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VTC's, WAC's, ABC's!

Guest Crash Lander

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Guest Crash Lander

What exactly do I need? What is the difference between these things?


I've not done the navigation side of my training yet, but have been


given a look today at hat was referred to as a VTC. Is this all I need


to fly in a local area? I had a look at the Air Services Australia


website, and found them all (about $9.20 from memory, but doesn't seem


to cover that much area, or do they?) but couldn't determine which one


is more suitable for a vfr pilot.




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Guest pelorus32

VTC is a Visual Terminal Chart - large scale and mainly for primary centre airspace - Melbourne, Sydney etc. They have locational and airspace info.


VNC is a Visual Navigation chart - similar idea to VTC but smaller scale - only a few of them around the country - the Melbourne one includes Barwon Heads, East Sale and up to Albury in the NE.


WAC - World Aeronautical Chart - if you are going cross-country then these are the ones you need - away from the areas covered by VNC and VTC. They are at 1: 1,000,000 scale and have topographic detail but no airspace detail.


ERC Low - En Route Chart - Low Level. These cover low level airspace and include data on the CTAFs, ATC frequencies, Flightwatch, Airspace levels etc. These are the partner to the WAC - they show the info the WAC doesn't.


Finally ERSA - the En Route Supplement Australia. This is a book that inter alia has details of a large number of the aerodromes in Australia - runway orientation, lengths, frequencies, navaids, fuel availability, etc.


AFAIK you are required to have suitable charts and ERSA on board the aircraft.


You'll also probably need a nav computer of some sort - prayer wheel. Have a look at the Jeppesen CR3 and also a protactor and scale ruler.


Also from the Airservices site you can download flight plan forms in PDF format.


Have fun.







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Guest Crash Lander

Thanks for that!


I noticed the VTC and the VNC are updated every 6 months, and the current ones are from November last year, so no real point buying them until the new ones come out.


Looks like I will need the VNC, as I'm at Barwon Heads, and then the WAC, the ERC Low, and the ERSA. No real need for the VTC if I have the VNC?


Looks like about $70 worth of charts every 6 months! Is that right? Do you have to have the most up to date ones? How do you know there are changes on the new ones that aren't already on your older ones?


Sory for all the questions!





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I would always use a VTC as well. Being double the scale of the VNC, they contain a lot more information which makes it much easier to check your navigation when close to controlled airspace, restricted areas and in VFR lanes.


You should always use the latest ones.


There is also a handy chart called an "AUS PCA" (Planning Chart Australia). It contains Area Forecast Areas/Area QNH Zones, WAC coverage, Locations and communications coverage.







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Guest brentc

Yes it is ridiculous, but you have to have them to be fully legal. Last time I flew a plane home from Bundaberg it cost me near $70.



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Guest Andys@coffs

Also worth pointing out that in addition to being available as a paper version you can also get them as a graphics file that can then be displayed by a mapping program such as OziExplorer.


If you take a tablet PC or laptop, use OziExplorer and the files with a GPS NMEA output (or a sperate bluetooth GPS) you end up with a high quality moving map system. Files (at a cost, not free) available from here:-




The benfit with this is that you can print the segment of map data that you need (plus that needed for diversions etc) draw all over it while in flight and throw away after the flight. The same advantage can be a dissadvantage in that if you rescale the map (or if the printer driver does that for you without asking) you cant then take a standard nav ruler with distance on it and read off a distance from the printed map. Goes without saying that a driver that scales X and Y differently is then just plain horrible.


I havent yet done it, but if I was able to overlay the ERCL's over the top of a WAC so that info from both was available then long distance VFR would be a pleasure (more so that it already is). Im sure if I play with photoshop I could achieve that, just havent yet bothered.





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  • 3 years later...

I'm just starting my nav training so would like to ask a basic question. There seem to be VTC's for the main control areas, which makes sense, but is there one for the East of the Brisbane -Sunshine Coast one?


I have to plan a trip from Redcliffe, via Gympie, to Killaroy, and I'm thinking I have to use the VTC most of the way then a WAC or VNC. I have looked on the Airservices site but can't identify an appropriate VNC. Is this right or have I missed something? Killaroy seems to be just off the VTC.


Thanks for the help





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Brisbane VTC covers up to YBSU and almost north to YGYM but not too far west of the coast. ASA have a "trial" version vnc for coastal areas right up the east coast of qld you may be able to get a copy via their online store if they have copies left. Visit and leave your details, they may send you one out for free. This is a trial one and they will be selling from June next year. I've only commenced nav training flying out of YHBA with the wac only, until now, and its amazing the extra detail in the vnc is very handy.


Happy flying - hope the weather improves.







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Guest AusDarren

I should point out that WAC's are not updated on the six monthly cylcle, They usually last much longer.


It is also Ok to mark them up with relevent Airspace, In a Light piston Aircraft Anything over 10000 feet is not relevent.


and 5000 for Recreational. This helps remove clutter. Also It os relevent to your area, Close to major centres there is much more to mark up,


When I was doing navigation Training at Redcliffe in Qld, There were the two Wac's I marked up in this way, and I had them Joined together, as Redcliffe was (and still is) close to the wac boundry between the Brisbane and Armidale charts. This helped reduce worload inflight. (There was no such thing as a GPS then.) And even today many instructors will 'fail' the GPS during Nav training. I think all the Nav's were within the area covered by the two charts.



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Crash lander you will need all relevant charts for each flight and they must be current. So if you are just starting out and only in the training area, use whichever chart covers that training area. You might just need one VTC only.


When you start doing nav training you will again need the relevant charts. Depending on where you are, you might find you can do a nav all on one VTC, or VTC/VNC, but once you start needing to use WAC charts you will also need ERC (L) so you can see airspace boundaries. Plus a PCA for planning. You will only need the charts covering the areas in which you fly (and alternates). You will need an En Route Supplement Australia too. You can print out pages for free, but once you start doing navs and may need to divert, I'd recommend buying the book.


If you use the AirNav VFR software you can print out pages of the current charts for each flight, but it does use paper/ink.


For your nav training you will need original charts so you can draw your track etc.



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