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Aeronautical Charts

Aeronautical Charts

Aeronautical charts assist the crew in the navigation of the aircraft. Much like a roadmap provides the driver of a vehicle with critical information about location and direction, an aeronautical chart is a tool that helps a pilot to determine the following flight information:

  • Safe altitude
  • Position
  • Navigational aids along the way
  • Shortest route to destination
  • Alternative landing spots in case of emergency
  • Airport information including usable runways
  • Topography and elevation
  • Contact information for weather advisory services

These charts are broken up into sections that cover all land masses on Earth, and long-distance charts for trans-oceanic travel. For example, pictured here is the sectional break-up of the continental United States:

Since it is very common that a trip would call for travel from one end of a continent to the other, or even to destinations abroad, the flight crew will always be prepared with an aeronautical chart for every section of land that the flight path would pass over. This allows the crew to plan out the aforementioned details of the trip to ensure a safe, and on time arrival at the destination.

Aeronautical Charts

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