Thanks to the iPhone and iPad, apps have revolutionized the way pilots fly. To that end, AOPA will begin showcasing five aviation-related apps weekly. As those of us on the East Coast dig out from the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy, this week we’ll take a look at weather apps. These are not endorsements of any app.
- AirWX ($9.99)—This iPhone/iPad app came highly recommended by AOPA members on our Facebook page. It also has a 3.5 star rating in iTunes. Users can get the latest METARs, TAFs, and weather charts for airports across the United States. You also can see sectional charts and get a list of airports close to your current location. The information in the app is automatically updated monthly. The app also is available on Android.
- AeroWeather ( Lite, free; Pro, $3.99)—The Lite version of this iPhone/iPad app offers raw and decoded METAR and TAF data using the National Weather Service data source. Users can search stations from a built-in database or find nearest stations based on location. It also gives access to information including sunrise/sunset, twilight times, station location/elevation, and time zone/daylight savings time adjustments. The Pro version includes all of the Lite features, plus more, including: notams by print and mail; runway and moon data; a group that shows weather in immediate area; email and print raw METAR/TAF of groups and individual stations; and ability to back up and restore user data with a Dropbox account or via email. The app is available on Android.
- Garmin Pilot ($9.99/month)—Subscribers gain access to real-time data along your route or at airports, including radar, visible and infrared clouds, AIRMETs, SIGMETs, and lightning. The app is available on Android.
- Understanding Weather Briefings (Free for a limited time/$9.99)—As a student pilot, I’m still learning how to speak to all the players in general aviation. I’m doing my own weather briefings, but this app may be helpful for those still in the learning process by using an actual call to explain the process.
- Intellicast HD (Free)—The good news about this app is the amazing amount of information it offers, including NOWrad HD Radar with real-time storm cell tracking and map-based weather alerts; bad weather tracking (like Hurricane Sandy); and push weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The bad news, according to members, is what they call annoying ads that pop up when using the app.
So there you have it. If you have any apps you think I should review in the upcoming months, please pass them along to me.