Planning that first cross-country of the spring? Maybe you're thinking about flying down to Lakeland, Florida, to catch the AOPA Pilot Town Meeting at Sun 'n Fun. Why not use the world's best flight planner - AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner powered by Jeppesen?
World's best is a pretty strong claim, but when you consider all of the flight planner's capabilities - and that it's free to AOPA members - you certainly can't find a better value.
A big concern for pilots is inadvertently flying into a TFR (temporary flight restriction) area. That won't happen most likely if you use AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner.
When you first start the planner, it downloads all of the active and upcoming TFRs and draws them on a map. (Active TFRs are in red, future TFRs are in gray.) You can plot your course on the map and see that you are avoiding all restricted airspace.
Don't like the course line you just plotted? Grab the line with your mouse cursor and "rubber band" it to new waypoints.
The planner can download weather graphics for you, and then draw the latest Nexrad radar returns on your map. That's great for strategic flight planning, to see if your planned route will go through a major weather system.
The planner can also download a complete weather briefing, including notams, for you - and file your flight plan.
AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner is a small program that resides on your computer, so response time is fast.
AOPA's planner can store up to five performance profiles for the aircraft you fly most frequently. You can also store up to 10 routes.
You can view a 15-minute tutorial on how to use AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner here.
You can download the planner here.
And for all of the flight planning resources available to you as an AOPA member, just click on the " Flight Planning" bar on the left side of your screen.
April 5, 2006