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4 Answers

Can I use sectionals before their issue date?

Asked by: 1543 views FAA Regulations

My new sectionals have arrived.  Can I discard the old ones and start using the news ones before their effective date?

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4 Answers



  1. Wes Beard on Sep 10, 2013

    It is a rather interesting question. From a logical point of view, Notams describing changes to the sectional chart and chart updates published in the back of the AF/D are incorporated into the latest sectional chart (the latest update is published on the front of the sectional chart).

    Using the latest charts ensures you have better data than a previous chart and less preflight work to make sure those changes are incorporated on the chart.

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  2. John D Collins on Sep 11, 2013

    I would keep the old ones until the new ones are effective because items such as frequency changes, for example CTAF, are often coordinated with the charts effective date. You might find the pattern radio unusually quiet.

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  3. Jonathan Seitz on Sep 11, 2013

    I agree with John. Many things are coordinated with sectional and A/FD release dates. While you may get some updated information, it’s best to stick with the sectional that is current for the day you fly.

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  4. Mark Kolber on Sep 11, 2013

    To give a completely technical regulatory answer to “Can I use sectionals before their issue date?” the answer is yes. Except for Subpart F operations, there is no requirement for a Part 91 operation to have any charts at all. The quasi-requirement for current charts is based on 91.103’s admonition that a pilot must become familiar with “all available information” regarding a flight.

    I wonder how many changes wait for a sectional update. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that a new sectional has much more current information one week before it’s effective date than an old sectional one week before its expiration date.

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