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VFR Chart Training

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

Professional Pilot Technology

Several times during checkrides I have noticed, when an applicant is asked about certain objects, colors, or numbers on a sectional chart, the response I get more than any is, I have to check the chart legend. OK, I understand that we may not always remember everything, and the chart legend is where you want to look for the answer. A lot of times even after looking in the legend for the answer, they’re not able to find it.

I am aware when looking at a chart, it is usually done electronically on a tablet of some sort, and not on a paper chart. OK, before I go any further, you are probably starting to see a trend that I prefer paper publications to electronic tablets. Once again, I am not pro paper, but I do think, if you begin using the paper charts and publications, then transition to the electronic tablet, it is a little easier to locate what you are looking for, because you have already seen it on the paper chart. Just some food for thought.

When I was a student pilot, training with my peers, we used to lay out a VFR sectional chart, or IFR low enrounte chart on a table, and play a game called, “Rocket ship”. You would put your finger anywhere on the chart, and have to tell the group all the information about where your finger was, including the airspace vertically, like you were taking off in a rocket ship.

I added a sample below. Let’s play the game. Who can give some information about what is in the green circle?

Link to Aeronautical Chart Users’ Guides.

Iacra Instrument Rating Application

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Jan 24, 2021

I have been told, the star, above the airport, lets you know that the airport has temporary lighting, or pilot controlled lighting. Would this be correct?

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