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Cross-Country Flight Plan Calculations

March 25, 2020 @ 7:00 pm


**Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, this seminar will only be available for online viewing. IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.**

Click here to learn more about online viewing.


Planning for a long cross-country flight involves a lot of thinking ahead. There’s weather analysis, route selection, and planning for alternatives. There’s also the need to estimate flight time and fuel burn to meet FAA regulations for minimum onboard fuel. Seems easy right?

The only way to determine the amount of fuel you’ll need, is if you’ve already solved a host of other calculations. To be accurate, you’ll need to know ground distance, forecast winds, and aircraft performance information. You’ll also need to make some choices about altitude and route. Most pilots complete these series of calculations using grid sheets to guide their calculations, with cryptic columns label such as TH, DEV, CH, and ETE. At San Carlos Flight Center, we use a Cross-Country Flight Log sheet that makes it easy to understand the sources of information and the flow of calculations.

In this Ground School Refresher seminar, Flight Instructors Herb Patten and Dan Dyer will walk students through the variety of calculations need for each leg of flight that lead up to the final Fuel Needed number. If you are a new flight student confused about cross-country flight calculations or just need a refresher, please tune in.


Herb Patten is the Assistant Chief Pilot at the San Carlos Flight Center, a CFI and an FAA certificated advanced and instrument ground instructor who teaches private pilot ground school at San Carlos Flight Center. He is a commercial pilot with an instrument rating, has over 1,500 hours and flown into at least 120 different California airports. He is the current chairman of the Upwind Foundation, famous for its Upwind Summer Scholarship Program. In 2015, Herb was named a Master Instructor by the National Association of Flight Instructors.

Dan Dyer is a flight instructor and Chief Pilot of San Carlos Flight Center. He has been instructing for 15 years, has over 4,000 flight hours, and is the Bay Area’s local expert in crosswind landing instruction. He is known for finding simple and innovative ways to explain complex topics and regularly speaks on advanced ground school topics. Find out more about Dan at www.sancarlosflight.com or contact him at dan@sancarlosflight.com


San Carlos Flight Center (SCFC) is the SF Bay Area’s most dynamic flying club, committed to building general aviation thought safety, community, and adventure. AOPA has consistently recognized SCFC in their Best Flight School survey, most recently in 2019 as a Distinguished Flight School.

SCFC is committed to promoting safety in general aviation through our regular safety seminars and guest speaker programs. Space is often limited so it is important to sign up early. SCFC members may choose to watch the seminar live over the web at home, or recorded at a later date. Click here or contact a SCFC member service rep at (650) 946-1700 for more information about online access.


March 25, 2020
7:00 pm
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San Carlos Flight Center
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San Carlos Flight Center
(650) 946-1700
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