Today couldn’t be any better for my first x-country flight (so far). I’m looking at the TAF and it is showing variable and 3 knots as the winds for Buttonville. The upper winds are a joke too: 5KT at 3000′ and 8KT at 6000′. All thanks to a quasistationary (I love that word) high pressure system sitting over southern Ontario.
I’ve planned my route as follows:
DCT Claremont (SHP) DCT CNF4 DCT CYPQ 030 CYPQ DCT Cavan (SHP) DCT CYOO
Departing and returning to Buttonville (YKZ) with a 30 minute stop at Peterborough. Distance: 110NM. My set heading point departing Peterborough is just outside the zone. So I’m hoping that wont cause an additional workload for me. I think I covered all the bases: 10° drift lines, check points, half way marks, 10nm marks. I even marked on the map when I should start descending and to make radio calls. I’ve also marked places I could divert to if the need arises (by that I mean if my FI asks me ;) ).
All of the “pre-planning” is done. I just need to wait closer to flight time to grab the weather and calculate the rest of my plan as well as weight and balance and take-off/landing performance numbers. I have the basic empty weights of all the planes in the fleet but they don’t include the moment and arm numbers.
I got a chuckle last night as I was calculating some of the weight and balance. I didn’t know the weight of my instructor so I used the prescribed “standard weight” for a woman in the summer as indicated in the AIM. It’s 165 lbs. Thats heaver than me! It’s always better to err on the side of safety (ex. better to plan for heavier).
This will also be the first time that I will speak to an FSS specialist for more than 10 seconds. I called them once last week to get the upper winds because the PIK at the Airport wasn’t working properly. So I have my flight plan filled out on paper so I can expect what to be asked and what information I should give them.
I’m going to bring my GPS along to record the flight. I’m interested in seeing how well I stick to my planned route.