Cross Country Planning


Gain the skills associated with planning an IFR cross-country and filing an IFR flight plan.


This is the required reading for this lesson. Numbers in [brackets] indicate the starting and ending page in the referenced reading material. Read all the pages and sections referenced.


The notes below highlight the important parts in the referenced material. Reading the notes without having read the actual referenced material is generally not sufficient to pass the written exam!

IFH - Chapter 10

  • Flight plan required for IFR flight
  • Airways
    • Low
      • NDB to NDB (A and G airways)
      • VOR to VOR (V airways)
    • High
      • VOR to VOR (J airways)
      • RNAV
  • Altitude selection
    • Magnetic track 360-179 - Odd altitudes
    • Magnetic track 180-359 - Even Altitudes
    • Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM)
      • Flight levels 290 to 410 (FL290-FL410)
  • Transition level in North America
    • 18,000 feet ASL

FAR - 91.167 and 91.169

  • Fuel requirements for flight in IFR conditions
    • First point of intended landing
    • Flight to filed alternate airport
    • An additional 45 minutes at normal cruising speed
  • 1-2-3 Rule for alternate airport requirement
    • 1 hour before to 1 hour after your ETA
    • Ceiling will be at least 2,000 feet AGL
      • Ceiling is defined as the lowest Broken or Overcast cloud layer
    • Visibility will be at least 3 SM
  • Visibility requirement at alternate airport (unless otherwise specified by the IAP)
    • 600ft ceilings and 2SM visibility for a precision approach
    • 800ft ceilings and 2SM visibility for a non-precision approach

Sim Pilot Notes

These notes highlight the differences between simulator and real-world flying. These differences are most often due to simulator limitations or specific VATSIM rules.

IFH - Chapter 10

  • Most common aircraft equipment codes on VATSIM are:
    • /U - No GPS/FMS, no DME, Transponder with Mode C
    • /A - No GPS/FMS, DME, Transponder with Mode C
    • /G - GPS/FMS, Transponder with Mode C. Not flying at RVSM altitudes
    • /L - GPS/FMS, Transponder with Mode C. Flying at RVSM altitudes
  • With no ATC on-line
    • Assume clearance as per filed flight plan
    • Squawk 2200
    • Announce intentions on Unicom (122.800)
      • Monitor pilot client for controllers
  • All aircraft on VATSIM are considered to be certified for RVSM

vPilot Flight Plan

Figure 1. vPilot Flight Plan

Tomas Hansson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Chief Flight Instructor, VATSTAR
DISCLAIMER: all information contained herein is for flight simulation purposes only.
March 2021

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