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Page Title: Chapter 6. Visual Navigation Stage
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Introduction. VNAV acquaints the student with VFR flight plan (FAA and DOD), VFR departure/arrival,
sectional chart airspace, visual navigation using sectional charts, uncontrolled airport operations, and VFR
communication procedures. Emphasis is on visual navigation. Students shall not normally utilize Enroute
NAVAIDs, nor shall an excessive number of legs be planned directly between NAVAIDs. IPs may utilize
NAVAIDs at their discretion. VNAV shall be flown in daylight conditions.
NOTE: The terms VFR and VMC are often confused. VFR refers to visual flight rules. Pilots must remain in
visual meteorological conditions (VMC) at all times when operating on a VFR flight plan. Pilots on an IFR flight
plan may operate in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) or VMC, depending on weather encountered.
There is a brief book in the duty office covering the specifics of routing, updated charts, and procedures.
The following text covers the general aspects of VNAV flying.
Eyes Out Doctrine. It is imperative to maintain a continuous scan outside the cockpit. Even when
receiving radar advisories, the primary responsibility for collision avoidance rests with the pilot. All
operators must maintain sustained vigilance, especially in the vicinity of NAVAIDS, airway intersections,
and airports. It may be necessary to dip the wings occasionally for a better view when navigating or
entering a traffic pattern.
Preflight Planning. Proper flight planning is an essential element of safe visual flight. It involves
thorough knowledge of airspace, navigation, weather, aircraft/pilot/CP capabilities, and an understanding of
the many rules, regulations, and procedures governing visual flight.
Contact your instructor to determine if there is a desired destination, routes, and speeds. You will fly this
route unless weather or other operational necessity precludes it. Prepare a no wind jetlog and no wind VFR
flight plan (DD-175 and FAA).
Ensure enroute charts (sectional/WAC/low), IAPs (low), Enroute Supplement (VFR/IFR), computer,
NATOPS Manual, FIH, fuel packet, etc., are aboard; as required for the intended flight. Consider
accelerate-stop distance, one-engine inoperative maximum climb rate, and maximum one engine
inoperative service ceiling altitude obtainable for your weight.
Obstruction Clearance. Be aware of the highest obstructions for the route. If departing at night, or during
periods of reduced visibility, consider complying with charted IFR departure/arrival procedures to ensure
terrain separation. This is especially true when operating at fields near mountainous terrain or high
obstructions such as radio towers. The altitude/location of the highest charted obstruction can be found on
the outside cover, next to the elevation contour color code scale. Individual grid sectors post conspicuous
dark blue numbers in thousands and hundreds. This number represents maximum MSL elevation for the
grid (rounded up to the next 100) for overland obstructions. Overwater maximum elevation figures are
often not charted.
CAUTION: Over water obstructions are often uncharted or mobile. Drilling rigs, large ships, barges with high
obstacles, etc., may be in transit through, or temporarily located in, any area. Never assume the water represents
the first obstruction, as maritime structures may extend upward several hundred feet from the surface.
Thorough knowledge of weather for the intended route is essential. Obtain a weather brief and, if departing
from a military facility, a completed DD-175-1. If extended flight is intended, OPARs and a HWD should
also be requested. Do not request OPARs or an HWD for local flights.
NOTE: Contact Metro prior to performing extensive route planning, for a quick "general outlook for VFR" brief.
If weather is marginal for your primary route or destination, you may be able to pick a secondary destination prior
to wasting time planning an unusable route.
If departing from a civil airfield, obtain a weather brief, check NOTAMs, and file an FAA flight plan with
the nearest FSS by phone. The number is usually posted by the airport phone or may be found in the
directory (United States government pages) under Department of Transportation, FAA. A brief can also be
obtained by calling 1-800-WXBRIEF (1-800-992-7433). Completion of a DD-175-1 is not required.

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