High vs. Low - IFR charts


I am planning a ~200nm route to fly in a turboprop. I want to fly at FL200. Therefore (I think) I will have to use the IFR High chart (FL180 and above?). But there aren’t nearly as many waypoints on the high chart. For this 200nm route, I would like to have waypoints closer to my destination airport (which can be found on the Low charts). My question is: When you create your flightplan and fly the route, do you switch from your Low chart to a high chart and vice versa when you are a certain distance from your arrival or origin airport?

Sorry this may be a bit confusing



Shouldn’t this be in #live? I usually fly about FL180 so I only use the high en route chart with SIDS AND STARS. When I am below FL180, I use the low en route chart along with SIDS and stars

Thanks for the response

This isn’t mainly about IF, just in general aviation

Just from my reading, you seem to talk about flying in IF here… just my 2 cents

Okay, lets assume that there’s no published procedures at the airport I’m departing or arriving at, but I want to fly above FL180. Would I use the high chart for all my flight planning? Usually the waypoints are very spread out on the jet airways compared to the low victor airways. Would I just plan the closest waypoints to my arrival airport, or would I switch to the low chart and plan closer waypoints near to my destination

Let’s get a real pilot in here to answer your questions.

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One chart is higher than the other. Like an onion. “Top layer” = high chart. “Lower layer” = low chart. 😳


So no matter what, if my cruise altitude is at FL180 or greater, I use the high chart for everything?

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Yes, that is correct.


Pretty much what I said…

Real life Example: There are some waypoints that will be on both the Low and high en route chart. For example, the LIT VOR is both on high and low charts Bc it’s on a Jet route and a Victor airway…

Most flight departing out of KLIT, file LIT VOR then the J route etc


as an aside, in the nautiucal world, when deep sea we use the equivilant of a “High” Chart, which gives you a larger area, but less close in detail. As you get closer to the coast and your destination we change over to “low” charts for the arrival and departures as well as the coastal passage. IS this not the same in the aviation world with ability to switch charts for when you are departing / arriving?

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