateS, fuel burns and stops, DETAILED weather. Approaches (whether I go VFR or IFR --- always terminate with an approach if one is available), and even consider talking to Flight Service (but I include their contacts whether I use them or just keep in touch with Center) ...
    I also make sure that my electronics are updated and all my batteries are fresh and topped

  • Ben Miller
    Ben Miller Year ago

    File a flight plan and get a weather brief. Fully agree to have a backup plan for routing and Incase you experience equipment failures. A great resource is to ask other pilots as well. If you plan to fly into a new airport, ask other pilots if they have been there recently. Sometimes they can fill in holes that are not covered by the AFD, NOTAMS, or talking to the FBO.

  • Krish
    Krish Year ago

    What is the APP you used in the ipad for this video (sorry, i am new to general aviation and planning to get commercial license)

  • Dodgerfan8627
    Dodgerfan8627 Year ago

    I see your thumbnail for these video. How do you do this with the footage you get.

  • Rêve de pilote - Aéroclub ACBB - Saint Cyr l'Ecole

    Low tech back up -- Portable extra batteries -- Expect not to leave and tell passengers about it (to avoid target fascination)

  • gab1961
    gab1961 Year ago

    Pilot / Plan / Plane / Passengers / Programming, Empty the bladder, Top the tanks.
    Great job! Love the videos!


    1.Arrive early at the airport for preflight and final details.
    2. Have a good night sleep.
    3.Dont put pressure on yourself if you dont feel prepare dont do it.
    4. Present your flight plan to fellow pilots maybe they can give you some tips.
    5. You are a pilot! Enjoy the flight

  • Andrew Gellert
    Andrew Gellert Year ago +20

    If you can find the time before hand, fly it on your favourite simulator. Kinda like “staying ahead of the aircraft”

    • Chris W
      Chris W Year ago +1

      i have flown lessons the day before my real lesson, 100% helped!!

  • Dylan Tobias
    Dylan Tobias Year ago

    I was taught to bring a liter and a half (Or more) of water per person and basic survival gear just in case.

  • vrendus522
    vrendus522 Year ago

    Thank you Jason, this video is what I was asking for.// Check weather and any notems on that route. Calculate fuel and make sure that engine plus airframe is in good working shape_last service to the plane in the mech. log. Make sure that I have a hand held radio and a B-4 canvas bag, with food, water, flairs emergency lights and blanket in that bag.//If there's time as I am use to smaller municipal airports, visit the flight service station and see what's doing. Take a good hard look at the map under the glass on the service counter, even if I have gone over map-air charts at home. Take along an inflight urinal collector. Before I go, think and re-think weather.

  • Edison Hernandez
    Edison Hernandez Year ago +1

    Draw the line point A to point B look at airspaces and elevation and adjust route and altittude accordingly considering weather.

  • superckn7
    superckn7 Year ago

    Does DUATS still print off a flight log once you enter in the data? RnMT

  • Stephen Donahue
    Stephen Donahue Year ago

    learn all you can about the airport your going to because some may have right traffic patterns.....oops!

  • Dustin Sorrels
    Dustin Sorrels Year ago +39

    Snacks! Plenty of snacks! Flying hangry is not safe or fun!

    • Chris W
      Chris W Year ago +8

      have you seen airforceproud95 Snacks on a plane?

  • Andy Plater
    Andy Plater Year ago +21

    File a darn flight plan!!
    Takes no time at all and then someone knows what you're up to when all else fails.
    Find out how to get VFR Flight Following in your area too.

  • Mark Russell
    Mark Russell Year ago

    I thought the long commercial XC requirement could be solo?

    • i.b. hemp
      i.b. hemp Year ago

      I do pilots-n-paws trips as often as possible and have met the commercial XC requirement many times over, but I'm still well under the required 250 hours. And don't have any particular reason to seek that rating. Currently working on instruments (when time allows) instead. Incidentally, I used one of those PNP trips to knock out the instrument XC requirement. :)

    • i.b. hemp
      i.b. hemp Year ago

      It can either be solo or with an instructor. If there is an instructor on board, you can carry passengers. So it may be that the instructor is being used as a way to allow for passengers. It's also possible that some low-time private pilots may not feel comfortable making such a long trip (think C150 speeds) without anyone on board for backup.

  • Bentz5000
    Bentz5000 Year ago +5

    Still trying to scrape together the cash to start PPL to eventually go CPL . I cannot wait to be faced with all these challenges, when I eventually get there. Great video as always, cheers from South Africa.

  • Brandon Stout
    Brandon Stout Year ago +1

    No matter how far an FBO is, always call and let them know at least a day ahead of time to make sure they have fuel and space

  • James Ennis
    James Ennis Year ago +2

    The one thing I don't see people talking about is being prepared for the outside weather. Is it the middle of winter or summer? What if I have to make a forced landing am I going to be prepared and dressed correctly to be outside for several hours? Long xc cover alot of remote area we're response to anything takes time.

  • Mark Dizon
    Mark Dizon Year ago +7

    I try to relax for an hour or two prior to my flight, clear my mind with all the worries that I have. Of course, that's not always possible. Sometimes, I dedicate just a few minutes making sure that I am not mentally overloaded with stuff. Find it helpful to focus once the flight begins

  • David Beardsley
    David Beardsley Year ago +7

    Another excellent video. I do all these and then some. I purchased a plane with all the gadgets and I still go old school / paper. I even have a #2 pencil with custom notches in it that match the scale of my paper chart. I can just lay the pencil on the chart in my lap and at a glance know fuel and time based on the notches.

  • Kibet Yego
    Kibet Yego Year ago

    Hi Jason.I always use the paper method and the onboard GNS430.My last cross country,I had planned a 3 leg trip.However due to vectoring for spacing at KBGM,I ended up changing my plan on the go.And my right fuel gauge was not playing nice.So to be safe,I headed back to my home base which i knew was within my range. It was a hot day, bumpy and hazy.

  • Alex Chen
    Alex Chen Year ago +2

    I use FltPlan go, and it crashes few time while flying. Having a copy of the destination airport diagram, freq, heading etc are a must. I always keep a hard copy in my hand as the backup, I even do it for a long road trip too, and I also keep a handheld radio just in case.

    • Carm N
      Carm N Year ago

      I use FLTPlan Go and have had no issues. As a matter of fact i've used it in addition to Foreflight a few times and Foreflight didn't work

  • Philippe Lewis
    Philippe Lewis Year ago +9

    I fly a simulated flight plan with X-Plane 11 before the actual flight. Did it before my first night flight and was able to simulate the actual position of moon and stars and radio towers which allowed for quick recognition of radio controlled lighted airports upon where I landed. Did the same thing for my first international flight in Mexico. ;)

  • Goekeli
    Goekeli Year ago

    NWKRAFT- Check all weather AFS route and destination, all terminals between inc alt. Call FBO check availability and prices tiedown and fuel.
    Thanks Jason, I love M0A great work!

  • 11Bravo Pilot
    11Bravo Pilot Year ago

    Weather weather weather

  • Windtee
    Windtee Year ago +1

    Always planning and always adjusting. Stayin' flexible.

    • i.b. hemp
      i.b. hemp Year ago +1

      This is everything. How well you plan on the ground *does* matter, but inevitably something will change in-flight that you didn't count on. Flexibility and staying cool makes all the difference in ensuring it's still a "good" flight.