AOPA members share must-have apps

September 13, 2013

The first time I covered apps that AOPA members said were their favorites was on Nov. 13. The next round I covered was on Feb. 26. Now I offer another five aviation apps recommended by members. These are not endorsements of any app.

AeroWeather Pro ($3.99 in iTunes and $3.93 in Google Play)—A recent addition on the Android platform, the member said he likes how this smartphone and tablet app allows users to check METARs and TAFs either in a raw format or in an easy-to-read text. Users can choose worldwide airport weather stations from the built-in database by either name or ICAO code.

Aircraft Tail Number Lookup (free on Google Play)—This smartphone app allows users to “dream about planes I want to own,” according to the member who submitted it. Use the app to look up tail numbers in the FAA database, including model, engine, seats, and owner.

Spyglass ($3.99 in iTunes)—This is an advanced compass and GPS navigation app for the iPhone and iPad. It includes an augmented reality navigator, a hi-tech viewfinder, milspec compass, gyrocompass, maps, and tactical GPS. Users can save, find, track, and share their position, multiple waypoints, bearings, sun, moon, and stars, all in real time.

SwitchBox (free in iTunes)—This app, matched with the SwitchBox control ($299), allows users to turn on their engine heater by sending a text to their iPhone or iPad. Messages can be scheduled up to 18 hours in advance.

FlashPass (free on iTunes, but $1.99 for each submission or $7.99 for a five pack)—A member raves about this iPhone/iPad app, approved by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, saying it’s the best way to complete eAPIS (Electronic Advance Passenger Information System) for international travel. The app stores all your past passengers, allowing you to file quickly. Users can clone or adapt older plans, and it even alerts when you have any passengers with a passport that’s about to expire.

You all have been great to send in some useful apps. I’m looking for more apps on the Android platform and in the following categories: charts/maps, FBOs/services, fuel, instrument simulators, and radar. And developers, if you have new apps you want to share or updates to existing ones, please share. I can be reached here. The complete list of apps I’ve reviewed is here.