Flight Planner

Compiling a flight log is a prerequisite to making a cross-country flight. It is used to record the calculations and measurements made in the briefing room, and provides a plan to follow on your knee-board during the actual flight.

The flight log allows you to calculate the heading correction required to achieve a certain track given the forecast wind velocity, and also to estimate your ground speed and thus the time and fuel required for the flight. These calculations are usually done by hand using an E-6B or similar flight computer. This is fine until you realise you’ve made a mistake and need to go back and correct everything. Or maybe you want to set up your flight log the night before, and want to just plug in the wind forecast on the day without having to waste valuable time using the whiz-wheel.

It is much more efficient to use a PC for these simple, but repetitive, calculations. This MS Excel spreadsheet does just that.

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The spreadsheet contains a lookup table of waypoints that can be easily updated with the latitude and longitude of your own airports and private landing sites. Then simply select the waypoint codes of your departure point and destination on the flight plan, and your required track and distance are calculated automatically. Given the forecast wind velocity, the spreadsheet then calculates the heading you require, your ground speed, and your estimated time enroute.

If you would like more information on the wind calculations done by the flight log, have a look here at the solution to the triangle of velocities. The track and distance are calculated based on the Rhumb line (or loxodrome) between your two coordinates.

The flight log also contains some useful mnemonics for various procedures, and also the available manifold pressure requirements for limited-power operations in the Robinson R22 helicopter. These can all be easily changed to your own needs.

The spreadsheet requires Microsoft Excel 2003 or later.

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All files and tools on this page are provided “as is” with no express or implied warranty for accuracy or accessibility. Use at your own risk. All calculations should be checked before being relied upon for flight planning purposes.

License Terms

This spreadsheet is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The license means you are free to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. You may not use the material for commercial purposes. If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original. You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.

No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.