AOPA unveils new online flight planner, complete with weather graphic overlays, up-to-the-moment TFRs
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association today announced the launch of a new, advanced, graphics-based flight-planning tool with real-time graphic depictions of weather and temporary flight restrictions.
"This is one of the most significant improvements AOPA has ever made to our online services," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Our Real-Time Flight Planner brings click-and-drag simplicity to flight planning. It offers advanced features utilizing the latest technology from Jeppesen but is a free service available to our members.
"In today's security-driven flight environment, it's vital that pilots have the most up-to-date information available," continued Boyer. "Every time a member launches Real-Time Flight Planner, it automatically downloads the latest TFR and navigation aid information."
Members download a small application from AOPA Online that interfaces with Real-Time Flight Planner. Once they've done that, they may store a pilot profile, two aircraft profiles, and up to five flight plans online, meaning that they can then use any Internet-capable computer that has the application installed to access their information.
One of the flight planner's most useful features allows pilots to easily alter routes around TFRs or weather by simply "rubber-banding" the course to a new waypoint outside the affected area.
Other features include:
- Real-time TFR graphical overlay with current notams.
- Locate active TFRs and special-use airspace (SUA) areas, then rubber-band the route around them
- Rolling the cursor across a TFR or SUA depiction shows altitudes and duration; double-clicking on the depiction pulls up the textual notam description.
- Real-time weather map.
- Based on route, obtain weather briefing including radar summaries and weather chart products from either DUATS provider, then overlay route with current radar or satellite graphics for a clear picture of weather along the way.
- Tap into AOPA's Airport Directory Online.
- Double-click on a landing facility for basic information and links to the Airport Directory Online and current online instrument approach procedures.
- Airport and approach procedure information can be printed out in kneeboard format.
- Set level of detail on en route chart.
- Show state boundaries, cities, landing facilities, airways, intersections, and navigation aids using zoom in/zoom out and select/de-select tools
- Flight Plan and Navigation Log created automatically as route is planned.
"AOPA is constantly striving to give its members the best tools for flying safely," said Boyer. "And with Jeppesen providing the aeronautical data and electronic charting, including real-time graphical TFRs, pilots can plan with confidence."
If you prefer to use our original flight planner, it will be available through the end of the year. Or you may want to check out an enhanced version of the flight planner from Enflight. Details are available through the link above.
AOPA is the world's largest civil aviation organization, with more than 400,000 members. Since its founding at Philadelphia's Wings Field 64 years ago, AOPA has been dedicated to keeping general aviation fun, affordable, and, above all, safe.
October 30, 2003