August 18, 2014
By Benét J. Wilson
Pilots always have to calculate something—wind, fuel, and weight and balance, to name a few. Below are five apps that can help with the calculation process. These are not endorsements of any apps.
Pilot Time (free in iTunes and Google Play)—This smartphone app helps pilots convert any time to Zulu time and shows local and Zulu time. Users also can save their three most recent time conversions.
WeatherFlow Wind Meter (free in iTunes and Google Play, but the companion device costs $34.95)—This app serves as an anemometer that works with Android and iOS devices. It measures wind speed, direction, average, and gusts; and reads in meters/second, miles/hour, knots, kilometers/hour, and in the Beaufort scale.
Pilot Calcs ($2.99 in iTunes)—This iPhone/iPad app can handle more than 130 calculations and unit conversions. Topics covered include fuel, money, performance, trip planning, weather, weight and balance, wind, and ground speed.
Circuit Pattern Calculator ($1.99 in iTunes)—Originally designed for student pilots, this iPhone/iPad app also can be used for aviation and flight enthusiasts. Users select a left or right pattern, spin the compass rose until the runway/final heading shows at the top, and then read off the crosswind, downwind, and base leg headings.
WindSock ($0.99 in iTunes)—This iPhone/iPad app helps users calculate and display the wind components they will encounter during takeoff and landing. It uses the traffic light method to show calculations. If the current wind is a headwind, the wind-pointer will be green, and the digital display will indicate the headwind component (and possibly crosswind). When the wind shifts to a tailwind, the wind-pointer will turn yellow as a caution. And when the crosswind and/or tailwind exceeds the limits that have been set, the wind-pointer as well as the appropriate digital display will turn red as a warning.
Thanks for the Google Play submissions. Please continue to submit those, along with iTunes and Windows apps here. See the complete list of apps highlighted here.
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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