Prior to advances in avionic technology, pilots had to fly solely by visual references using techniques that combine pilotage and dead reckoning. As a part of the initial phase of pilot training, students are required to learn these skills and recreational pilots choose to fly using this technique because of it's simplicity and accuracy. This instructable will detail the steps needed to plot a course from one airport to another and calculate the time it takes to fly the route.

Step 1: Step 1: the Supplies

To efficiently plan a VFR flight, you will need a few materials. You will need:

1) A VFR sectional chart that includes the airport you will be departing from, and one with the destination airport. For short flights, these are typically on the same chart. (Figure 1).

2) A flight plotter (Figure 3)

3) An electric flight computer OR an E6B flight computer (Figure 2). I will be explaining how to use an E6B Flight computer for this instructable

4) A VFR flight plan sheet (Figure 4)

5) A pencil with an eraser.

6) A phone or computer to get the weather.

The sectional chart, plotter and flight computer can all be purchased at most flight schools or online. You can find the VFR flight plan sheet easily through a google search.

<p>Great <em>Instructable</em>. It really conjures up some fond memories.</p><p>The first time I flew the North Atlantic in my Twin Comanche, I had just installed a Loran C instrument. This was a few yrs before GPS became available to our cockpits. Even though the Loran was &quot;probably&quot; going to direct us from Bangor, Maine to Goose Bay, Labrador, and then on to Reykjavik, Iceland, that system was sometimes unreliable above certain latitudes near Greenland. Therefore the Canadian CAA wanted to see our flight plan and charts with <em>semi-up-to-the-minute</em> wind triangles. We had to dig out all of the old navigation tools you described. I don't think I had touched any of them in ten years. Happily, we did not need to use our calculations and the Loran performed beautifully. </p><p>But on our leg from Iceland to Glasgow, the North Sea Loran chain went &quot;unreliable&quot; and we were suddenly navigating with the maps again, except the Icelanders had not made us do any calculations this time. Just as we were fumbling for our E6B from the bottom of the map case again, the Loran perked up. Therefore, on the way back from Europe, we sat down and did all the calculations this time. As expected, we never had to use them. Like our life raft, though, it was comforting that we had them.</p>
<p>Great work :) This reminds me of our final project in the history of the Age of Exploration class where we had to plot a ship's route around the world using navigational and ocean current charts they had at the time. It took forever but it was fun!</p>

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