It’s common now (and completely legal) for GA pilots to fly with a paperless cockpit, relying on the iPad and iPhone for chart and document storage and viewing. While these devices are very reliable when configured with an app like ForeFlight and properly set up before flight, many IFR pilots still like an extra form of backup and carry a few paper charts with them. Fortunately several of aviation’s top apps make it quick and easy to print these charts right from the app, to either an AirPrint enabled printer or one configured on your wireless network. Here’s how to do it:
ForeFlight allows you to print any IFR procedure or airport diagram directly from the Plates tab in the app. When viewing a chart full screen in Plates, you’ll see a small printer icon located in the upper left corner, and tapping this will bring up the standard iPad print window. Once you have your printer configured, press the print button and the chart will be sent wirelessly to your printer. If you have a Binder set up for a particular trip, ForeFlight also allows you to print all the charts in that binder. Simply open the binder from list at the top of the screen, and you’ll see all the chart thumbnails displayed on the screen. Now just press the print button in the upper left corner, and all the charts in that binder will be sent to the printer.
Just like ForeFlight, WingX allows you to print charts directly from its IFR chart viewer. First select AeroNav Charts from the app’s main menu, and then search for an airport using the field in the upper left part of the screen. If you already have a route entered from the Maps section, these airports will show up as well. Next tap one of the airports, and select a chart to view. At the bottom right of the screen you’ll find a button labeled ‘Print’. Press this, and WingX will quickly download that chart for printing, and then display the standard iPad print window.
And remember this feature isn’t just for IFR pilots, as VFR pilots may find it helpful to print a backup copy of the airport diagram when flying to larger airports. Here are few reference guides to help you set up the wireless AirPrint capability from your iPad or iPhone, including some tips from CNET on how to wirelessly print on a non-AirPrint printer: