FAA Publishes New Chart User's Guide

Guide could be improved with practical knowledge quizzes.

Aeronautical Chart Users Guide
The FAA has published the 12th edition of its Aeronautical Chart User's Guide.FAA

While the use of tablet computers as portable electronic flight bags (EFB) has certainly cut down on the paper most pilots carry with them these days, one item that hasn't changed in the move to electronic charting is the symbology displayed on those charts. No EFB in the world will help a pilot who doesn't possess a solid understanding of the nuances agency designers employ to present hundreds of variables within the National Airspace System. To aid with current on both VFR and IFR flight charting, the FAA recently published the 12th edition of the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide.

The guide, available online, is just 86 pages long and should be required reading for every pilot from student to flight department manager. Having just completed a flight review, this Flying editor and flight instructor was reminded of just how much information can be cleverly grouped together with symbols that are easily forgotten when not regularly used.

If there is a failing of the new guide however, it’s that a good guide could well have been made great by adding practical quizzes on the information presented. It’s only when pilots are faced with wondering to what the “*” next to the “L” in the airport information box refers that they’ll realize they might be clueless.