Flying the route on Google Earth

We are quite lucky these days with all the tools we have available to us as pilots. A great thing I was taught by my instructor was about flying the route on Google Earth, which I feel is a valuable addition to the flight planning stage.

cranfield airport google earth

Google Earth has satellite imagining which means that you can go through your route and become familiar with what you should expect to see.
This allows you to know you are on tract when you are flying and to look out for landmarks on the way, to make sure you are still following the correct path.
Most importantly you will be able to know what your waypoint looks like so when you are approaching it, you already know what you should be seeing.
This will also help reduce your workload in the cockpit as you won’t be looking out to try to spot an airfield that you are not familiar with or a landmark you have never seen before.
The best part about it all is that Google earth is free on pretty much every operating system including  Windows, OSX, Linux, Android & iOS.
So after you have finished planning your nav with your map and flight computer and have corrected your headings for wind. You then load up your computer / tablet and go through the route in Google Maps, then you are ready to head out to the aircraft and get going.

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