July 23, 2008

ForeFlight Mobile 2.0 for the iPhone Review

Pilots that have an iPhone can now add a seriously powerful new application to their phone that gives them access to a wide variety of flight planning and preparation information.

ForeFlight Mobile 2.0 Preflight Intelligence is the handy pilots assistant that can take you from the start of your planning straight through to filing a flight plan.

Simply open the application and use the Airport Facilities Directory (A/FD) to find your desired destination. The team at Foreflight have made the information in those green Airport Facilities Directories available electronically, and not just for your particular region. They have data for over 220 countries including 25,000 landing facilities. You can review airport data such as frequencies, runway lengths and even view runway, taxiway diagrams and even access to sectional charts. The tool helps you plan a visit to the local fixed based operator, review local lodging options and has information for transportation providers. You can even view the airports location on a Google map to plan getting to or from an airport or to see an aerial view of nearby terrain.

If you are planning a flight you are surely going to be interested in some additional information that is but a tap away. The alerts tab shows NOTAMs for the airport you are looking at. If you are ready to review weather conditions tap the WX button to receive the current weather observation at the airport, which provides the METAR and even a translation for the METAR. From the weather page you can look at various weather data including current winds aloft information and a looped radar image. There is also an option to view forecasted weather data but if a TAF is not published for the airport you are looking at it will not return any data. I would love to see in an update a few TAF reports for airports within a 25-mile proximity of the airport being looked at.

From a higher level you can view national and regional radar images, Airmets, Sigmets and prognostic charts from the weather section of Foreflight.

If you are ready to fly and want to file a flightplan ForeFlight can even help you with that. This is the one part of the functionality that I have not yet used. According to the ForeFlight website you can file new flight plans "in under ten seconds and view your complete flight plan filing history." Flight plan submissions are through a CSC Duats account.

Although, this iphone app will not fully replace all the online resources I use for flight planning it is a valuable tool that will be extremelly handy while on-the-go or at the airport.

If you are an iPhone enabled pilot I highly recommend you check out ForeFlight Mobile 2.0 Preflight Intelligence. It is available through the iPhone App store for a one-time charge of $69.99.

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