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Qualifying cross-country solo

I’m curious to know how you prepare your students for the qualifying cross-country solo…

Do you fly the route with them first as a nav exercice, then send them off to repeat solo…

….or do you make a point of choosing aerodromes they’ve never been to before and let them get on with it?

Any thoughts on the pros and cons of either method?


It really depends on the student. With some you need to fly the route first, with others a couple of landings at unfamiliar airfields are sufficient as preparation. But I am in a special position as we are based at an international airport. For us, every training flight starts with a cross-country flight to one of the smaller training airfields in the vicinity. When our students are ready for their solo-cross-country flying they have some experience already.

EDDS - Stuttgart

I am not an instructor, but when I did my QXC 7 years ago, my instructor did route A to B with me as a general navex. I had previously done C to D (home), so was familiar with both airports. What I hadn’t don’t with the instructor was the 2nd leg B to C.

It can be done anyway you choose. There is no requirement to have visited or flown any part of the route.

It used to be better under the old CAA QXC requirements (not that I can remember them know) but what we used to do then was fly A to B with the student and then A to C with student. When they did the QXC they then had to fly B to C without them ever having seen the route.

Under JAR/EASA there is less flexibility it has to be 150nm and because of this we now fly the whole route dual with the student.

Its bloody hard to come up with a decent QXC route these days.

I’m currently a student waiting for the right weather to do my skills exam… but I’ve done my QXC a couple of months ago.
What we did was A to B and A to C with my instructor (2 sessions) and then it was up to me to do the A to B to C and back.

In the end the A to B in my QXC was completely different from when I did it with my instructor since there was a large NOTAM for some display and had to go completely different way. I ended up consuming way too much fuel, since it was much longer and had to refuel at C (was in a C152)

I’m curious to know how you prepare your students for the qualifying cross-country solo…

The Qualifying Cross Country ceased to exist in 1999. It was part of the UK National PPL. It was completed after all elements of the PPL and the Navigation Flight Test (NFT). It was called a Qualifier because it was the final experience requirement to qualify for PPL issue. Because it was outwith the routine training, it attracted a certificate and verification that the student had completed it unaided. Under JAR and now EASA there is no such thing. There is a training requirement for a Cross Country flight that has for the past 12 years been very much part of the training and conducted prior to the Skill Test. Why do we persist with this term that has been defunct for 13 years? No other EASA State calls it that and there is no such reference in the regulation.

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