August 3, 2009
By Ian J. Twombly
Jeppesen recently introduced a chart for the rest of us called the VFR+GPS chart. It’s a resource that fits the new world of VFR GPS flying perfectly. Ground reference points and airport information remain, but because of less clutter the charts are easier to read than a traditional sectional.
Transitioning to the new chart is easy. Information is clear and all the right pieces are emphasized. Airspace colors are slightly different, but instead of having to memorize colors, the charts are printed with the altitudes. And there’s no more hunting for airspace altitude limits either—they are printed on the boundary lines, not in the random open space between.
Many symbols remain the same, with the exception of obstructions, which are more detailed. No longer will pilots have to interpret which upside down V is the obstruction. The new Jeppesen charts have different illustrations for powerplants, water towers, church steeples, and more. Finally, VFR waypoints and intersections stand out, making the chart much more suitable for a GPS user than a traditional sectional.
The entire country isn’t covered by the new charts yet, but most metro areas are. Look for national coverage soon.
Price: $7.99 to $14.99 Contact: www.jeppesen.com
Have you been out of flying for a long time? Need to get back into the game but you don’t know where to start? Sporty’s has the answer with its series of pilot refresher kits. The kits are tailored to either VFR or IFR pilots looking to immerse themselves back into flying.
The VFR kit includes four DVDs covering the flight review, weather and airspace, takeoffs and landings, and VFR communications. Buyers also get a kneeboard, flight plan forms, a plotter, a FAR/AIM, a maneuvers guide, and more. IFR pilots who haven’t flown in the system for years may benefit from the four DVDs in the kit, which includes information on the instrument proficiency check, risk management, instrument flying tips, and IFR communication. The kit also includes a kneeboard, IFR glasses, the Instrument Flying Handbook, and more.
Price: $149 for VFR; $189 for IFR
Contact: www.sportys.com; 800-776-7897
WingX, a popular flight planning and aviation reference software, is now available on the iPhone and iPod Touch. The app is a fully functioning mobile flight planning tool. The program includes weight and balance information, a full-service weather suite, charts, a flight planner, an E6B, and the ability to file a flight plan. AOPA’s Airport Directory data is available as a free upgrade.
ForeFlight, maker of iPhone applications, offers AOPA’s Airport Directory as a download free to AOPA members. AOPA Airports is available from the iTunes App Store. Data covers airport info, FBOs, and airport services. Features include a download manager for keeping the data up to date every 56 days, thousands of airport diagrams, and the ability to save favorite airports and recently viewed airports, and find nearby airports.
PilotPrep is an FAA knowledge test question bank for the sport, private, recreational, and instrument airplane written exams. Users take study exams while the program keeps track of the selected answers. PilotFAR and PilotAIM are reproductions, with full search capability and the complete bank of figures.
Price: $6.99 each
Unless otherwise stated, products listed have not been evaluated by AOPA Pilot editors. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors. However, members unable to get satisfaction regarding products listed should advise AOPA. To submit products for evaluation, contact:
New Products Editor, AOPA Pilot , 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, Maryland 21701;
or telephone 301-695-2350.
Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
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