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How to Make a VFR Flight Plan

Conquer the skies with confidence aided by a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) compliant plan.


  • : Consult a qualified flight instructor for flight plan training.
  • Step 1: Obtain charts Obtain an up-to-date aeronautical chart from a reliable agent to determine airport locations, landmarks, elevations, roads, restricted air space and other obstacles along your projected route.
  • Step 2: Draw route Draw your route on the chart, dividing a long trip into short legs, and measure the distance between all points.
  • TIP: Access online satellite images for your flight path to gain a better understanding of the route.
  • Step 3: Calculate flight time Calculate flight time by dividing the nautical miles of your journey by air speed in nautical miles per minute.
  • Step 4: Record compass heading Record the compass heading for the flight you have charted, account for drift, then, determine the altitudes at which you expect to fly.
  • Step 5: Estimate fuel need Estimate your trip fuel requirement using aircraft performance, payload, fuel weight, weather, wind, speed, and flight distance data to calculate fuel flow. Multiply the estimated fuel flow by flight time.
  • TIP: Create a flight plan electronically using online planning programs, a handheld GPS, or computer flight planning software.
  • Step 6: File plan File your completed plan form before take-off at the airport of departure, documenting pilot and passenger information and flight details. Now, welcomed by the skies, soar above the world to your destination.
  • FACT: Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart's disappearance over the Pacific in 1937 remains a mystery, with some speculating she was a spy captured and executed by the Japanese.

You Will Need

  • Aeronautical navigation map
  • Writing tool
  • Aircraft performance specifications
  • Weather and wind data
  • Cargo weight
  • VFR flight plan form
  • Internet access (optional)
  • Flight planning software (optional)
  • GPS (optional)

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