This coming Wednesday is traditionally the busiest travel day of the year. AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner and ASF's online course, Know Before You Go can help pilots plan their trips and stay clear of temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) and weather.
The Jeppesen-powered Real-Time Flight Planner has turned into one of the most popular member benefits AOPA has ever offered. In the three weeks since it was launched, members have used it more than 125,000 times. Put another way, in just three weeks, users have logged three and a half years of server time.
AOPA turned to Jeppesen to help develop Real-Time Flight Planner because of Jepp's long track record of providing accurate electronic charting information. Shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks, when the government ordered pilots not to fly in the vicinity of nuclear power plants but refused to issue notams with coordinates, it was Jeppesen technicians who, literally overnight at AOPA's request, charted the plants using publicly available information so pilots could steer clear.
Reaction has been overwhelmingly favorable.
"The new Flight Planner is a super program. Thank you!" said one member. "This is fantastic! AOPA is the BEST!" said another. And still another, "What a great tool! Thank you!"
But perhaps the most ringing endorsement came from a member who said, "I'm continually amazed at the breadth and quality of the services I get from AOPA. You guys are leaving a lot of money on the table—I'd pay the annual dues just to get the magazine! So I'll try to make up for that with a donation to the Air Safety Foundation. Keep up the good work."
Real-Time Flight Planner fulfills the needs of a majority of Internet users for a graphical flight-planning tool. AOPA's text-based flight-planning tool is also available through the end of the year for those who need it.
Real-Time Flight Planner is free to AOPA members, and all ASF interactive online courses are free to all pilots, offer a graduation certificate suitable for framing, and qualify for FAA "Wings" safety credit.