Going My Way: Jeppesen’s VFR+GPS Charts

By Scott Spangler on September 2nd, 2008

JetWhine_Jeppesen-Oshkosh

It’s always bugged me that I need two sectional charts–Green Bay and Chicago–to get from my home in OSH to my family growing-up grounds west of the commercial Class B airspace plug stuck in the ground at ORD.

It’s more than the cost: $8.60 each. In a small cockpit, dealing with east-west folds when you’re flying north and south is an invitation to distraction, and elbow-head-injuries to anyone sitting in the right seat.

Then there is the problem of too much multicolored information. It takes anxious not-looking-out-the-window-for-traffic time to find important information, like the VFR reporting point.  It so took the fun out of flying that I often wished that I could take the train.

Not any more. Jeppesen has brought paper charts into the 21st century.

I hate to gush, but I’m in love.

I’m unnaturally attracted to maps of all kinds because they tell stories about places I’ve not yet visited. Jeppesen’s new VFR + GPS enroute and terminal charts are the cartographer’s equivalent of a Harry Potter novel, enthralling, but easy to read.

If the chart is the book, your GPS is the movie, and the two work together well. The chart shows the intersections that appear on your moving map. VFR checkpoints, like the Ripon and Fisk shown above, are easy to see purple flags. Turn the chart over and you’ll find a table with the lat/long coordinates of each checkpoint, just waiting for you to turn them into a GPS waypoint.

Even better, the GL-3 (for Great Lakes), is oriented–and folded–north south. With the same 1:500,000 sectional chart scale, this accordion fold runs from Springfield, Illinois, to Wausau, Wisconsin. Imagine that, a single $9.99 chart covers roughly 90 percent of my normal aerial wanderings.  (1:250,000 scale terminal charts are $5.99.)

The terrain shading (derived from a shuttle’s radar mapping mission) is lighter, giving more contrast to the color-coded alphabet airspace and other markings. The chart legend describes all the cool little touches that improves readability.

For example, the airspace class and its floor and ceiling are noted in a box on each right. Pink shading fills the circle where the airspace reaches the surface. It’s one-glance navigation information.

Other cool touches that aid navigation include runway lines in the private airport circles and JeppGuide airport diagrams and lists of available services, including lodging and eats, on the back of the chart.

Jetwhine_Jeppesen_VFR-GPS Chart_Georgia

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that right now you have to live in the right places to get one of these nifty charts. Jepp is starting where the market is strongest, the southeast.  They did the GL-3 chart for the roll-out at EAA AirVenture.  But you won’t have to be patient for long. Jepp’s PR folks said they would have the lower 48 states covered by 2009. —Scott Spangler

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4 Responses to “Going My Way: Jeppesen’s VFR+GPS Charts”

  1. Todd Says:

    I picked up one of the Chicago/Green Bay GPS charts while at Oshkosh this year. I love it.

  2. Danny Says:

    I love these charts, too! However, one major oversight is the lack of Approach frequencies on the chart near Class B & C airspace, like on a sectional. The Jepp charts only those frequencies on the backside in a table.

  3. Danny Says:

    I love these charts, too! However, one major oversight is the lack of Approach frequencies on the chart near Class B & C airspace, like on a sectional. The Jepp charts only those frequencies on the backside in a table

  4. Phone blocker Says:

    Great post you got here. I’d like to read more about this matter.

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