UPDATE !! PLEASE READ! 2/6/04
Unfortunately AirCharts is not going to offer COPA a discount this year for a variety of reasons. Since my original post stating this is down lower in the thread, I thought I’d update the orignal post. The only discount they do is at Oshkosh.
It’s still a great value and I plan on renewing.
Sorry for the confusion.
It’s coming up on renewal time for those of us you have used the Aircharts System (www.airchart.com) over the year. Last year, Aircharts provided COPA with a 10% discount. I’ll try again for a discount but may be able to do better with a firm comittment of those who want to order.
For those not familiar with Aircharts, it’s a subscription service that provides all the necessary charts to fly legal for both IFR and VFR. Low enroute and sectionals are published in a bound volume called an Atlas and contain the entire US in one book. The plates are sent in standard NOS packaging (bound or loose) and are updated by the pilot every cycle from a mailing sent by Aircharts. There are 2 types of updates. One just lists the changes since the last update. One list all the changes since the beginning of the subscription year. The comprehensive update is sent every other time and a log in each of the atlas’s allow the pilot to log the updates and stay legal.
If you are interested, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the word Airchart in the subject line. I’ll call them the 1st week of February and let everyone know if that are able to extend COPA a deal this year and what the terms are.
My personal view is that the system worked well for me. I subscribed to the IFR low enroutes, full plates and VFR sectional. I also received the VFR Enroute and Topographical Atlas but they quickly became shelfware.
I thought the IFR low enroute and VFR sectional (they only provided the east coast last year but I believe they have both this year) were invaluable. It took a trip or 2 to figure out the page numbering but inflight re-routes became quite easy after that. Updates to the low enroutes were quite easy and well documented. It was great to have a full set of plates but found the updating to be another possible problem if I needed to divert and was under a time constraint in the cockpit. I would normally print out the current AOPA plates for my dest and alternates as updates and just slip them in the bound books. I will definitely buy the IFR and VFR Sectional Atlas’s but may take a conventional approach to the east coast plates.
Others may have differing opinions (please list them here!!) but having current charts last year costs me around 30% of a full subcription to NOS charts and plates.