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    A Research on Flight Plans

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    A flight plan refers to a detailed document containing information of a planned flight. This document is prepared by various aviation officials and forwarded to officials of the airplane’s destination before the plane arrives. Many jurisdictions require a flight plan for law requirements as well as for safety requirements. Besides that, it aids air control officers in planning for navigation of airplanes to avoid risk of mid-air collision. The air-control personnel can also use information in the flight plan to calculate arrival and departure times for airplane, hence aiding airport to communicate essential information to passengers (Federal Aviation Administration, 2014).

    Apart from aiding air control officers, a flight plan is important for many reasons. For instance, pilots can use the information contained in the flight plan to estimate the amount of fuel for the flight. Normally, an airplane consumes a lot of fuel and running of fuel during flight can pose a risk of air crush. However, using the flight information they can know when to stop for refueling. Pilots can also use the flight plan in selecting the route that is shorter for purposes of minimizing fuel usage.

    This paper is interested in exploring the concept of flight planning. Specifically, the paper will examine what information is necessary for the construction of a fight plan. Moreover, the paper will identify and explain the main principles that guide aviation officials and pilots in the making of good flight plan. Finally, the paper will identify and explain the legal responsibilities of a pilot in command.

    Information required in the flight plan

    Although different jurisdictions have their policies regarding aviation rules, the most standard flight plan contains the following information.

    1. Description of the type plan- There are different format of flight plan. The commonly used formats include; DVFR (Defense Visual Flight Rules), VFR (Visual Flight Rules) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). However, these formats can be combined in what is called a composite (IVAO. (2014).
    2. Aircraft Identification- Details of the airplane are also included in the flight plan. These detailed includes the registration of the plane which is normally the tail number.
    3. Plane type and special equipment installed- The flight plan also contains the information of the plane and the specific equipment and technology used in the development of the aircraft. This information is normally provided by the manufacturer of the airplane. For instance, a Boeing 777 installed with altitude indicating responder.
    4. Departure point- The flight plan has to indicate the airport from which the airplane is departing. This information is provided by the airport officials of the departing airport. 5. True airspeed in Knots: Having identified the route for the flight, aviation officials should indicate the expected cruise speed of the airplane in knots. This information helps in estimating arrival time (IVAO. (2014).
    5. Departure time: The pilots and aviation officials at the airport should agree on the expected and actual departure time and then indicate it on the flight plan. This information will help officials at the destination airport to estimate the arrival time of the plane.
    6. Cruising altitude- The pilot in conjunction with the air controllers at the departing airport should provide information of the planner cruising altitude distance. This information is essential for the air-controllers in minimizing the risks of collisions with other planes.
    7. Route- The flight plan should also indicate the choice of route for the flight. Specifically, the route should include navaids, intersections and, stoppages for the craft. This information is essential for logistical purposes for both the departing and destination airports. Normally, the shortest route is adopted for purposes of minimizing fuel usage and logistical issues.
    8. Destination point- The flight plan should also have details of the planned destination point or airport. This information is helpful for security purposes in-case the plane encounters security problems such as hijacking, since a land in an unfamiliar airport signals security personnel of a problem.
    9. Estimated time Enroute- The flight plan should also indicate the estimated time between the departure point and the destination point. This information is obtained after a series of calculation between the airport officials and the plane’s crew. This information is also essential in determining fuel usage and, making logistical arrangements for either in the departing or destination airports.

    Contact details at destination: Finally, the flight plan should have information of how air- traffic controllers at the destination point can locate the location and status of the plane in-case of an emergency of distress.

