Creating a Navigation Log

Cross Country Planning


1. Mark the course on the sectional. Consider the airspace, terrain, aircraft performance (ceiling/range). Check airplane weight and balance. Check available runway lengths and aircraft performance.

2. Decide on and mark checkpoints. Think about your ability to identify them from the air. Using the plotter measure the True Course (TC). Enter the checkpoints, TC and Variation in the nav log. [Nav Log entry]

3. Using your plotter, measure distances between the checkpoints and enter in the Nav Log.

4. Decide on appropriate cruise altitude and enter in Nav Log

What is the Magnetic Course (MC)?

Remember to subtract Easterly Variation and to add Westerly Variation (“East is Least, West is Best”)

Then for you MC, the VFR cruising altitude is, from FAR 91.159:

      0 – 179 –> Odd Thousands plus 500 feet

    180 – 359 –> Even Thousands plus 500 feet

5. Check DUATS

    a. Enter the following information on your Nav Log:

        i. Wind direction and speed (Is the forecast wind true or magnetic?)

        ii.Temperature aloft

6.  Using your flight computer, calculate the cruise density altitude

7. Go to the Airplane Flight Manual

a. For your planned cruise power setting and density altitude, determine the Calibrated Airspeed (CAS) and fuel burn rate in cruise

b. Enter CAS, fuel burn rate and cruise power setting in Nav Log

8. Using flight computer, calculate cruise true airspeed (TAS) and enter it in the Nav Log

9. Using the flight computer, calculate the Wind Correction Angle (WCA) and groundspeed and enter them in the Nav Log

10. Calculate the following and enter them in the Nav Log:

    a. True Heading (TH) = True Course (TC) +/- Wind Correction Angle (WCA)

    b. Magnetic Heading (MH) = TH +/- Variation

    c. Compass Heading (CH) = MH +/- Deviation

11. Using flight computer calculate and enter in the Nav Log, the Estimated Time Enroute (ETE) for each segment

12. From the Airplane Flight Manual, find the time, speed and fuel burn to climb to altitude and enter in the Nav Log.

13. Calculate the fuel used for each segment and enter in the Nav Log

14. From the Airplane Flight Manual, find the fuel burn for start up and taxi and enter in the Nav Log.

15. Calculate the distance and fuel remaining for each segment and enter in the Nav Log

16. Call FSS: Check TFRs and NOTAMS and file a flight plan.


What you will need

Before you start make sure that you have the following:


A. Current Sectional


B. Current Airport Facilities Directory


C. Current weather. Call the FSS (1-800 WX-BRIEF) give them your airplane tail number, destination, route, altitude and estimated departure time and ask for a standard wearther briefing.

Or get it online from DUAT or DUATS


D. Airplane Flight Manual


E. Plotter


F. E6B computer