Pre-flight planning is one of the most important steps to a safe flight.
- Ensure that you have a current aeronautical chart.
- Check which listening squawks and frequencies cover your planned route.
- Check NOTAMs: For up to date information on specific NOTAM, including Restricted Areas (Temporary), Airspace Upgrades and Emergency Restrictions of Flying, you can call the AIS Information Line on 08085 354802 or +44 (0)1489 887515.
- Check the local and en-route weather and check again just before flight.
Pre-flight planning tools
There are a number of free online pre-flight planning tools available to assist pilots in safely and easily planning their Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flights in and around busy airspace and to check NOTAMS.
NATS (National Air Traffic Services) has awarded its Safety Compliance Mark to SkyDemon Light. The mark indicates that the product complies with functionality set out by NATS to enhance flight safety.
The SkyDemon Light online flight planning tool can be found at www.skydemonlight.com
Tip: The weather can change rapidly so plan options for your flight, including diverting or turning back.
Always have a Plan B. If you are planning a controlled airspace (CAS) crossing, ensure that you have a back-up to avoid the airspace in case a clearance without delay is not possible. Have a decision point a few miles from CAS rather than right on the boundary, as it will make diverting around the airspace much easier, with less possibility of infringement. Plan time and fuel calculations for the longer route.