Can you do a complete paperless Flight Preparation? In this video I’ll show you how to use your Garmin Pilot & Gyronimo App!
When it comes to flight preparation, I usually see 3 main problems:
Let’s face it, a good flight will start with a good preparation, cause once you’re in the air, everything goes pretty fast and it’ very hard to catch up. In other words, mental preparation is KEY.
Knowing your sources and using the right sources is ESSENTIAL.
This is especially true when using Apps.
So let’s get started to be better...
At EuroPilot Center, we’re using the Garmin Pilot App. The main reason is that it offers a flawless integration with our G1000 fleet. You can download the Garmin Pilot App for iOS, free of charge for one month, by clicking HERE. Yearly subscriptions range between 75 and 150 USD a year depending on selecting "standard" or "premium".
For all Performance Calculations, we use Gyronymo. The best app to calculate airplane performance, using actual values from the official POH. You can download the Gyronimo for 19 USD, by clicking HERE
Now that we have our Apps, let's first download our Garmin Pilot Electronic C172SP/G1000 E-Checklist File.
The E-Checklist file will be installed automatically.
Now it's time to download the Garmin Aircraft Data File for each airplane you fly.
Note: this is aircraft specific! You must download it for each tailnumber you fly because these files contain performance and weight & balance data.
For the following airplanes:
After clicking on the link above:
The Garmin Aircraft Data file will be installed automatically.
Open the Garmin Pilot App on your iPad. Click HOME in the top left corner of the screen and tap on the Checklist Symbol.
Just tap the Checklist Binder to open it up. Highlight the Preflight Preparation Checklist.
This checklist is identical to the EuroPilot Center Preflight Checklist below:
In my last video, I covered how to determine if you’re fit to fly with the IM’SAFE Acronym. If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure to watch my previous video on this topic. Today, let’s consider ourself Fit to fly and simply tick the box to complete this first item.
And this is where the fun begins… Let’s construct our route of flight!
Let’s say we first want to navigate to the PSP VOR, pinch to zoom in on the PSP VOR, hold your finger on the blue track and move your finger to the PSP VOR. In the list which now appears, confirm the PSP VOR as a waypoint.
Now before we continue: click home and select the Map again.
You want to stay at least 2000 feet from any terrain feature when operating in a mountainous area.
Note that you can zoom in on the vertical profile by pinching as well. The area viewed will be shown in grey on the standard map. The highest point will be shown on top off the profile view and the minimum terrain clearance will be shown next to it.
Now let’s go back to our preflight checklist and finish item 2, the Routing.
Now it's time to perform our Fuel Calculations!
Obviously it would not be safe nor legal to fly with only 4.4 USG on board.
Therefor the law requires you to add at least 30 minutes of final reserve fuel and 45 minutes for every VFR flight at night.
When operating the Skyhawk SP, we highly recommend to maintain a final reserve of at least 10 USG, as operating with less than 5 USG in one tank will trigger a Low Fuel Warning.
Note that, when not departing with a full tank, always visually check the fuel quantity by using a Fuel Dripstick. Never accept a verbal or even written statement from another pilot and never rely on the Fuel Gauges alone!
Now let’s go back to our preflight checklist and finish item 3, the fuel calculation.
4. Navigation Logs and Charts
Time to copy all this information to our EuroPilot Center Navigation Log, also known as an Operational Flight Plan:
If the goal of your flight is to conduct a full VFR dead-reckoning exercise, purely based on time and heading, make sure to plot your route including 10 degree drift lines and 2 minute time ticks onto your sectional chart.
Now you can study the Taxi Chart, Chart Supplement, get information on frequencies, Runways, Procedures, FBO’s etc.
One small sidenote: Garmin Pilot will automatically collect all required VFR and IFR charts based on your Trip Planning.
When everything on the Navigation Log has been completed, you have prepared your sectional chart and you have studied all relevant airport data, go back to the Preflight Preparation Checklist and tick the box to complete item number 4, The Navigation Log and Charts.
5. Weather and NOTAMs
What do you have to check as a pilot? Well, legally you’ll have to be aware about anything which may affect your flight.
