August 2010 Issue

IFR Chart Choices

Despite electronic-charting advances, paper still rules. But the best chart products are the easiest ones to keep updated and in the airplane.

A long time has passed since Elroy Jeppesen first started drawing basic descriptions of ways to get into airports when the weather was down. Thankfully, aeronautical charting has evolved with technologies and operational needs. These days, the latest panel-mount avionics and handhelds coax us into the "paperless cockpit" realm, but a variety of factors havenít eliminated dead-tree charts. The good news is we have a choice, even if itís among only two basic publishers. Another piece of good news is we can put down one publisherís chart and pick up the otherís without too much confusion. While there are qualitative differences between the two publishers, a major distinction is how they distribute updates. And despite a third-party company simplifying the process, thereís still a price to pay when it comes to managing revisions.

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