Where can I look up symbols or markings on charts that are not on the legend?
Answered By AOPA
You’re planning a flight in a part of the country that you are unfamiliar with. Looking on the sectional you see symbols and markings that you’ve never seen before. For example, along your route of flight there is an area outlined in the same lines you would find around a restricted or prohibited area, except the line is gray, not red or blue. You go to the sectional legend to look it up and it’s not listed. Where can you go to look up symbols and markings on charts that are not on the legend?
1 Replies
AOPA Staff Answer
The FAA produces a digital product (available in print from other providers) called the Aeronautical Chart User’s Guide


The guide goes into detail concerning almost any symbol or term you might see on a VFR chart, IFR enroute chart, or instrument plate printed by the FAA.
The gray outline in the question above indicates a Special Military Activity Route (SMAR). The chart user’s guide notes there should be a text box adjacent to the SMAR with information. You go back to the sectional and, sure enough, it’s there. So, while the chart legend might be the first place you check for information on the sectional, some clarifying notes and boxes are printed right on the chart, usually in the same color as the graphic.