December 11, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
As the year winds down, I thought now would be a great time to offer up another five apps recommended by AOPA members. The apps below do everything from help with flight planning to recording audio in the cockpit. These are not endorsements of any app.
iFlightPlanner (free in iTunes)—Evgeny Brusilovsky highly recommends this “free and easy” iPhone/iPad app that allows users to plan and explore flight routes with seamless IFR/VFR aviation charts and true route rubberbanding on a Google Maps interface; view en route aviation weather, including animated radar, color-coded, translated METARs and TAFs, temporary flight restrictions, and graphical airmets and sigmets; perform weight-and-balance calculations; and file and close FAA flight plans.
Who Owns that Plane ($9.99 in iTunes)—Wes Watkins says this is a great iPhone/iPad app “to see who is on the ramp” by typing in an aircraft N number. The information comes from the FAA database and is updated in real time.
Flight Winds (free in iTunes and Google Play)—This app, optimized for smartphones and recommended by Dan Reiland, calculates crosswind, tailwind, and headwind components for takeoff and landing, and displays them in a user-friendly way.
FlightLink (free in iTunes)—Luke Weintz recommends this in-flight cockpit voice recorder app which is optimized for the iPhone 5. “I love being able to record the audio from my flights and merge it with video from my POV camera,” he wrote.
Takeoff—Aviation Weather ($5.99 in iTunes and Google Play)—Bob Griffith says this app, optimized for smartphones, gives users a visual of all local reporting airports’ METARs. It also allows users to program in limits for wind, crosswind, ceiling, and visibility, and gives back either a green, yellow, or red icon for all of those conditions in all the nearby airports.
Speaking of great apps, it is not too late to help choose the top 10 apps for 2013. The current top five are ForeFlight, FlightAware, LiveATC, SocialFlight, and FltPlan. Help choose the best by voting for between one and 10 of your favorite apps here. Voting closes on Monday, Dec. 16. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 18. Meanwhile, see the complete list of apps already reviewed here.
Takeoffs and Landings,
With a closing speed of about 900 knots, Air Force pilots on a training mission have seconds to aim and shoot heat-seeking and radar guided missiles at a drone target. Their success came from repeated rehearsals. But as author Larry Brown writes, “there is nothing like the real thing to gain experience.”
The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive for certain Cessna models after icing-related accidents.
The FAA has approved the BendixKing KLR 10, meant to enhance safety by warning pilots of high angles of attack.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.