Paper Chartless Cockpit Approved

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The FAA has agreed that pilots flying aircraft with a new electronic chart display don't have to carry paper charts as an alternative source of navigation information. However, even the folks promoting the new system say they'll likely continue to carry the charts. This tempest in a teapot arose with the certification of the Avidyne CMAX system in Cirrus aircraft. CMAX stores Jeppesen charts (the same you'd get with your paper subscription) in a database for cockpit display via the Entegra flat panel system that is standard on Cirruses. Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier told reporters at Sun 'n Fun on Tuesday that the FAA never required paper charts be carried. He said overly conservative staff at Avidyne and Cirrus thought it would be a good idea to be on the safe side and the notation was included in the Cirrus pilot operating handbook. When the book was approved by the FAA, it became a requirement, but it won't be for long. Klapmeier said the FAA has agreed the POH can be amended to delete that reference but it will take some time to complete the process and send out new pages to all the owners. Klapmeier said that once pilots have used the electronic charts they'll never go back to paper but he admits he's not ready to dispense with the tried and true and carries paper charts when he flies.