Some friends and I are going to fly up to Vegas from college to watch the Red Bull air races in a few weeks. And after looking at the charts, I realized I am in a pretty unique situation.

The Phoenix sectional ends just short of Vegas - so normally I would buy a Vegas sectional. However, the KLAS TAC extends just into the Phoenix sectional.

Should I buy the Vegas sectional as well, or can I just use the KLAS TAC once the Phoenix sectional ends?

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you absolutely have to use paper charts? There are many apps available for tablets that provide the charts for free, which is a lot more practical in many cases, although of course you may still like to have paper as a backup. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Sep 14, 2014 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately I do have to use paper, I would love to use a tablet though... just not in the cards right now. $\endgroup$
    – Keegan
    Sep 15, 2014 at 3:30
  • $\begingroup$ OK, thanks for clarifying. Then as voretaq7 suggested I would take the TAC because it provides more detail. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Sep 15, 2014 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


If I understand correctly, your question is "can I substitute a TAC for a sectional on a cross-country flight?" However, assuming that you're flying under part 91, there is no legal requirement to have any charts on board at all. 91.503 does require them, but only for large and turbine aircraft, and the FAA has stated that electronic charts are allowed instead of paper.

There are a few places where it is required to carry a chart in the aircraft, per the Special Flight Rules Area regulations in 14 CFR 93. Some examples are:

  • Near Los Angeles International Airport (93.95(c))
  • The Hudson and East River Exclusions in New York City (93.351(d))

So unless 91.503 or one of the part 93 rules applies to your flight, legally you can carry whatever paper, electronic or hand-drawn charts you like - or none at all - although if you bust restricted airspace and the FAA come after you, not having charts on board may not look good. (Of course, if you do have them then the implication would be that you didn't use them or don't know how to read them, which isn't good either.)

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer. I do understand that I "don't need charts" but I was looking for 'insight' from a more experienced pilot than myself - and what they would do in the same situation. $\endgroup$
    – Keegan
    Sep 14, 2014 at 20:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @KeeganMcCarthy Well, for what it's worth, I use Garmin Pilot on two separate portable devices for both VFR and IFR, with no paper backup, which is in addition to whatever is actually in the aircraft: either G1000 or G430. I feel comfortable that that gives me enough redundancy and I don't miss paper at all, but others may feel differently; 'insight' and 'opinion' are tough to separate. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Sep 14, 2014 at 22:58
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @KeeganMcCarthy Like Pondlife I just use an electronic flight bag (in my case, Foreflight on my iPad, and my iPhone as a backup). If you want to carry paper charts the TAC is certainly adequate if it covers your intended route/area of flight and you can use it as you describe in the question (in fact I would do this simply because the scale on the TAC provides more detail - particularly if you're not familiar with the Vegas airspace/landmarks). $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Sep 15, 2014 at 1:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Pondlife I believe the DC SVFR area as well as the NYC Bravo/VFR Corridor require you to have charts on board similar to LA $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    May 5, 2017 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Dave Thanks for the pointer! I updated my answer: NYC is another good example, but I didn't see any requirements for the DC area. Maybe it's in a NOTAM or somewhere else. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    May 5, 2017 at 14:30

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