Should I get a sectional subscription?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by john745, Apr 26, 2021.

  1. john745

    john745 Filing Flight Plan

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    New pilot... I bought my first set of three sectional charts... El Paso is kind of on the Fringe of one of the charts so I bought two others being San Antonio and Albuquerque... Anyways, El paso is effective between the 22nd of April and the 17th of June this year?? Holy smokes. I knew that I would have to replace them every so often but I was thinking like every 6 months or something. This is only good for 20 days 2 months! Should I subscribe to a sectional subscription? Or is it just one of those things at ill practice for the first couple flights and then switch over to a more modern GPS map?
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
  2. Marshall Alexander

    Marshall Alexander Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I subscribe to DFW, Wichita, and the KC sectionals, I like having the paper charts. I have mine with mypilotstore.com.
    You can opt for the next edition if you want. Check out the options for them.
     
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  3. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route

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    They went from a 6 month cycle to 56 days recently. It seems to me that the only reasonable way to have current charts these days is to use an efb. I think it's worth having a paper chart to study and understand, but the reality is that the vast majority of pilots don't use them anymore.

    It's also nice to have one for the checkride, as it's a lot easier to lay out on the table & discuss.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  4. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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  5. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Line Up and Wait

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    They’re good for wrapping gifts and they smell like adventure.

    But you don’t need them, even on a check ride. When the examiner fails your panel gps, pull out the iPad. When he tells you that failed, pull out another one. When he fails that, pull out your phone. That’s what you’d do in real life, so it’s a chance to demonstrate real-life adm/crm.
     
  6. GaryM

    GaryM Pattern Altitude

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    I no longer have a subscription (I buy paper backup copies once a year to keep in my flight bag), but when I had a subscription, I used mypilotstore.com. I recommend them highly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
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  7. john745

    john745 Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes, I'm not sure how I calculated 20 days either... Too much time without sleep. I was thinking 2 months...

    Thank you all for the perspectives!
     
  8. Trogdor

    Trogdor Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Subscription to GP or FF would be FAR(/AIM?) more valuable.
     
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  9. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait

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    I always carried a paper sectional with the planned route highlighted. this was a backup to the EFB cuz ya never know.
     
  10. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait

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    +1 on MyPilotStore.com
     
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  11. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    I get a new paper one every so often or if I have a checkride. Other than that, I just update for free on my EFB.
     
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  12. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's all about what you are comfortable with. I use an EFB and have electronic backups. I have not had a paper chart for 10 years. Others are uncomfortable doing that and feel some security with paper. That's ok too.
     
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  13. Sam Gordon

    Sam Gordon Pre-Flight

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    As someone else who is just starting training, did you have/carry more than one copy of the sectional? Because if you highlight a sectional for a flight from A>B, then a couple of days or weeks later, you want to go from A>D, and some days after that A>E, etc, doesn't your sectional get marked up pretty quick?

    Or is there something I'm not understanding?

    On a side note... aside from Foreflight, is there a specific app you guys use or just download PDFs? Any recommendations for an Android?
     
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  14. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route

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    IFlyGPS https://www.iflygps.com/ is my favorite efb. It works great on android (as well as ios & windows), is simple to use, and has everything you need and nothing you don't. It has one weakness: it can't talk to garmin avionics. I used it with a stratux through all my training and loved it, but I bought a plane with a GTN, so I switched to garmin pilot. GP has an android version, but it sucks, and I wouldn't recommend it. It's a great program on iPad. The other option I'm aware of on Android is Avare. I found it lacking compared to ifly, but it's "free", so there's that.
     
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  15. john745

    john745 Filing Flight Plan

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    Garmin, iflyGPS, foreflight...
    They all do the same thing right?
    I mean some have more advanced features but the general purpose of each is a GPS map? Any extra features are just a plus...?
    Are there any more to add to the list?


    As a student should I be using these? If not at first, when would you recommend incorporating them?

    Thank you in advance for your responses.
     
  16. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Line Up and Wait

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    The most important thing is preflight planning. Ask your instructor for a recommendation.
     
  17. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route

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    For a student, it doesn't matter too much. Even freebies like avare or fltplango will do what you need. The real power of the paid apps is in planning longer xc's and ifr. They all offer evaluation periods so you can try them out and see which you like best. I'd recommend waiting until you have your private; as a student you don't really know what's important and what you can live without.
     
  18. Trogdor

    Trogdor Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Why does the Android version suck? I actually think it's fine. Yeah, the iPad version is a bit more organized but the Android version certainly works well.
     
  19. Trogdor

    Trogdor Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You may get some push back from other folks but I am a firm believer teaching EFBs should be part of your Part 61 training.

    Knowing how to properly use an EFB like FF or GP can save you time, money, and your life (no joke).

    Yes, you should carry a map with you at all times and know your way around it - as a backup.

    But you will be a far better and safer pilot if you know how to use an EFB competently. (btw this also applies to the GPS in your plane if you have one - such as a 430/530 substance).
     
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  20. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route

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    I took three tablets with me to Texas. GP froze and crashed so much I had to use all three. Also the performance calculations are broken, and the updating is a PITA. It also is about a year behind ios in getting new features. I'm sure there's other stuff I can't think off the top of my head. It's usable, but the experience is so much much worse than ifly or the ios version of GP. It kills me because I can't stand Apple.
     
  21. Trogdor

    Trogdor Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, I agree - updating GP in general is a PITA (They still don't have it exactly right, particularly on the free space requirements).

    I do think though they have closed the gap significantly between the iOS and Android to a certain extent.

    TBH, I use an iPad Air 3+GP (w/GDL50 for WAAS) on my lap but have my phone as a backup.

    Anyway, I stand by my comment - every single new pilot should learn an EFB (pick any one that is reputable, I don't care which).
     
  22. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Another vote for IFlyGPS. IMO the best choice for Android (pretty darn good for iOS and Windows too), unless you like the fact that Garmin Pilot has the same look and feel as the newer certified avionics.
     
  23. Sam Gordon

    Sam Gordon Pre-Flight

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    @john745, it sounds like you and I might be close on our "paths". I've had one training flight and the second is next week. I did download Avare. It's free. As in free free, not 30 day free (that I can find so far). Just playing with it at home, it seems to do the basics (shows sectionals, supplements, and supposedly weather), so I'm going to try using it during training and worry about a subscription to something else (if I feel I need it) down the road.

    ETA: I appreciate the suggestions on other options and am not against them, and will probably try them when I'm flying more regularly, just trying to save money where I can right now.
     
  24. eb87f

    eb87f Pre-Flight

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    I've used Avare on a tablet, and also have it on a phone for backup for 8 years now. I'm VFR only and do mainly long xc's. From So. Dak. to Fairbanks, Phoenix, Prince Edward Island, Northern MN, South Padre Island, etc. (Long xc's). It has served me well. I flight plan and file VFR plans with 1800wxbrief.com. I don't see the need for more and don't even use all the features, but then I don't know what I don't know...
     
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