Chart management?

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by C_Parker, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. C_Parker

    C_Parker Pre-Flight

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    Hey guys, studying for my instrument written right now, and collecting supplies to start flight training. Looking for pointers on managing approach plates...

    When I go to order plates, there are loose leaf and bound options. I imagine loose leaf is the prime choice?

    How do you manage storing them when they're not on your knee board? The simple rings, or a little binder, or... ?

    Do you guys use pre-printed briefing cards during training?

    Any other tips on instrument training supplies and managing everything?

    Thanks!
     
  2. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    garmin pilot, fiveflight, avare, etc.....
     
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  3. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Most people have gone with an EFB. I probably bought charts twice and that was back in 2003/2004. I was downloading only the charts necessary for my flight and printing them off 2 to side, 4 per sheet.

    The only paper plates I've used in the past 10 years are at picnics.
     
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  4. C_Parker

    C_Parker Pre-Flight

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    I have an iPad and Foreflight but I wanted to learn old school first...

    And I always keep paper charts to back up my iPad, just in case.
     
  5. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    Loose leaf, then use these.
    binder-rings.jpeg
     
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  6. C_Parker

    C_Parker Pre-Flight

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    What are your thoughts on the individual rings vs this device?
     

    Attached Files:

  7. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Like I said, I just printed off the ones I needed and clipped them to the knee board. Buying 643 charts you'll never use is a waste of paper.
     
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  8. sarangan

    sarangan Line Up and Wait

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    No need to buy anything. Just download what you need, and print. Or use Avare or any of the other software. Finally, you can also just memorize the information and not bring anything.
     
  9. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I used to print the likely needed plates prior to flight but eventually went away with that once I got used to the use of ForeFlight and other things. I had no fewer than three different ways to get at electronic versions of the plate PLUS the IFR GPS, so I eventually stopped printing.
     
  10. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    If you are going to use the FAA paper charts, I'd go with the looseleaf to make the ones you need for a flight easier to pull out. There are still be some binders around in these EFB days, like this one from Sportys
    upload_2019-4-15_13-40-7.png
    but the inexpensive rings that @dmspilot showed work just as well.

    Back in the day, the IFR Flight File was popular as a way to organize the charts, with tabs for departure, destination, alternate.... I used it regularly.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. chemgeek

    chemgeek Line Up and Wait

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    EFB all the way. Lots of options for IOS and Android, subscription or free. You can always print paper plates from the AOPA web site. If you print them in "booklet" form, they will go on a half-page and fit neatly on a kneeboard or yoke board. But the easiest is to simply call up the approach plate on the EFB, the tablet for which I have in a yoke mount so it's right in front of me. And if you are my age, you can always pinch to zoom an EFB display to enlarge plates as needed. Can't do that with paper... :) When I used paper, I bought the NOS booklets. That way, I didn't have to file revisions and it was harder to lose individual plates, although those thick books were a pain to clamp into the yoke board.

    If using and EFB, have backups. I install the same EFB on my phone as my tablet, so if one crumps I have another source. In a pinch, if both EFBs fail, ATC can read out intermediate altitudes for you as you fly an approach with your GPS/NAV/COM.
     
  12. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    I had that one for a very brief time. The individual rings are a fraction of the price and work better.
     
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  13. TCABM

    TCABM Cleared for Takeoff

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    That thing is the devil.
     
  14. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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  15. PilotRPI

    PilotRPI Line Up and Wait

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    I liked paper plates for my training. Now that I have my ticket, I'll focus on EFB, but will order paper plates as well. I've had EFBs lock up on me/overheat, etc. I used the individual rings from Staples that dmspilot shows. Then I use the sticky tabs to mark airports of primary interest.

    EdFred, what program do you use to consolidate plates? I like that idea.
     
  16. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    Never used one. The plain rings allow you to rotate the charts 360 degrees to get the one you want on top so that you don't have to remove it (which is likely to get it lost or wrinkled) then rest the entire booklet on your leg with the desired chart facing up.
     
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  17. C_Parker

    C_Parker Pre-Flight

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    What size rings are those? 1", 1.5"?
     
  18. tsts4

    tsts4 Line Up and Wait

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    During training I just used the regular bounded FAA TPP for the area I was flying in (NE-3 which covers VA, MD, DE, and DC) that every FBO sells. Worked just fine. I had my EFB at the time (GarminPilot, which I still use) but like you wanted to stay analog during training. After I got my rating I switched to 100% digital (EFB, EFIS, and iPhone) and will never willingly buy a paper chart of any kind again.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  19. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    No program. Just put paper back in printer 3 times each with a different orientation so I have 2 plates on each side of an 8.5x11 paper.
    If I'm good sometimes I even get them in order so I flip, fold, flip to get the plates as I need them.
     
