Apps of the week: Charts and maps

January 10, 2013

When tablets entered the market, pilots quickly recognized the benefit of using them to display their charts electronically, cutting down the need to have VFR and IFR charts folded and scattered throughout the cockpit. While many still carry paper charts as a backup, more are using apps as their primary means of pulling up navigation charts—nice and neat in one electronic display. This week AOPA takes a look at five charts and maps apps recommended by AOPA members. These are not endorsements of any app.

  1. SkyChartsPro ($19.99 in iTunes)—This app, which works on the iPhone and iPad, offers a moving map with the latest IFR, VFR, and terminal area charts. It also covers 20,000 airports, 45,000 FAA IFR/VFR navigation fixes, and 2,100 FAA VOR/ADF fixes.
  2. AeroFlare (range from $24.99 to $49.99 in iTunes)—This moving-maps app includes a landing analysis tool that was designed specifically for VFR pilots working on their landings. The app shows student pilots a virtual glidescope, offering analysis on items including height and pitch on final approach. Features include U.S. VFR sectional and terminal area charts, VFR moving maps with GPS overlay, and personalized settings.
  3. Aeronautical Charts ($9.99 in iTunes)—If you’re like me, the fine print on aeronautical charts is getting harder and harder to read. This app solves that problem by easily enlarging PDF- and TIFF-based charts to make them clear and easy to read.
  4. ZephyrCharts (in iTunes, Lite, free; charts, $3.99; and world, $1.99)—This app aims to be as close to a simple paper chart as possible. A geo-referenced airplane marker on a moving map shows GPS altitude, speed, heading, and Zulu time.
  5. Anywhere Map ($49.99 in iTunes and Google Play)—This app provides features including day or night mode, terrain awareness warning system graphics, a virtual glide slope, and vertical navigation guidance.

If you have any iPad/iPhone/Android apps you think I should review in the upcoming months, please pass them along to me here. I continue to appreciate all the suggestions.