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Thread: Digital and Real Sectional Charts

  1. #1

    Default Digital and Real Sectional Charts

    I just downloaded several sectional charts from SkySectionals.com and they work and print great.

    I am looking for sectionals for other parts of the world, particularly Europe. Does anyone know where I can purchase real sectionals for Europe and other parts of the world and also digital versions that I can print on a color printer similar to what I got at SkySectionals.com?

    Thanks,

    Plus24

  2. #2

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    You might want to check out Sporty's Pilot shop, they may have what you are looking for - though I haven't really shopped for anything like that there. Did get a nice kneeboard though to use with FS X, etc.....


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  3. #3
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    You won't find free digital versions of European charts (they're not called 'sectionals' here though)

    Charts typically come in two scales, 1:500000 and 1;250000 (known as half-mil and quarter-mil), although some countries also produce a one-mil planning chart. There are also two flavours of charts; the national chart (aka 'ICAO'), produced by the CAA or equivalent for each country. These are typically 15 or so each. Size and orientation of the charts varies, but they are typically 2-3 times larger than a US sectional.

    Also available are Jeppesen's "VFR+GPS" range. These are smaller and cheaper (about the size of a US sectional), and have the advantage of consistent format across all states, although they do have a reputation for being less accurate. You need more charts to cover the same area, so the "cheapness" of Jepp charts is just an illusion.

    http://www.flightstore.co.uk/DEPT-CHTS/

    There are, of course, other stores...

  4. #4

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    There's a nice 1:1 000 000 chart available for France:
    http://www.nav2000.com/
    Select CartaBossy2008 in the menu.

  5. #5
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    Default

    That is a nice chart, thanks teson1. I wasn't aware of it. I see it also covers part of Southern England, as far North as Heathrow.

  6. #6

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    Thanks, Tim_A, for your informative response. Which charts (ICAO or Jeppesen) do most real-world pilots use for VFR flight planning using VOR or NDB's when they are studying for their Pilot's license (Private Pilot license)?

    I'm a bit put off by the high price of these charts, but if a single ICAO chart covers an entire country for about 15 pounds (no pound sign on my computer), I guess that isn't too bad.

    Do these charts (both ICAO and Jeppesen) have all the airports, air space markings, VOR's with NAV frequency for them, NDB's with frequency, etc. as a US Sectional?

    Also, will the plastic plotter that I use on sectionals work on these charts? I'm assuming the distance measurement on the plotter won't be the same for the Continent, as it is in US Miles and not kilometers. But, I would think that the ability to plot vectors off VOR's and course headings would work the same as on a US sectional with my plotter.

    I am a real world pilot who uses FSX for fun. However, I try to remain thoroughly realistic with it. I plan all my own cross country flights on real sectionals and only fly planes that I can fly in the real world.

    Although I am not instrument rated, I do fly IFR in FSX also. I will use Jeppesen Sim Plates for approaches in Europe if that is available (I've never checked to see if my program has plates for Europe and other countries besides the U.S.). What are the equivalent of En Route Low Altitude Instrument Charts in Europe?

    I'm excited. This is the first time I've had an inkling of where and what to get for sectional equivalents in Europe. As a result, I hardly ever fly FSX in Europe or anywhere besides the U.S. for that matter.

    Thanks again, Tim. And I look forward to your response to my many questions on this post.

    Plus24

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Unless it's a very small country, it'll take several charts. The UK requires 3 charts, France 4, Germany 6, for example. Here, charts are valid for a whole year (I think US charts require replacing more often), and as a result, are often laminated (ie, they have a wipe-clean surface - you mark them up with permanent markers, and clean them by going over with a whiteboard marker and wiping off with some tissue).

    US Sectionals are 500000:1, so are the same scale. Thus all your planning tools will work. We use nautical miles, although FS would have you believe otherwise

    The styling of charts over here is different (at least from the US sectionals that I've seen). Personally I find sectionals hard to read - lacking in contrast with dark writing on dark colours, but I guess to some extent it's what you're used to. Anyhow, airspace is marked, airports, navaids, terrain, roads, railways, landmarks etc. are all present as you'd expect.

    I can't speak for pilots in other countries, (I have a PPL, with night rating, but no instrument) but most people here will have the UK CAA charts (because they are definitive. The CAA prints the charts. It also regulates the airspace. Major changes in airspace normally coincide with the chart publication date...). For trips to the Continent, a lot of people like the Jepp charts, since they cover a small area, so can be tailored more easily to fit your route. Jepp charts though are less up-to-date, and have been known not to show some airspace.

    Most countries have their AIP (Aeronautical Information Publication) online. This includes airport facilities diagrams, approach plates, enroute charts (sometimes) etc, as well as the local rules & regs. Either google for (eg. "UK AIP", "USA AIP", "Norway AIP" etc), or here is a handy link to lots of links: http://www.eurocontrol.int/aim/publi...e/web_eur.html In Europe, the only exception to the rule is Germany, which publishes military airport details, but not civil ones (go figure!)

    The AIP always follows a standard format: Part 1: General (GEN), Part 2: Enroute (ENR), Part 3: Aerodromes (AD). Approach plates will be under AD 2: Specific. Enroute charts under ENR 6. It's worth taking some time to explore the information available (it's all free, although some countries will ask for a login). The UK AIP is a good place to start, since it's all in English (at least what we English understand as English... ) http://www.nats-uk.ead-it.com/public...Itemid=10.html

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