One of the best option for the student pilot to fly SOLO Long Cross Country in south California is Van Nuys – Chino – Camarillo – and back to Van Nuys.
Based on the FAA 14 CFR 61.109 the private pilot applicant must have a training which consist of 1 solo cross country flight of at least 150nm total distance with full stop landings at 3 points and one segment of at least 50nm between T/O and landings.
Our chief flight instructor, Mostly assigns student to fly on that route. This is a great route for solo cross country which offer a tricky challenge such as flying over Burback class C, avoiding Los Angeles Bravo Class, and using Instrument route intersection as a check point.
The student will learn to get a flight following from Van Nuys to enter Burback class C airspace and on the way to Camarillo from Chino, they must avoid the Los Angeles class Bravo airspace. This will help them to manage their situational awareness, cockpit management, and flying skill at the same time. At the other hand, the radio communication around this area is very intense either from Burbank tower and Socal Approach.
He will go for checkride on his 17th birthday (after 14 Days intensive training) and let’s pray for his success.
8 BEST TIPS TO DO LONG CROSS COUNTRY LIKE A PRO
- Define all routes and waypoint very clear. Make sure you know the direction and distance on each segment of your checkpoint. Always do a discipline timing on each checkpoint and cross check with tour VFR chart.
- Know your airspace and what clearance must be made and how to do the effective radio communication.
- Write down all frequencies of the ATC, ATIS, and airport control (Clearance delivery, Ground, Tower). Also the VOR along the way you might use for the navigation.
- Call the FSS for standard weather briefing and ask for TFR, NOTAM, and significant weather along the route.
- Calculate your VFR distance. Your cruising altitude substracts by target altitude which is normally the Traffic Pattern Altitude divide by 500 feet per minute.
Example altitude to Chino 5,500 feet cruising – 1,400 (KCNO TPA) = 4,100 Feet. Round up to 4,000 with 500 feet per minute descend rate you will reach 1,400 in 8 minutes.
So find out where you will be 8 minutes from the airport based on the constant descend speed calculation, 100 knots ground speed for instance. Then you will find a distance which can be seen based on the visual reference check point such as Chino Hills.6.
- Always inform the last ATC and tower your ATIS information.
- Check list – Check list – Check list on every stage of configuration.
- Manage all the frequency on the radio ahead and always use VOR tracking reference to make your flight easier.
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