Flight 20 - Night Dual Cross-Country Flight


The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the procedures for planning and conducting cross-country flights at night. In addition, the pilot-in-training will practice maneuvers listed as review. 


First Freight Job

Congratulations, you are now a commercial pilot.  After years of hard work, you got your first pilot job – flying freight at night for a company based out of Cameron Park. Your route tonight will take you as follows:   

  • Leg 1 – Cameron Park (O61) to Modesto (KMOD) –deliver 75 lbs of cargo to Modesto, pick up 55 lbs
  • Leg 2 – Modesto (KMOD) to Napa (KAPC) – drop-off 20 lbs of cargo at Napa, pick up 30 lbs  
  • Leg 3 - Napa (KAPC)  to Sacramento Executive (KSAC) - drop off 25 lbs of cargo at Sacramento, pick up 50 lbs
  • Leg 4 – Sacramento Executive (KSAC) to Cameron Park (O61) – drop-off remaining cargo 

In order to avoid any delays that may be caused by re-fueling, you should plan the trip with as little or no fuel stops as possible. Your boss has made it clear to you that he has taken a big chance hiring such a low-time pilot. Being that this is your first flight alone, you really want to impress him with your on-time performance and piloting skill. 

It is up to you to decide where to put any cargo you will carry during this flight. It is very important to calculate weight and balance for each leg because the FAA recently fined the company for flying three aircraft overweight. The fines led to three of your fellow pilots losing their jobs. 

  • Plan a cross-country flight
    • Leg 1 - O61 to KMOD
    • Leg 2 - KMOD to KAPC
    • Leg 3 - KAPC to KSAC
    • Leg 4 - KSAC to O61
  • Obtain a weather briefing and be prepared to present it during the Preflight Discussion
  • Calculate weight and balance and takeoff and landing performance
  • Review aircraft maintenance records to determine compliance with inspection requirements.
Learning Objectives
Preflight Discussion
Desired Outcome Task/Knowledge
Perform Discuss lesson objective and completion standards
Practice Preflight planning and preparation
Practice Use of aircraft performance charts pertaining to cross-country flight
Practice Aircraft weight and balance computation
Practice Procurement and analysis of aeronautical weather reports and forecasts
Practice Filing a VFR flight plan
Practice Identification of equipment and operating requirements to operate in the National Airspace System
Practice Recognition, avoidance and operational restrictions of hazardous terrain features in the geographical area where the cross-country flight will be flown
Explain Diversion procedures
Explain Lost procedures
Perform Preflight Risk Assessment
Desired Outcome Task/Knowledge
Practice Opening and closing a flight plan
Practice Maintaining and completing a navigation log
Practice Navigation via pilotage
Practice Navigation via dead reckoning
Practice Navigation using electronic aids
Practice ATC and radio phraseology and procedures
Practice Tower controlled airport procedures
Perform Flight by reference to instruments, including straight and level flight, turns, descents, climbs, use of radio aids, and ATC directives.
Practice Diverson procedures
Practice Lost procedures
Perform Takeoff, approach and landing procedures, including short-field, soft-field
Postflight Briefing
Desired Outcome Task/Knowledge
Perform Critique performance
Completion Standards
The lesson is complete when the pilot-in-training can:
  • meet the desired outcomes listed in the learning objectives table.
  • plan and conduct a 100 NM VFR cross-country at night with little input from the instructor.
  • practice use of pilotage, dead reckoning and electronic navigation procedures with little input from the instructor.
  • determine groundspeeds within ±10 knots and ETA’s accurate to within ±10 minutes