FAA Cuts Flying Costs With Free Charts

By Scott Spangler on November 10th, 2010

Now that I have your attention, temper your excitement with the understanding that this cost-saving opportunity may only benefit infrequent fliers, those who feel lucky to afford 30 or 40 hours a year. As a lifetime member of this fraternity, every dollar counts. Prudent pilots fly with current sectional charts, a $9.50 investment these days. Most of the sectionals I bought flew once or twice before their age retired them to wrapping paper duty for Christmas presents.

OSH-NorthA recent e-mail from the FAA Safety Team said a variety of  products were now up  for no-charge download from the  FAA’s Aeronautical Navigation Products web page. Infrequent fliers will most likely be interested in the VFR charts and Airport/Facility Directory, but it offers IFR products as well.   

OSH-SouthAlways delivering the current chart, it recommends that frugal aviators periodically visit the Safety Alerts page to  keep current on any changes or updates to all charts. The downloads include two formats, TIFF and HTML, and from them you can select and print what you need.

Personally, this is the most appealing feature. OSH is on the overlap of the Chicago and Green Bay sectionals, so I need to buy two charts so I can go north or south of Wittman Regional Airport.  Not having to buy those charts saves me $20. When every second counts, that’s 12 more minutes of flying in a Cessna 172 that rents for $99 an hour. –Scott Spangler


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3 Responses to “FAA Cuts Flying Costs With Free Charts”

  1. AFP Says:

    I’m with you that is really nice when flight hours can be hard to come by. I normally have to buy charts for three areas due to my geographic location. Cutting down this expense will get me closer to another hour of flight time!

  2. Rob Mark Says:

    You can rent a 172 for $99 an hour? I’m envious.

  3. Randolph Aviator Says:

    As I travel around and see the empty hangars and quiet small local airports anything that can help stimulate flying, even as small as this, sure does help!

    At least someone in the FAA recognizes we need to encourage general aviation.

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