  20. mryan75

    mryan75 Line Up and Wait

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    I still use EXACTLY these two things! I have the Mini and FF, backup on the phone, but I always have the Sporty's blue book of plates and the IFR Flight File with the specific charts I need. Great tools.
     
  21. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I would train with what you plan on using. You can print the plates off the FAA web site for free, but dealing with paper in a small GA aircraft is a PIA. I used Foreflight, which I used for planning and filing, then used the aircraft avionics as my primary chart source in the air with Foreflight as a backup. If your airplane doesn't have charts in the avionics then I would use the FF as primary and have a backup to that, paper or another device for FF.

    Old school is almost always not better.
     
  22. C_Parker

    C_Parker Pre-Flight

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    You guys are making very good points. One of the issues is the DPE that we use is a bit crusty and old school, I may end up setting myself up for a tougher check ride if I use a tablet... I'll run it past my CFII and see what happens. If you guys could have been a fly on the wall for my 2.5 hour PPL checkride.........
     
  23. mryan75

    mryan75 Line Up and Wait

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    That said, the battery life for paper is really great. You wouldn't catch me in hard IFR without paper charts within reach. Love FF and my Garmin stack. Not giving up paper. :)
     
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  24. sarangan

    sarangan Line Up and Wait

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    I had the same concern too when I got back to flying after 10 years. The big change during that time was the switch to EFB. However, what are the chances that both your tablet and phone will run out of battery? Even if both batteries are dying, you would know with plenty of warning, so you could write down the essential stuff. Nevertheless, I carry a portable battery. It can run my tablet on that battery for something like 10+ hours, and cost $5 at Walmart.
    With all of these combined, the probability that I will have any issues with an EFB is far smaller than a paper chart getting wet or being sucked out the window.
     
  25. IK04

    IK04 Line Up and Wait

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  26. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    You may want to consider a different dpe as one who forces you to use paper over a tablet just because is doing you a disservice. Your CFII should be able to feel him out on the subject.
     
  27. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    OTOH, I gave up paper almost 8 years ago. Everyone does what he or she feels comfortable with.
     
  28. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    I use ForeFlight to print out my approach plates and use a few of these on one side to make a mini-book.
    Also
    Use one to clip my map to keep it expanded a bit bigger.
    upload_2019-4-15_19-11-46.jpeg
     
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  29. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    If you go EFB, try SkyCharts because it is a really simple to use software with no bells and whistles, which is all you need for training.
     
  30. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    You can do it manually as @EdFred does, but there are software options. I've been using a program called FinePrint for a few decades which will consolidate multiple print jobs into a booklet.
     
  31. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Tree killer!
     
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  32. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Line Up and Wait

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    Reasonable facsimile
    Not sure if you have a goal of being a professional pilot or not, but 99% chance that wherever you end up getting a flying job at will be using EFB's, so might as well get used to using them now. If the DPE can't move himself into this century, then I suggest you find another DPE.
     
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  33. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    As far as cost, ink for my printers is no bargain and not sure buying paper charts is that much cheaper than FF either, although I haven't compared.
     
  34. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Line Up and Wait

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    Reasonable facsimile
    fltplan go is free, and has free NOS charts
     
  35. mryan75

    mryan75 Line Up and Wait

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    I like to have backups for my backups. And then backups for those, too.
     
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  36. mryan75

    mryan75 Line Up and Wait

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    You name it, I've had it happen to an iPad inflight. Having paper to grab is such a simple backup plan and inexpensive as well. I'd rather not take the chance. I think Murphy was an optimist.
     
  37. tsts4

    tsts4 Line Up and Wait

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    I think the takeaway here is there's no right or wrong method, but it's prudent to have a backup. For me that backup is electronic and has served me well since I went to an EFB in 2012. In the end do what works and makes you comfortable.
     
  38. mryan75

    mryan75 Line Up and Wait

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    Totally. Some people are militant about this stuff. I'm not. I just like having a tech-proof backup.
     
  39. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    I much prefer the bound books, easier to flip through and they stack nicely in the floor, ready to use in flight.

    Yes, I have Avare but much prefer to navigate with my G430W. It is nice, though, the waynthe EFB pops up the airport diagram to show me where I am on the ground.
     
  40. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Me too. I used my backup EFB once. It was when FF had a bug which caused it to freeze.switching took about 15 seconds.