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November 4, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
With everything that needs to be managed and monitored in a cockpit, pilots need to be at the top of their game. Developers have created apps to help pilots practice on the ground through simulation and record flight information in the air that can be reviewed and shared after a flight. Five such apps were suggested by AOPA members. These are not endorsements of any app.
HGS Flight (free in iTunes)—This iPad app, created by Rockwell Collins, has a video game feel that allows users to simulate flights using advanced features including an approach guidance cue, speed error tape, and acceleration caret. The simulation also offers synthetic vision to allow users to see a virtual view of terrain despite any programmed weather condition.
MotionX-GPS ($1.99 in iTunes)—This app is optimized for the iPhone 5, but it also works on an iPad. Users can launch it at the beginning of a flight and the app will track the entire flight using the device’s built-in GPS function. After landing, the data can be emailed to anyone or even “flown” on Google Earth.
AirTrack ($33.99 in iTunes)—Users of this iPhone/iPad app can have multiple data sources integrate and report flight and navigation data wirelessly and in real time. The app uses a built-in database of fixes, VORs, NDBs, and airports that can be used as a flight companion for planning and monitoring trips, targeting a VOR, or performing an instrument approach. It also can use a device's built-in GPS to determine current movements or the Internet to download real weather to simulate an aircraft's sensors.
Flight Data Recorder ($1.99 in iTunes)—Use this iPhone/iPad flight recorder app to record altitude, speed, and track of your flight. It also includes a recorder for cockpit voices, and all data can be saved and emailed.
Aircraft Airspeed ($0.99 in iTunes)—This app is best used on iPhones and allows users to see a realistic airspeed indicator or speedometer. Using a device’s GPS, users can get information including latitude, longitude, altitude, speed, and uncertainty.
There was not one Android app in the column this week. Why? I’m on the iOS platform and depend on readers to pass along their Android recommendations, here. So please send them in. The complete list of apps I’ve highlighted since October 2012 is in AOPA’s online archive.
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
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