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March 17, 2014
By Benét J. Wilson
As more flight planning tasks become automated, pilots can choose from dozens of apps to help them prepare for a flight. Below are five flight planning apps that can help. These are not endorsements of any app.
CAP Preflight (free in iTunes)—For Civil Air Patrol cadets and officers, this iPhone/iPad app allows users to add aircraft to the database. It also handles tasks including preflight mission paperwork, mission information, the Operational Risk Management worksheet, and weight and balance.
iFlight Planner (free in iTunes)—The developer of this iPad app allows users to plan and explore flight routes using IFR/VFR charts on a Google Maps interface, view en route weather and receive certified briefs, handle weight and balance, file and close FAA flight plans, and log flights into an online logbook.
FlightPlan - Pilot's Toolbox ($2.99 in iTunes and $1.99 in Google Play)—This smartphone app serves as an aviation calculator designed to handle E6B functions. It also handles weight and balance calculations and offers METARs and TAFs, airport data, and a windstar calculator.
Avare (free in Google Play)—This smartphone app serves as a free moving aviation map using GPS. It offers airport/facility directory information, approach plates, and a GPS moving map on VFR sectional charts, world aeronautical charts, terminal area charts, and IFR low en route charts and airport diagrams
TFRs: Temporary Flight Restrictions Aviation Pilot NOTAMs ($9.99 in iTunes; subscription required)—This iPhone/iPad app offers users an alternative from the FAA website to quickly check for TFRs across the United States. TFRs, which come from FAA data, are shown on a map in red, and users can search by state or by center.
I’m always looking for more Android and Windows apps, so please send them here. Specific categories I’m looking for are weight and balance, radar, maintenance, instrument simulators, and fuel. View my complete list of highlighted apps here.
Garmin has expanded the reach of its Pilot app for tablet computers to cover the entire planet.
Plan flights before taking off with these five apps.
Developers pitch their smartphone and tablet aviation apps to AOPA members.
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