** Spoiler Alert **
I’m a huge fan of Jeppesen instrument charts. I learned how to fly instruments using Jeppesen charts, and I continue to use Jeppesen charts every day at work. This video is biased toward Jeppesen however I hope it clearly shows the differences between the two chart products.
One of the first challenges facing any instrument student is what chart provider to use. The two most common chart providers in North America are Jeppesen (commercial) and NACO or FAA Charts (government published).
Most pilots are familiar with government published products since sectional charts, terminal area charts, and airport facility directories are all government products.
When it comes to instrument charts, not only does the FAA offer its own charts, but commercially available Jeppesen charts are also widely used.
Jeppesen was the original instrument chart provider. We’re talking way back before there was an FAA to even regulate instrument approaches.
With all of that experience, Jeppesen has learned how to create very user friendly, easy to read, and pilot friendly charts. When given the option most instrument pilots prefer Jeppesen charts to FAA charts.
The primary advantage the FAA has over Jeppesen is cost. Jeppesen charts are usually hundreds of dollars and offered on a subscription plan only. FAA charts are usually $5-10 for a large region of coverage and are available as needed at the local pilot store.