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Doing first cross country flight plan with several stops along the way. What is the general rule of thumb for calculating time, fuel, etc. for a mid trip landing? I've done conceptual flight plans with checkpoints etc, but not actual stops.

In other words, I can calculate fuel burn, ground speed, course etc. for a point to point flight. Just not sure what to calculate in by adding a full stop in the middle of that same flight.

While studying for the FAA knowledge exam it sometimes said calculate 3 minutes for take off and departure but curious if there is a generally accepted set of numbers.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Av.SE! I'm not clear why you need to plan through the stop; why not simply treat each leg as its own flight? If you need to figure an ETA to the last landing of the day, just allow yourself more time than you'll need at each airport, and know that your final ETA will mostly depend on your actual takeoff time from your last departure airport. Or are you trying to fuel-plan for taxiing back from a full stop? Ask your CFI what burn to use in that case for your aircraft. $\endgroup$ – Ralph J Jan 30 '18 at 0:13
  • $\begingroup$ For your purposes, what's the difference between one flight with a stop in the middle, and two separate flights? What exactly do you mean by a "full stop"? $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Jan 30 '18 at 0:18
  • $\begingroup$ Great point about treating like two flights. My main interest is properly calculating total fuel burn. $\endgroup$ – RThomas Jan 30 '18 at 2:15
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This may not be what your CFI is looking for, but I found the changes in fuel consumption during takeoff/landing to be negligible. This is because the taxiing uses very little, the and extra fuel burn in the climb is largely compensated by the savings in the descent. So, I just look at the distance between the airports, take winds aloft, calculate ETE and make sure it's acceptable in respect to fuel reserves. Ditto for any foreseen diversions. You have to have enough fuel on board to reach your planned reserve airport if you arrive at your destination and find that it's closed (e.g. because of an accident). This may be less of a problem in North Carolina, but in New Mexico, you might need to return all the way. A 30 minute VFR reserve isn't going to cut it.

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We use a rule of thumb of +5 minutes at each startup/shutdown. So a flight with two legs and a shutdown in the middle gets +20 min. Obviously very conservative and used here in the context of helicopters.

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I usually use a gallon (Piper Cherokee 180) for taxi, and my normal climb out and descents. Assuming you’re calculating Top of Descent for the middle stop, and top of climb when leaving, I’d just through those burns in there, plus, maybe, 3x your taxi requirements for parking, shutdown, startup, and taxi back.

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