Apps aid flight planning process

April 16, 2013

You can’t fly anywhere without proper flight planning. Smartphone and tablet apps have simplified the process, covering everything from flight calculators to wind computers. Below are five apps that help pilots with flight planning. These are not endorsements of any app.

  1. Sporty’s E6B ($9.99 in iTunes)—This app handles 23 aviation functions, including navigation, weight and balance, fuel required, timer features, planned true airspeed, distance flown, and required rate of descent. It also handles 20 aviation conversions.
  2. iFlyWhere (free in iTunes)—This iPhone/iPad app allows pilots to see what airports are available in a chosen radius. By adding minimum and maximum distances, the app shows airports in the area using pins, and also gives users FAA airport/facility directory data.
  3. Pilot Lounge Aviation Tools (free on Google Play)—Created by a pilot, this smartphone app was designed as a preflight tool. It offers data including weight-and-balance calculations, weather, notams, radar, an abbreviation dictionary, and winds aloft.
  4. Wind Computer (free on Google Play)—This smartphone app bills itself as a graphical simulation of the wind side of a CRP-1/E6B flight computer. It provides indicated and true airspeed calculations and automatic calculations for diversion planning.
  5. Flight Instruments ($4.99 on Google Play and iTunes)—This app is designed to serve as a gyro attitude indicator for a smartphone or tablet. Other features include a glass cockpit primary flight display, the ability to show position to the nearest airport, and a flight timer.

I thank all of you who have sent in Android apps. Please continue to send them, along with your iTunes recommendations, here. It’s the last call for aviation apps developers, since I’m planning a column with your apps next week. The complete list of apps I’ve highlighted since October 2012 is in AOPA’s online archive.