30 tips for successful cross-country flying
#4: Have more than a Plan B
To have a Plan B you have to have a plan in the first place – which is always a good idea. These days there are pilots who spend bad weather days or long nights with planning tools like XCPlanner or Thermix. But it is not just critical how meticulous the planning is, it needs to be flexible as well.
For example the Hochfelln triangle: The plan is for an ambitious 250 km FAI triangle from Hochfelln to Kreuzjoch, Gastein and back. For some reason the pilot decides to turn east at the Thurn pass. It would be useful to have an instrument with you that can display your triangle sectors. What it will not show you is any other possible crunch points on the new route.
So you need a Plan B! And when suddenly the north west wind blows very strongly – too strong for the headwind battle on the last leg to be worthwhile, then Plan C is needed. In this case, head east and go for open distance into the Enns valley.
This shows that a well-thought out plan is great, but don’t become a slave to it. Stay flexible and have alternatives worked out.