February 14, 2014
By Benét J. Wilson
It's been awhile since we've run the apps randomizer. The five apps listed below cover functions including researching FBO/airport information, in-flight computations, filing pireps, and weather. These are not endorsements of any app.
FltPlan Go (free in iTunes): This iPad app has added more features to the company’s legacy FltPlan app, originally created to provide pilots with airport information and approach charts. The new app is still integrated with FltPlan's website for one-stop flight planning in one centralized user account. App features include breadcrumb trails on the screen that show where the user has flown; rubber-banding of routing in flight planning; ability to create and edit routes offline; and expanded FBO airport information including fuel prices. The company will continue maintain and support the legacy app.
Aviation Calculations (free on Google Play): This smartphone app helps pilots and student pilots learn, practice, and review the 60 to 1 rule calculations used to provide quick approximations for many in-flight computations. It walks through the computations by leaving spaces where the user can enter data. The answers are computed upon pressing the calculate button on each page. Long pages may have multiple calculate buttons between different calculation methods or steps for convenience.
FlightCheck (free in iTunes): The motto of this app is “You Fly, We Calculate.” This iPhone/iPad app streamlines users' preflight, in-flight, and landing preparation. Calculations include takeoff and landing weights/arms; takeoff and climb performance; pressure altitude, density altitudes, table interpolations, and headwind effects; and landing distances for all airport runways. It will display data such as winds aloft on a pirep form to aid in filing pilot reports.
ForeFlight Mobile 5.6.1 (free in iTunes, but subscription prices range from $74.99 to $149.99): The newest version of this electronic flight bag app optimized for the iPhone 5 includes navigation charts, Internet and in-flight weather, airport/facility directory information, moving map, hazard and terrain awareness, and aviation documents. Upgrades in this version offer users the ability to file flight plans directly via Lockheed Martin Flight Services interfaces, along with DUATS. Users can now also file flight plans for destinations in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico.
FS Kneeboard 2 ($9.99 for iPhone and $19.99 for iPad in iTunes): This app designed for flight simulation provides access to more than 16,000 U.S. digital terminal procedures and airport diagrams and allows users to integrate with Dropbox to sync their own PDFs from a desktop computer. It also offers IFR/VFR charts, weather, and checklists. The iPad version also includes approach plates, a built-in browser, a notepad, and an "FS calc" mode that includes a fuel calculator.
I’m still looking for Google Play and Windows Store apps, so please send them here. I’m also looking for apps in the following categories: FBO/flight services; flight data; fuel; games; instrument simulators; and radar. You can see a complete list of the apps I’ve highlighted here.
Safety and Education,
The NTSB has organized a safety seminar May 10 to focus on aerodynamic stalls and loss of control, a leading cause of general aviation fatalities.
According to the most recent Joseph T. Nall Report, in 2010 there were 43 accidents involving weather, and 28 of them were fatal. In fact, weather accidents are the most consistently fatal types of accidents.
When you set out on a mission to learn about your airplane, it’s amazing how many people step in to help.
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