    The following are the principles which guide the construction of the flight plan. Accuracy in weather-forecast- For an effective construction of a good flight plan, aviation stakeholders including pilots, engineers and air controllers should ensure they adopt accurate weather forecast data. Weather-forecasts play an essential role in the success of a flight. First, accurate weather data enables pilots to estimate the amount of fuel to use in the flight. For instance, bad weather forecasts inform the pilot to make arrangements of more fuel consumption in order to generate enough cruise speed for the plane. Secondly, accurate weather data helps pilots to estimate the arrival time of the plane. Having arrival time information helps airport staff to plan for logistical plans for the passengers. Therefore, it is essential for pilots to ensure they obtain weather data from meteorological experts.

    Cost minimization- Similar to other business entities, commercial planes operate with the purposes of minimizing operational costs while ensuring maximization of sales. Therefore, they always try to reduce costs by adopting various methods. First, they perform various estimations such as fuel usage quantity and flights time to realize how they can optimize operational costs. Cost minimization thus helps pilots and airline companies develop a flight plan that optimizes operational costs and mechanism.

    Accuracy in calculation- As mentioned earlier, developing a flight plan entails a series of calculation such fuel usage, arrival times, weather data estimations. The accuracy of these calculations determines the success of the flight plan. Therefore, when developing a flight plan it is essential for different stakeholders to adopt mechanisms that help in generation of accurate data. For instance, they should invest in latest technologies and computers that perform series of calculations faster and produce accurate information.

    Choice of route- As mentioned earlier airplanes follow routes or airways while flying. The choice of a good route is an essential component in flight planning for many reasons. First, a good route enables the airplane to reach its destination faster. Secondly, it enables the plane to minimize fuel usage since a shorter route means less fuel usage. Finally a route determines the altitude the plane will fly and this information is essential for guiding air controllers directing other planes for purposes of minimizing air collisions.

    Safety- A good flight planning takes account the safety precautions of the flight. Specifically, it ensures that the plane has satisfied all safety requirements before it can depart for the flight. For instance, the flight plan checks whether the plane has enough fuel to sustain the plane in the flight. Secondly, it checks whether the flying crew have the necessary skills and competence to fly the plane. Finally, it checks whether the plane has enough safety materials for people on board.

    Conditions of the aircraft- A good flight plan ensures the plane meets necessary conditions such as mechanical before it flies. For instance, it ensures the plane has had enough maintenance and all other components are fully functioning. Welfare of the plane crew- A good flight plan takes account into the welfare of all the crew of the plane. For instance, it ensures the demands of the pilot, first officers and engineers are met before the flight begins its journey. It also ensures the needs of other staff such as air-hostesses are satisfied by either the Airline Company or officials of the airport.

    Enforcement of aviation rules- For the success of the flight, the airplane must ensure it observes all aviation rules. It must comply with laws and regulations set by the governing authority of both the departing and destination points. Moreover, it must comply with rules governing the global aviation industry. Moreover, it should comply with all safety regulations guiding air- operations. Review- A good flight planning process entails checking the components or information contained in the flight plan document to ensure it satisfies global aviation standards. Moreover, reviewing helps aircraft crew check if they have everything they need for the flight. Legal responsibilities of a pilot in command Firstly, a pilot in command is the person who has the overall control of the plane during the flight. This person makes crucial decisions during the flight such as safety decision. Although different jurisdictions have defined different laws guiding pilots in command, the following are the main responsibilities of a pilot in command (Cornell.2014).

    1. The pilot in command has the full responsibility of managing the entire operations of the plane during the flight (Cornell.2014). For instance, he/she gives directions to flight officers and engineers on the steps to take in case of an emergency. Moreover, he/she communicates important messages to the passengers.
    2. In case of emergency situations, the pilot in command has the power to deviate from the standard security procedures so long as the deviation steps aids in minimizing the risks of danger to the entire people on board.
    3. Apart from managing the safety of the people on board, the pilot in command has the responsibility of ensuring the physical safety of the airplane. Specifically, he/she should guide other airplane crew in making decisions that do not harm the airplane (Cornell.2014).

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    A Research on Flight Plans. (2022, Dec 01). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/a-research-on-flight-plans/

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