Sectional Charts for ATP

In regards to the sectional charts. In training it sounds as though you need to purchase your own paper charts for ATP. I will be starting in Chicago April 23rd. The Chicago chart expires April 26th.

Should I wait to get the next one or get this one for just the 3 days?
Is this something that I have to buy every time it expires?
How long into training will I need the charts?(Immediately or later on?)
Where is the best place to get them?
How often do they expire?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks


I wouldn’t stress about it. You will have a digital sectional on your iPad when you sign up for the ForeFlight subscription. Eventually you may want to purchase a paper sectional for your check ride, for example. I would check with your CFI on that one though.

Local pilot shops sell them. They can also be purchased online. I believe they are valid for 6 months (according to the Google I just did).


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Can any students chime in? Does ATP teach how to use paper charts, or is everything Foreflight now?


If you READ Tory’s post I believe he answers the question pretty well. The charts are all on ForeFlight but some examiners want to see paper so you’d need to get one of those. The charts are the same layout regardless of digital or paper and yes you’ll be taught how to use them.


yes, I READ his post. I assume that Foreflight doesn’t have an old fashioned plotter or E6B tool, which is why I wanted to hear from current students. Also, the use of a paper chart DURING flight, isn’t the same as the convenience of Foreflight on an ipad. I appreciate Tory saying we MAY want to purchase a paper chart.

No it’s not, but the symbology is the same. Should have a DE that wants to see you use paper charts I’m certain your instructor will make sure you’re comfortable with it (which really shouldn’t be a problem).


I use both paper charts and Foreflight when teaching my students. Examiners we have here will allow foreflight in the plane, but one was very happy when I brought a paper chart to my Commercial Checkride. You will be shown both charts, they have the same information but the paper charts are just a bit bulkier.
I would not buy any until you speak with your CFI.