Here is the video I made during the cross country lesson trip from Ocala to Clearwater.
The original idea was to use 2 cameras, one pointing at me and Piff and the other one filming the outside scene in front of us. But the outside camera battery died or I did something wrong… so in the video you will see only the cam pointing to us.
I recorded the audio from the intercom and a part a background noise you will be able to listen the dialogues between Piff and me and with the tower. I don’t know if the background noise is a problem of adapter or is the camera… I will figure out before the next videos.
I left all the important step of the flight in the video: the radio communications, the lesson from Piff and the search of check points. Is not a fun short video but can be interesting if you want to learn how a cross country flight is done. The part I cut off was enjoying the view and chat with Piff… the best part while you fly but boring in the video :)
The big part of the job is done on the ground during the planning. It is basically done in this steps:
– Decide the route. In this case I choose a straight route from OCF to CLW ’cause we had no obstacles (in a mountain zone can be less easy), military zones to avoid, or class B airspace. There is KTPA (Tampa International) but we stayed at a lower altitude.
– Choose the altitude. The terrain in Florida is pretty flat, so is easy to stay above obstacles. The decision was to stay at maximum 2500 feet to be below the class B airspace of KTPA that extend over Clearwater above 3000. I checked the wind aloft and 2500 sounded good giving some tailwind.
– Check the weather. Important to know the winds to choose the altitude and correct the heading to compensate for the draft. And to stay out of instrumental condition since this is all VFR.
– Calculate the heading. The magnetic heading to follow on the compass must be calculated compensating for the wind, the magnetic variation and deviation, in this way you will have the “number” to follow on the compass that will keep you on the true heading.
– Select the checkpoints. Draw a line on the map between the departure and destination and choose around it (better on the left so will be easier to be seen) some visible referral points to check that you are in route.
– Calculate miles and time between every checkpoint and obviously departure and arrival. On the first leg time for getting on the flight altitude must be calculated and added to the time to fly to the first checkpoint. All this is very easy to do using the parameters found on the POH of the plane. And is much better to do if you have an iPad with some aviation app. I will talk more about the one I used in another post.
– Calculate fuel needed for the flight.
– Calculate wight and balance. Traveling with all my luggage, the camera bag, pilot bag etc. I understood why this calculation is a must. With full thanks we were near the limit, so we decide to fly with 3/4 tanks to stay on the safe side. OCF to CLW is pretty short so there was no need for the full thanks.
– Airport scheme and frequencies. Get the Airport facility directory and check the runway length, position, scheme of the airport in use and write down all the radio frequencies.
– Write all down on the flight plan…
– Fly and have fun!
You can see now how we followed the plan and arrived in perfect time to our destination.