I really appreciate skyvector.com as a tool for initial route planning and providing me with a good lookout to the upcoming VFR flight, but honestly I'm not very satisfied with the FAA Sectional charts.

Using these charts navigation in some more congested areas is tough work especially as I'm not very familiar with the area yet. Its often useful to have a satellite picture of these areas to identify some helpfull landmarks, which might not be shown on the sectional.

Does anyone know how to transfer the skyvector route to Google Maps, or know an alternative to achieve a similar result?

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    $\begingroup$ My formatting cleanup may have made this a little less clear: Falk is using Skyvector as a first-pass (to be followed by actual planning with current chart data). Don't beat him up, he's actually Doing It Right :-) $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Jan 8 '14 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ No worries, but thank you for your help and your answer. Unfortunately I forgot to mention another poin. I don't have unlimited access to a computer and most of the time I'm working on an Android tablet. $\endgroup$ – Falk Jan 8 '14 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ Sectional charts do have identifiable landmarks identified - roads, water, towers (water towers easier, radio & cell towers harder to see unless you can find their lights), airports. All the big stuff that's recognizable from a decent altitude. As you fly more, you will become more practiced at picking out the landmarks, and more proficient following the heading for the route you mapped out. VOR helps a lot there, GPS helps a lot. $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads May 21 '18 at 0:39
  • $\begingroup$ The other thing you will find is that google maps gives a view looking straight down, and while you are flying you will be looking ahead or off the side at an angle all the time. By the time you see something straight down it is too late, you're already passing it. $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads May 21 '18 at 0:40

It's not web based, but you can use Google Earth for this — There are overlays for aeronautical charts available, and you can do all your flight planning by entering routes in Google Earth. Then just turn off the sectional and you'll have the Google Earth satellite imagery to work with.

As an added bonus (relating to your comment about mainly using an Android tabled): Google Earth is available as an Android application (and the plugin version of the chart overlay should work in the tablet app — I know it works in the iOS version of Earth)


As the folks who publish that collection of charts will tell you, the charts are not always current and thus should not be used for navigational purposes (much like SkyVector). You can of course replace the chart graphics with current ones (or locate a chart collection that is current) if you want to, but as you're only using this as a pre-flight planning aid and will be doing your real flight planning with current charts and data the ones provided in the Google Earth Library are probably "good enough" for your purposes.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your 'bonus' I will try this out this evening :) $\endgroup$ – Falk Jan 8 '14 at 20:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Falk Google Earth has 3D coverage in some areas too - I believe in 7 and up you get (are forced to have) terrain, and lots of major cities have 3D buildings. It's an awesome toy to play with when planning a flight! $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Jan 8 '14 at 21:03

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