FAQ

First, a quick summary:
• Double tap on map to bring up plates.
• Select Download to download plates and charts. See Q26 below.
• Tap on lower right button to select charts and overlays.
• For routes, tap on the third button from the bottom, then type in the ‘Search navigation database’. Airports have K prefix (ICAO). See Q6 below.
• Tap on the GPS icon to center/lock the display. See Q30 below.
• Tap on Zulu time to toggle zulu/ft/timer. See Q27 below.
• To use X-Plane with SkyCharts, go here.

Abbreviations:

A/FD = Airport/Facility Directory
TPP = Terminal Procedures Publication
Approach plates = TPP
SIDs, STARs, DPs = TPP

Q1: Why would I want to reboot my iOS device daily and how do I do it ?
A1: The iPad is great, but it frequently runs out of memory. Remember its basically a computer but with a lot less memory. This is how to reboot. Please hard reboot if possible.

Q2: Why are there ads in the application ?
A2: If you have ads it means your subscription has run out.
Please see the Subscription tab for more details.

Q3: How do I cut&paste in iOS ?
A3: First, if you have OSX you can use that to quickly enter Notes (with routes) to yourself. To cut&paste, follow this. Also see Q44 below how to quickly change apps, and disable auto-correct for Notes or it will try to correct the fixes you enter.

Q4: What about chart updates ?
A4: When downloading the app you have 30 days to try it out.
Chart updates happen every 28 days. More here.

Q5: How do I cache approach plates ?
A5: They are automatically included.
See Q19 on how to select your region.

Q6: How do I enter a Direct course, or plot a course ?
A6: If you just enter one ICAO code you will get a Direct.
If you type more than one fix you will get a course.
2 characters = NDB
3 characters = VOR
4 characters = Airports. If your FAA identifier has 3 digits, please prefix the identifier with K in USA. P for AK and Hawaii.
5 characters = IFR fixes
Multiple fixes are OK, try for example (without the quotes) ‘KUAO UBG ATASY KOLM’.

Q7: How do I change the fuel burn and speed ?
A7: In Settings page, find the ‘Airplane data’ and set the speed and fuel burn.

Q8: How do I cancel the auto-renewing subscription ?
A8: Depends on what platform you use.
Android: https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/7018481
iOS: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202039 

Q9: How do I delete the app ?
A9: Tap&HOLD the SkyCharts icon until its starts wiggling.

Then tap on the ‘X’ in the leftmost corner of the icon.
NOTE: Your settings for the app will be reset.

Q10: How do I re-install the app ?
A10: On your device, press the Home button, then tap on AppStore. Search for SkyCharts, then download it. Do NOT use iTunes.

Q11: What does the ‘key’ symbol mean ?
A11: It means the app will keep your current GPS position centered on the display.

Q12: How do I clear a route ?
A12: Tap on the third button from the bottom, then tap on the button with ‘Entire route’ with a trashcan next to it.

Q13: What does the ‘client/server mismatch’ message mean ?
A13: You are running a no longer supported version of SkyCharts. Fastest way to update is to delete, then re-install the application. Please check Q14 below how to update.

Q14: How come the app complains about expired charts and wants me to go to http://skycharts.net/update.html ?
A14: You are using an old version of the application.
Please update the application itself using AppStore. On the device, find the AppStore icon, then tap on Updates to check for app updates. If you don’t see an update, please try Q9&Q10 above.

Q15: How can I tell what version I’m using ?
A15: In the Subscription, Setting or Download page there is a ‘Current release’ information pane. The last column in that has the version (you may have to scroll the pane).

Q16: The download page seems truncated and obscured by the Map page ?
A16: Unfortunately some devices do not display the download page correctly, but you simply have to ROTATE your device into Landscape in order to select all regions.

Q17: Does SkyCharts work when airborne ?
A17: Yes. All information can be cached, you do NOT need 3G/Edge for data.
Please recall § 22.925 The easiest way to turn off the radio is to enable ‘Airplane mode’ on the iPhone and ‘Cellular Data’ on the iPad. Airplane mode also disables the GPS on the iPhone. The iPad will keep tracking even with ‘Cellular Data’ off. Also disable WiFi on the iPad.

Q18: No longer applicable.

Q19: How do I know what charts I should cache ?
A19: Just select the region you live in.
Charts will automatically be included for your region, including ALL approach plates (in USA). The regions are the same as the A/FD booklets. Caching ALL regions take about 30Gb of storage on your device, so pick carefully.

Q20: Will you port to Android and other platforms ?
A20: Yes! SkyCharts XC is already ported to Android! Please send email to support@skycharts.net to request porting to other platforms.

Q21: Is the iPad1 still supported ?
A21: No, SkyCharts XC requires iOS8 and later.

Q22: What are the METAR colors ?
A22: See here.

Q23: Can I enter lat/long coordinates ?
A23: Yes! Any of these lat/long formats are recognized:
45-14-49.7000N,122-46-12.2000W
45-14.828333N,122-46.203333W
45.2471389,-122.7700556
An easy way to get manual fixes, is to use SkyVector®, then cut&paste the link from there into SkyCharts using this script.

Q24: What charts are supported ?
A24: Currently these charts are supported. If you know of other charts, please email support@skycharts.net

  • VFR sectional charts (this includes some WAC charts for larger coverage)
  • Low enroute IFR charts (including AREA charts when zoomed in)
  • Terminal Approach Charts (TAC)
  • FLY charts = Backside of the TAC charts
  • High Enroute IFR charts.
  • Helicopter VFR charts.
  • VFR Gulf Coast WAC.
  • IFR Gulf Of Mexico.
  • VFR Wall planning chart.
  • ONC worldwide charts!
  • Low Enroute Caribbean charts!
  • Brazilian WAC charts
  • Brazilian IFR (low and high) charts
  • Brazilian geo-referenced approach plates.

