Garmin Pilot is one of aviation’s most successful full-featured flight planning and moving-map applications. Unlike many popular apps, it’s available on both Apple and Android devices, and it can integrate with FltPlan.com and Jeppesen to provide several dynamic features. Garmin hosted a recent webinar on some of Pilot’s tips and tricks. Here are six things we learned.
1. You can move the icons on the main menu. Don’t like Garmin’s decisions about the various pages shown on the main menu? If you press and hold any one of the icons on the menu, wiggle mode comes up, allowing you to rearrange the menu selections or delete any that you don’t regularly use. If you make a mistake, click to restore the default choices and try again.
3. SafeTaxi charts are automatic, with a caveat. Runway incursions continue to be a massive issue, so anything you can do to increase your situational awareness on the ground is a good thing. In the Settings menu, make sure SafeTaxi is turned on. Once it is, and assuming you have the airport in your flight plan, the app will automatically load the SafeTaxi chart after landing. That’s the way automation is supposed to work.
4. Get insight into storm cells with vector barbs. We rely so heavily on weather information in the cockpit that we sometimes take for granted what an amazing safety advancement it is. Various improvements increase that safety benefit even more. The developers of Garmin Pilot have made looping radar even more useful with vector barbs that show the motion of each individual cell, with marks for its estimated position 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes into the future. With radar overlay selected, click on the lightning symbol in the bottom right corner and the barbs will appear.
5. Scroll through the en route weather dynamically. Instead of going to the weather page or clicking on each individual airport, users can quickly scroll through the en route weather at stations along the route directly from the map page. With a flight plan loaded, click on the caret (^) on the bottom of the screen. That brings up a split screen window with various cards called widgets. The default widget displays metars. You can select several other products to display as well. As you move the slider to the right, the cards automatically switch to stations along the route, with detailed metar data, or whatever other product you’ve chosen.
6. Customize your split-screen view. With such a large display, using split screen is a great way to get the most from any app. With the caret (^) extended, click on the document icon to the right. This will give 10 split-screen options to display, including synthetic vision, terrain, checklists, the scratch pad, and more.