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As a student pilot at which point I'm required to fill a navlog?

In practiceing short/softfield T/O and landings and flying under the hood for IFR practice should I fill the nav log., w. and balance calculations to the whole?


Cause we're not going anywhere in this case, is it needed?

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2 Answers

  1. John Scarry on Apr 12, 2017

    Short answer: Never.

    Longer answer. You should do a bunch of weight and balance calculations to see what the limits of each airplane you fly are. I know what the CG is for just me in the plane at full fuel, half, and empty. You should probably do the same thing for just you and for you and an instructor. Vary the weight of the instructor to see if it makes a difference. e.g. If you are flying a 152 and the regular instructor cancels and you get another one, how much can they weigh before you exceed the max weight for the plane? What happens to the CG at max weight when you burn fuel? Once you do the calculations, keep them handy for every flight.

    The purpose of the nav log is to get you familiar with getting the weather, figuring out the effect of the winds on your flight time, and making sure you land with fuel in the tanks. For flying in the pattern or to the practice area, all you really need to know is that you have enough fuel in the tanks and that the weather will remain VFR (and at least 3 miles visibility ) and whatever other restrictions your instructor may have imposed. You don’t need to fill out a nav log to do this.

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  2. Skyfox on Apr 25, 2017

    In the practice I always followed, I always filled out a nav log if I was flying cross country. That allows me to mark down my route, leg distances, winds, and so on. If I was staying local like flying the pattern or going out to the practice area, I wouldn’t bother with a nav log. You still want to do a weight & balance check any time you’re in an unfamiliar situation (ie. you have a new instructor who’s 6’8″ and 400 pounds), but if you’re flying the same plane with the same amount of fuel and either just yourself or with the same instructor, you can discuss with your instructor when to be confident that a W&B isn’t necessary.

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