Real Answers from Real Pilots

Sectional charts

I see ATP uses an IPAD for sectional charts. Are airlines using IPAD charts now all the time or are paper sectional charts still being used? Also who pays for either the IPAD or sectional charts? I was wondering if this was a cost out of pocket for a pilot.


At United we use iPads for all of our charts, but carry paper backups that stay in the airplane. The company supplies the iPads, the subscription to the Jeppesen chart services and of course the paper backups. There are some airlines that are still using paper charts, but not many. To my knowledge all of the airlines supply either iPads or paper charts for their pilots. If you are responsible for carrying paper charts you will likely have to purchase your own flight case, although some airlines provide that too.


Hey Dan,

Most airlines have made the move to EFB’s (electronic flight bags, not necessarily iPads). I’m at Hawaiian and we were just issued Dell tablets but they haven’t been certified yet so we still need to carry paper charts. Most pilots don’t mind paper(particularly interisland where there’s only 5 airports) it’s the bi-monthly revisions we all dread. Some are pretty extensive and can take over an hour to complete. As Chris said I don’t know any airline that doesn’t pay for the tablets or paper charts. We’re also provided with flight cases.


What are the typical things and costs you pay for at the airlines every year or two once hired by the airline? I know the training costs are quite expensive, but once in the field beyond instructing, what are the costs you have ran across?


At United we receive per diem in the amount of about $50 per day to cover our food expenses while on the road. The company covers our hotels, transportation, and food while we are in the air. Since our last contract was passed we even get reimbursed for dry cleaning expenses.

We are liable for our own FAA medical exams, which amount to about $250 per year and our own uniforms, which is about $150 per year if you want to look sharp. Also, the union takes a 2% cut of our pay, yet most pilots feel that this is worth it for the services that they provide in return.

So uniforms, medical exams and union dues are what I can think of, all of which are deductible on your tax return.


Did you ever need CFI insurance or rental insurance when instructing or going through flight school? If so who did you use for that?


I have never carried CFI or rental insurance. I don’t know any pilot that
has. I am sure that some guys/gals carry it, but I have never once heard
of anybody doing it.


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