August 29, 2012
By Ian J. Twombly
Electronic flight bag software maker ForeFlight recently introduced a runway incursion avoidance feature as part of its expanding package of Advisor features.
Now when a pilot uses the app while taxiing on an airport, a large box will pop up and warn him of an impending runway cross. Another box pops up when the pilot has entered the runway environment. There are also aural alerts that can be sent to a headset that meets a certain Bluetooth protocol. Currently only Lightspeed’s Zulu.2 meets the standard. Headsets with an audio jack can be connected to the iPad and receive the alerts as well.
The technology, which was developed by The Mitre Corp. and fine-tuned by ForeFlight, works by establishing a set “box” around the runway and bringing up the alert when the pilot gets close to and within it. Certain larger airports with more complicated layouts were manually altered to get a more precise and correct alert.
The latest edition of ForeFlight also includes X-Plane support. This feature enables X-Plane users to use ForeFlight on the ground, enhancing the simulation experience and making it easier to learn the app’s features.
Both the new Runway Proximity Advisor and X-Plane support are available now for download in Apple’s App Store as part of any ForeFlight subscription level.
Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
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