Checklist for a VFR Cross-Country flight

I. Flight Plan
1. Decide on checkpoints. First one is "Top Of Climb" (TOC)
2. Fill out distances, true courses, radio frequencies, etc.
3. Check in Airport Facilities Directory for airport information
4. Look in AOPA directory (Flight Guide, Jepp Guide) and contact a destination FBO
5. Get weather briefing including winds aloft
6. Do altitudes and wind correction angles
7. File flight plan with FSS (1-800-WX-BRIEF)

II. Ground Operations
1. Preflight
2. Startup
4. Taxi clearance, Taxi
5. Runup
6. Before-takeoff checklist
7. Tower: clearance for takeoff, or CTAF call
8. Note time off

III. Flight
1. Takeoff. Turn on course
2. Climb checklist
3. Out of controlled airspace: call FSS to open flight plan
4. Request flight following (if desired)
5. Top of climb: cruise checklist

IV. Each Checkpoint:
1. Turn to new heading
2. Note time
3. Tune in navigation radios
4. Climb or descend?
5. Write timings on flight log

V. Approaching Arrival Airport
1. Get ATIS or weather information at arrival airport
2. Set altimeter
3. Descend
4. Airport in sight: cancel flight following
5. Airport in sight: close flight plan with FSS
6. Contact tower or make CTAF call
7. Plan and execute appropriate entry into traffic pattern
8. Pre-landing checklist

VI. Ground Operations
1. Off runway: after-landing checklist
2. Permission to taxi or CTAF call
3. Shut-down checklist
4. Close flight plan with FSS (if not done during flight)