Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Charts, Charts, Charts

The amount of aeronautical navigation charts that one needs for a trip by light aircraft to Alaska is almost staggering. Here's the list that Sporty's automated Chart Doctor produced for me:

U.S. Sectionals: Anchorage, Billings, Chicago, Detroit, Great Falls, Green Bay, Juneau, Ketchikan, Omaha, Seward, and Twin Cities.

Canadian Sectionals: Atlin, Calgary, Kitimat, Prince George, Regina.

Terminal Area Charts: Anchorage, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and Minneapolis.

World Aeronautical Charts: Canadian D-12, E-15, E-16, F-21; Alaskan CD-11, CD-12, CE-15; WAC 22; WAC CF-16, CF-17, and CF-18.

Airport Facility Directories: East Central, North Central, Northwest.

IFR Low Enroute Charts: L-11/12, L-23/24, L-9.

Terminal Procedures: East Central, Volumes 1, 2, and 3; North Central, Volumes 1 and 3; North West, Volume 1.

Sporty's wants almost $350 for these charts. And this list doesn't inlcude some other important items you want: Canadian Flight Supplement (essentially a single volume AFD), Canadian airport instrument approach charts, etc. Also, because the Chart Doctor assumes a great circle direct route, and we're flying the Alaska Highway, there's more Canadian sectionals needed: Calgary, Edmonton, Fort Nelson, Fort Simpson, Klondike, and Whitehorse. And, the Alaska Highway Visual Navigation Chart. Look for yourself:

Then, don't forget: The Milepost, The Alaska Airmen's Logbook, and, for once we get there, Alaska For Dummies.

Frankly, that's a lot of charts. And money. But, it would be foolish not to get the required charts. I'm just worried about how much they are all going to weigh. Maybe I should get an electronic flight bag instead! Nah, that's too much, right? Oh well, at least there are places cheaper than Sporty's to get some of these charts.


david said...

Nav Canada publishes a VNC (Sectional) specifically for the Alaska highway, so you won't need to buy the Whitehorse, Atlin, or Fort Simpson VNCs, at least. Here's a diagram of VMC coverage.

It is criticially important not to use Canadian WACs. Unlike U.S. WACs, they are often ten years or more out of date, so they're useless for obstructions, airspace, or navaids. It's also worth noting that Canadian VNCs don't automatically expire after 7 weeks (unlike U.S. sections), so at least you'll be able to use the same charts for the return trip.

david said...

Oops -- I see you already published the diagram of VNC coverages. Still, as long as you're following the Alaska Highway, you don't need to buy the additional VNCs around the highway unless you're worried about going far off route.