Special Use Airspace info is displayed as red dots.
If you double tap on an airport, then select the SUA Info you get the same data but in different form.

Q25: Will you support UK,Australian,Canadian and European charts ?
A25: Would love to. As of 1505 worldwide ONC charts are provided! Due to legalities Canadian charts are impossible, but If you know of some other charts I can provide please see the contact tab.

Q26: How much storage do I need ?
A26: For ALL charts including all SID/STAR/AFD you’re looking at about 30GB of disk. Please choose regions carefully before downloading ALL data.

Q27: How do I reset the timers ?
A27: Under FLIGHT&TIMER there is a little ‘rewind’ button. Tap on that to reset.
FYI: FLIGHT timer automatically starts/stops when GS is more than 30 knots.

Q28: SkyCharts used to work but I no longer get a GPS fix!
A28: First try rebooting. If that doesn’t help, check Settings-General-Location Services and make sure its ON
Then scroll down for individual App settings and make sure SkyCharts is also ON – every now and then this becomes disabled when upgrading.
See Q1 how to reboot your device.
Make sure you have good visibility of the sky. If you are in a basement (or no view of the sky) you will not get any ‘real’ GPS fixes and SkyCharts tries to filter those out – it prefers GPS only fixes. Note that the built in GPS does NOT work on commercial airliners. The iPod/iPad wifi does NOT have a gps, they use wifi to find you. If your iPod puts you in the wrong place, try this link to correct your location. Make sure to NOT use ‘Airplane mode’! It disables the GPS.

Q29: What are the dates when new charts become available ?
A29: New charts usually become available 1-2 days before they expire. The dates are listed here.

Q30: How do I make the map follow my current position ?
A30: Please tap on the GPS button (second button from the bottom) so you get a ‘lock’ symbol. Chart will now stay centered as long as the lock is in place.

Q31: How frequently are the METAR&TAF updated ?
A31: Quickest way to force an update is to suspend the app (tap on Home), then make sure you are connected (test with Safari for instance), then resume SkyCharts and the WX dots will be updated after a couple of seconds. The app also tries to update the WX dots every 10 minutes. If you have no connectivity at that time, it will keep using what you had cached.

Q32: Does SkyCharts work with external GPS units ?
A32: Yes, SkyCharts works with currently all Apple approved external GPS units. More info here.

Q33: How do I kill apps on iOS4 ?
A33: Even if you reboot some persistent apps will start up after rebooting, so force quit all apps you don’t really use.
Here is how. Follow this to force quit apps in iOS7:

Q34: How do I know how much left the app has to download ?
A34: Tap the Download  button and for every chart you have a progress bar.
Downloads will continue in the background, but only for 10 minutes (this is the longest time Apple allows background processes to run).
The main (map) page does not show any download progress, but its downloading.

Q35: No longer applicable.

Q36: How do I prevent rotation on the device ?
A36: On the iPad, check your Settings and set the button to be ‘Lock Rotation’. On the iPhone, use the rotation lock.

Q37: It takes too long to download!
A37: How is your device connected to the internet ?
The regions are around 2GB each, use http://speedtest.net to get YOUR download speed numbers and plug those into the calculator here.

You might want to consider heading over to a wifi hotspot if you’re looking at excessive download times.If you have multiple devices, please update ONE device at a time. If you have a 5Ghz wifi network please use that over the default 2.4Ghz.

Q38: No longer applicable.

Q39: How well does the built in GPS work, do I need to buy an external GPS ?
A39: If you have normal GA plane (Cessna or Piper for instance) with a good view of the sky the built in GPS in the iPad will most likely work.

Q40: What’s the difference on the SUA colors ?
A40: http://skycharts.net/?p=891

Q41: AirPrint doesn’t find my printer ?
A41: Not all printers are supported yet.
Check here for a list of compatible printers.
You can also try this to enable airprint from your desktop computer.

Q42: No longer applicable.

Q43: Do you support geo-referenced approach plates ?
A43: Yes! The geo-referencing comes from FAA, and they have not completed adding it to every plate yet.

Q44: When will you add feature X (like scratchpad) ?
A44: Please send email and ask for it. If you’re looking for a checklist with scratchpad, please consider using Active Checklist.

Q45: The display is too bright at night!
A45: I have been hoping Apple would add a new setting for that, but seems like they are not. In the meantime, check out the ‘white on black’ setting.

Q46: What does the green airplane on the HIFR chart mean ?
A46: Simply shows that charts are aligned, 1/2 of the plane is one one chart, and the other half on another chart.

Q47: What happened to the forum ?
A47: The forum has been discontinued. Please check the contact tab on the main page and email any questions instead and I’ll update the FAQ accordingly.

Q48: I get a link to update.html, what does it mean ?
A48: You are using a no longer supported version of SkyCharts.
Easiest way to fix this is simply to delete&re-install.
Please see Q9&Q10 above.
If you have any questions, please see the contact tab how to get support.

Q49: What does the “Chart expired..” mean ?
A49: You get 30 days of free data when downloading the app, but after that you have to pay for updates. More here.
If you have v3.9 of the app, please tap on ‘i’, then on Buy to extend your subscription.
If you don’t have v3.9 of the app, please see Q48.

Q50: What does ‘in app purchases not allowed’ mean ?
A50: Make sure your settings allow in app purchases.
See here for more details.