The combination of actual weather reports and forecasts, called METAR’s and TAF’s should indicate that: one hour prior to your flight, during your whole flight, and 1 hour after your flight, both Visibility and Cloud Ceiling must be at or above the Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) and the wind is within the applicable limitations if any.
Depending on the type of airspace you’re operating in, there will be different VMC Requirements.
Another thing we have to check is if there are any flight restrictions in the Notices To Airman, also called NOTAMS. You can consider NOTAMS as the Pilot’s newspaper. This all sounds pretty complicated, but in fact it isn’t…
Once you have briefed yourself and you are entirely satisfied your flight can be performed safely under the conditions required,
tick the box on the preflight preparation checklist, to complete item number 5, Weather and NOTAMS.
6. Mass and Balance
In order to determine if the the airplane will be loaded within the mass and center of gravity restrictions, we need to perform a mass & balance calculation. So how do we calculate this:
This will be important since every airplane has a different empty mass and moment.
When ready, let’s check the summary on the right side: A statement: N153PC loaded within envelope is visible.
Let’s check if the airplane has been loaded within the Center or Gravity Limits by visually checking:
Click E-Mail Loadsheet and send a copy to EuroPilot Center Operations and yourself in order to show evidence of having performed Mass and Balance calculations.
For this, we use the Gyronymo App and your Take Off and Landing Data Card:
In the summary on the right, you’ll find the calculated Take Off Roll and a calculated Take Off Distance.
Since we’re no test pilots, it’s recommended to add a safety margin:
When no stopway or clearway is available:
When a stopway and/or clearway is available:
Write this figure on your your Take Off Data Card under Take off Distance Required.
Now let’s calculate the Landing Distance:
In the summary on the right you’ll find the Landing Roll and Take Off Roll.
Since we’re no test pilots, it’s recommended to add a safety margin:
Write this figure on your Landing Data Card under Landing Distance Required.
8. ATC Flight Plan
If your local regulations require you to file an ATC Flight Plan, this would be a good time.
You even have the choice to cancel or amend your filed flight plan.
Remember, don’t forget to CLOSE your flight plan after you have arrived at your destination.
Tick the box to complete Item 8, ATC Flight Plan.
9. Pilot Documents
As a Pilot, you should have the following documents on board:
Also don’t forget your spare glasses, they may be required due to a restriction on your Medical Certificate.
Tick the box to complete Item 9, Pilot Documents.
10. Aircraft Documents
You probably have heard about the "AROW" Acronym. It stands for:
Tick the box to complete Item 10, Aircraft Documents.
11. Trouble Report
Always check the aircraft trouble report for open "Squawks" or problems reported by other pilots. So let’s check our online Squawk System (FlightCircle) for any discrepancies.
If there is any discrepancy, check the Kind Of Operations Equipment List (KOEL).
If you can dispatch the airplane with an inoperative Item, make sure the item is properly placarded and any unintentional use prevented by a maintenance action performed by an authorized mechanic!
Remember, you are not supposed to pull any circuit breaker.
Tick the box to complete Item 11, Trouble Report.
Simply execute the correct actions to dispatch the flight on the Online Planning System (FlightCircle).
This will include verification of current Hobbs and Tacho times and maintenance status.
Note that this action is usually performed by EPC Ops or your Flight Instructor.
Tick the box to complete Item 12, Dispatch.
13. Flight Notification
When flying out of a European Airport, it may be required to notify the Airport Authorities about certain flight details.
You should do this by informing them about:
Tick the box to complete Item 13, Flight Notification.
Hey, didn’t we finish our complete preflight preparation in a quick and easy to follow workflow? You will absolutely find yourself being much better mentally prepared on your next flight!
Oh and one small thing, did you know that Garmin Pilot contains a cool feature whereby all your EuroPilot Center Manuals, POH’s documents, checklists etc… are fully synchronized with our Servers?
Now you have access to all important training materials necessary to make your training even more fun and enjoyable.
Note: get your Dropbox Username & Password via EuroPilot Center OPS.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I love to hear from you.
Please leave your comments below!