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7. Example

The following example demonstrates the typical process followed during pre-flight planning of a navigation flight.  We also show how RightBase tools can help speed up calculations.

These are the essential steps:

a. Determine the route
b. Record the route details in a navigation log
c. Calculate additional route parameters based on aircraft performance and weather
d. Determine weight & balance
e. Final preparations

Let's assume we want to make a VFR flight from Wycombe in the UK (EGTB) to the Belgian coastal town of Oostende (EBOS) in a Cirrus SR22 (N147VC).

a. Route
Having studied the weather, NOTAMs, and the appropriate charts, we settle on the following route and plot it on a chart:
EGTB - BNN VOR - BPK VOR - DVR VOR - KONAN intersection ('mid Channel') - KOK VOR - EBOS


Cruising altitude will be 3,500 ft, although for the initial portions of the route we need to remain lower due to airspace restrictions.

b. Navigation log
We take a fresh navigation log and complete the header with basic information on the aircraft and the flight.  Next, we add the following:
  • Individual waypoint names
  • Magnetic course and distance - Frank's Original Pilot's Ruler is a very handy tool to measure these quickly on a chart
  • Radio navigation frequencies
  • Communication frequencies
  • Weight & balance data (except fuel on board)
The next steps require some calculations.  This is where the RightBase tools come in handy.

c. Navigation calculations
Launch the RightBase Navigation Calculator and type in the required parameters.  Press 'Calc' and record the results in the appropriate columns on the navigation log.  You will notice that the fields are arranged in the same order to minimise errors.

d. Weight & Balance
Once we know the amount of fuel for the route, we can determine the fuel quantity we want in our tanks (including reserves).  This enables us to complete the weight and balance part of the log. In this example, full tanks have been assumed.

Launch the RightBase Weight & Balance Calculator and add the respective weights in the app.  Press 'Calc' and copy the total weight and CG to the log.

By varying the values for fuel, weight and CG in the landing and zero-fuel conditions can easily be calculated.
Note this task is even easier if you have a RightBase app with customised aircraft weight and arm values, which saves you from having to look them up in aircraft manuals. Contact us now for more details!

Check the weight and CG values are within limits for all phases of flights and tick the boxes in the log to confirm.

We can now bring all elements relating to the flight together in the navigation log:
e. Final preparations
The completed navigation log allows us to file the flight plan.

After the passenger briefing and the pre-flight check, we're ready to start our trip!