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Course Name:
ALC-481: Student Pilot VFR Navigation Planning
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FAA Safety Team
Before you will be permitted to take the course exam, you must log in, view the intro chapter, all numbered chapters and the review chapter.
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If you are reading this you have probably made it through your  initial flight training and you are now working on cross country flight planning. Congratulations on your progress so far!  Planning and executing the cross country trips for your pilot training is one of the most exciting and rewarding parts of pilot training.  It can also be one of the most confusing!

Of course you know that you’ll need a pre-flight briefing, and you will need to check the weight and balance for the airplane.  You will also need to review the airports of intended use and calculate your take-off and landing distances to be sure that the airports are adequate.  We will assume that you know how to calculate weight and balance and take-off and landing distances and will not discuss these important items further in this course.  The pre-flight briefing process is also beyond the scope of this course but please see the course ‘A Direct Approach to pre-flight briefings’ for more information on how to quickly and thoroughly get a pre-flight briefing.

To plan your cross country flight, you will need to choose a route that gets you to your destination while taking into account terrain clearance, ease of navigation and the proximity of emergency landing possibilities as well as trip economy and aircraft performance.  Another important part of planning the trip includes preparing a navigation log which shows the intended route, altitudes for each leg, the time, distance and fuel consumption for each leg.  The navigation log is the ‘worksheet’ used in flight to stay on the planned routing and to note the differences between the planned leg times and actual times flown.  You will draw on a broad range of your aviation knowledge in order to create the navigation log correctly.

Chapter 1 > Choosing a Route
Chapter 2 > Thinking about Altitude
Chapter 3 > Speed!
Chapter 4 > Climb!
Chapter 5 > Wind
Chapter 6 > Time per leg and Fuel Consumption
Chapter 7 > Putting it all together


To receive appropriate course credit for this course you must:

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  • Be enrolled in the course
  • You must visit each chapter of the course, using the navigation bars at the top or bottom of each screen, and complete all the course material found on each.

NOTE: Some links may take you to other sites or open windows on top of the course window. You will need to return to this course on to complete the exam. This might be as simple as closing all the additional windows. However, you may find it necessary to return to, log in again, and then "continue" the course from the Course List.

  • Upon completion of the review section the Exam-sd.JPGbutton will turn blue Exam.JPGindicating you are ready to start the examination. Upon successful completion of the exam you are given the appropriate course credit automatically.