September 24, 2008
By AOPA ePublishing staff
If you’re lucky enough to fly behind the latest in glass-cockpit technology, then you already know how much information is available to you at the push of a button. Even if the only “glass” in your panel is a GPS, you have a tremendous information resource at your fingertips. But that doesn’t mean traditional tools, like VFR charts, are obsolete.
In fact, keeping paper charts at the ready during your flight is always a good idea.
“Charts are always there for you,” says Woody Cahall, AOPA vice president of the Pilot Information Center. “They don’t need batteries, they keep working if your electrical system goes down, and they are a great way to learn more about what’s passing beneath your wings.”
Charts can even offer comfort to nervous passengers.
“Handing your passenger a chart gives them something productive to do and can help them feel a measure of control,” Cahall explains. “And that can turn an uncomfortable flier into another cockpit resource.”
When it comes to using charts, be sure you are selecting the right type for your mission. Sectional, terminal area (TAC), and world aeronautical (WAC) charts all give you information about terrain, airports, and airways, but differences in scale can mean big differences in how the charts should be used.
Sectionals, with their one-to-500,000 scale, emphasize visual checkpoints and topographical information, and are great for visual navigation of relatively slow aircraft. Terminal area charts use a one-to-250,000 scale and offer even more detail about obstacles and terrain as well as additional navigation and communication information around busy Class B airspace. Finally, world aeronautical charts use a one-to-1 million scale and therefore offer the least detail, making them best suited for long-distance flights in fast aircraft. And, pilots should keep in mind that obstructions under 500 feet agl won’t be depicted on WACs after Dec. 18 of this year.
To learn more about the different types of aeronautical charts, visit AOPA Online or call the AOPA Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672) for answers to all your aviation questions.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>