Flight Planning is just as important as learning to fly an aircraft; the safety and success of every flight depends equally on an efficient and approved flight plan and an experienced pilot. There’s no point being able to fly if you can’t prepare a flight plan. Safe air travel requires the air traffic control network to compile and organise thousands of flight plans every year, to avoid planes becoming too close or even experiencing mid-air collisions.
Flight planning is the process of creating a route for the flight of an aircraft. There are two safety aspects involved in planning a flight: fuel calculation and air traffic control compliance. Fuel calculations determine the amount of fuel required for an aircraft to travel from one point to another, and could even include a stop-off to top-up. Air traffic control compliance involves following the terms required to ensure a safe flight, authorising your flight plan with air traffic control to ensure a plane won’t be in your way, or that another flight plan will be drawn up by another pilot compromising your route.
Fuel calculations are based on the fuel consumption of the aircraft, which is essential information which the pilot needs to plan how much fuel to carry, or where the aircraft should make fuel stops. Safety regulations require aircrafts to carry extra emergency fuel. Air traffic compliance assists pilots in avoiding mid-air collisions.
Apart from the safety of the pilot, the passengers, the cargo and the aircraft itself, these areas are critical and help keep the cost of a flight to a minimum by optimising its route, speed, height and fuel capacity. It is these elements which need to be carefully orchestrated and balanced to create a good flight plan.
Flight planning is one of the more basic lessons taught in flying school, and there are also web-based flight planning services to assist you, providing tutorials and other information, although this isn’t in any way equivalent to flying school. Learning to plot a route which is safe and economical is an essential skill for anyone wishing to hire private jets for luxury holidays or business trips.
If you’re thinking about hiring a pilot for a private plane, be sure to look for flight planning experiencing as well as piloting experience. Planning a safe and economical flight is just as important as flying the plane, since it’s no use being a great pilot if you’re plotted flight plan takes you into the side of a mountain!
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