Hey everyone Jason Schappert here of MzeroA.com and this week I’m working with two of our great team members here at MzeroA.com as they pursue their commercial certificate. One of those requirements is that long dual cross country, and it got me thinking here, what are some things I do and I teach my students to do before and even during each long cross country. And then I want to hear from you as to what are some things you do. I picked out 5, obviously there’s hundreds, but I just want to share 5 of these with you to get you to think a little bit outside of the box. Here is the first one: Always have a plan B. Your route is not always going to work out how you plan it. There is going to be airspace that pops up, things you thought that you would get cleared through you don’t get cleared through. Whatever it may be, it could be weather in front of you, things out of your control. Always have a plan B. Yes, you can draw a straight line from A to B, but understand that there is a lot that can happen in between. Let’s just have a back up route around this restricted airspace just in case. Around this Class Bravo airspace just in case. Add a different altitude, always have a plan B. Here’s another one: Have you ever thought about calling the FBO and ask about parking? So often we spend so much time planning the flight that we forget when we land and the ground controller asks us “Where are you parking?” and there’s three FBO’s to choose from, we haven’t even picked one out yet. We don’t even know where the three are, what the three options are. Research all that, pick which FBO you’re going to. Call them, ask about where do they want the general aviation parking to go? What should I expect? Maybe look and say okay if I land runway 3 6 it looks like I’ll taxi Alpha Bravo over to this FBO, and they want me parking on the south side of the building over here. And I can plan that out. Ask about their hours of operation, Ask about fuel prices and the hours of fuel because full service may not also mean they have self serve. They may be in two totally different locations. Make sure we find that out ahead of time. Here’s number 3: I’m a old school back-up kind of person. My online ground school members know this. I still make them fill out the old school cross country NAV Log because I want you to have a back-up plan. I realize that’s not for everybody, but please if you’re putting all your faith in just that IPad at least write down some key frequencies, key diversion airports, their identifiers, your heading, your times. Have these items written down because you can’t take paper away from you, but that IPad can sure overheat, or the battery die. Always have some sort of old school back-up for when technology fails. Number 4: What about weather and personal minimums. Our long time MzeroA.com fans and friends know I teach to have hard set personal minimum numbers. Take the emotion out of it because when you say “man my check ride is in a week, I have to get this cross country done.” You end up making silly mistakes, and perhaps flying into weather that you wouldn’t normally fly in because you feel like you have to get it done. You never have to be anywhere in aviation. Does today’s weather exceed your personal minimums? Do you find yourself making different decisions because you feel you have to get this done? “Because I don’t want to schedule my check ride again, they’re taking months to get booked. I just have to get this done.” You never just have to get it done. You never have to be anywhere in aviation. Stick to your hard set personal minimum numbers here. And lastly: you have to always be willing and always be adjusting the plan. You may realize your ground speed is 10 knots faster, 10 knots slower once you actually start flying. Can you make that adjustment? What does that do to the bottom line? What does that do to the fuel burn? What about wind correction angles, 10 degrees left, 10 degrees right? You spend all this time making this beautiful plan on the ground, you’re still planning in the air because the conditions change. You have to be willing to adjust. So, let me ask you a question, I just shared 5 out of hundreds of things you should be and probably do before each and every long VFR, really short VFR, IFR, whatever it is cross country flight. What are some things that you do before each and every cross county flight? Leave me a comment in the comment box below this video whether it’s on Youtube, MzeroA.com, Facebook, Instagram, where ever it may be, I can’t wait to read your comments, and perhaps we’ll use them in a future video. Listen enjoy the rest of your day and most importantly remember that A Good Pilot is Always Learning! Have a great day guys, we’ll see ya! Pass your check ride or I’ll pay for it. Join our #1 rated online ground school and participate in live mock check rides and interactive written test prep. Visit groundschoolacadamy.com to learn more.