Southwest USA Flight Plan Exercises

These are flight planning exercises designed to introduce mountainous areas, Restricted Areas, airways, and – especially – performance issues at high elevation airports.

The first challenge is to find a safe and practical route at the specified altitude (9500 or 10,500 feet). It may involve following an airway or an Interstate Highway. As Andrew (see About Chris and his Teachers) rightly told me, if the winds at cruise altitude are more than 25 knots and perpendicular to the ridges, don’t go. It will be really turbulent and the mountain waves may exceed the performance of the aircraft.

The second challenge is to determine how the C-172 will perform – especially in takeoff and climb. I suggest you make the calculation in two different ways and compare the results:

  1.  Use sea level, standard atmosphere data from the POH and the Koch Chart
  2. Use the POH data, correcting for pressure altitude, temperature, and wind.

Another suggestion is to calculate your groundspeed at liftoff and at touchdown. (Find your TAS and correct for wind).

There are four exercises:


Cheyenne Sectional Chart:   Cheyenne, WY (KCYS) to Rawlins, WY (KRWL)

Los Angeles Sectional Chart:   Blythe, CA (KBLH) to Mojave Air and Space Port, CA (KMHV)

Phoenix Sectional Chart:   Needles, CA (KEED) to Sedona, AZ (KSEZ)

Salt Lake City Sectional Chart:   Fort Bridger, WY (KFBR) to Heber City, UT (36U)

FltPln39Koch Chart PDF


Takeoff Data PDF


Cruise Data PDF

FltPln42Landing Data PDF