It’s drummed into student pilots right from the start of their training that planning is key to any successful flight. And in this digital age, there’s an app for everything – including flight planning. The aviation industry has seen a significant rise in the use of apps for pilots. The increasing number available mean that pilots have a wealth of resources at their fingertips. So, let’s take a look at the best apps for flight planning, navigation, weather forecasting, and other tasks.
1. ForeFlight (iOS)
First on our list is ForeFlight, a top-rated aviation app that’s a favorite among pilots worldwide. It’s an all-in-one tool that provides comprehensive flight planning, weather, and navigation features.
- Flight Planning: ForeFlight’s flight planning feature is intuitive and easy to use. You can plan your route, check fuel consumption, and even file your flight plan directly from the app.
- Weather: Stay ahead of the weather with ForeFlight’s real-time weather updates and forecasts. You’ll get radar imagery, METARs, TAFs, and more.
- Navigation: With high-resolution maps and charts, ForeFlight ensures you’re always on the right path. It also includes synthetic vision for a 3D view of terrain and obstacles.
ForeFlight delivers advanced flight planning capabilities, terminal procedure charts, enroute navigation charts, moving map, synthetic vision, hazard awareness, optional Jeppesen charts, a comprehensive library of market-leading weather information and visualization features, etc
2. Garmin Pilot (iOS)
Next up is Garmin Pilot, another heavy hitter in the aviation app world. Designed by the renowned aviation tech company, Garmin, this app offers robust features for flight planning, weather, and navigation.
- Flight Planning: Garmin Pilot simplifies flight planning with its interactive trip planning feature. You can easily plan your route, calculate fuel, and file your flight plan.
- Weather: Garmin Pilot provides comprehensive weather information, including real-time radar, satellite imagery, and METARs.
- Navigation: The app features Garmin’s high-quality aviation charts and also offers 3D Vision for a virtual perspective of your flight.
Garmin Pilot is the most comprehensive suite of tools for the iPad designed specifically for general aviation and corporate pilots. Flight planning, charts, interactive maps, weather briefing resources and navigation capabilities; it’s all included.
3. SkyDemon (iOS)
For our aviators on the eastern side of the pond, SkyDemon is a leading flight planning app in Europe. It’s known for its user-friendly interface and detailed European aeronautical charts.
- Flight Planning: SkyDemon makes flight planning a breeze with its intuitive route planner. It also provides detailed information on airspace, ground features, and more.
- Weather: Stay informed about the weather with SkyDemon’s weather briefing feature. It includes forecasts, actual conditions, and weather radar.
- Navigation: SkyDemon offers high-quality vector charts for easy navigation. It also includes a ‘virtual radar’ feature that shows your position and flight path on the chart.
SkyDemon is Europe’s favourite software for VFR flight planning and in-flight navigation. Use this app to access your SkyDemon subscription on your iOS device, unlocking SkyDemon’s powerful features while on the move.
4. AeroWeather Pro (iOS)
If you’re looking for a dedicated weather app, AeroWeather Pro is your best bet. It provides detailed weather information for pilots, including METARs, TAFs, and NOTAMs.
- Weather: AeroWeather Pro offers detailed weather information, including current conditions, forecasts, and radar imagery. It also provides NOTAMs for your selected airports.
- Flight Planning: While AeroWeather Pro is primarily a weather app, it does offer basic flight planning features. You can save your favorite routes and airports for easy access.
AeroWeather Pro provides quick and intuitive access to METAR and TAF for airports worldwide. Data can be shown in its original (raw) format or as fully decoded and easy understandable texts. AeroWeather Pro is helpful for weather preflight-briefings, but also to just get very precise weather.
5. FltPlan Go (iOS)
FltPlan Go is a reliable and free flight planning app. It offers a range of features, including flight planning, navigation, and weather.
- Flight Planning: FltPlan Go allows you to create and file your flight plans with ease. It also offers fuel price information for your route.
- Weather: The app provides real-time weather updates, including METARs, TAFs, and radar imagery.
- Navigation: FltPlan Go includes high-quality charts for navigation. It also offers features like moving maps, geo-referenced approach plates, and more.
FltPlan Go is the essential companion to FltPlan.com. Because FltPlan Go is integrated with FltPlan.com, flight plans and NavLogs are automatically synced to your device along with Weight & Balance profiles, eLogbook profiles, and Checklists for offline and in-flight use.
6. CloudAhoy (iOS)
CloudAhoy is not just a flight planning app, but a flight debriefing tool. It’s perfect for pilots who want to review and improve their flights.
- Flight Debrief: CloudAhoy records all your flight data and provides a comprehensive debrief, helping you analyse and improve your flight skills.
- Weather: The app provides weather information at the time of your flight, which is useful for post-flight analysis.
- Integration: CloudAhoy can be integrated with other apps and devices for more detailed tracking and analysis.
CloudAhoy provides post-flight data driven debriefs for pilots of all levels. Each flight is automatically analysed and broken down into segments to easily evaluate pilot performance. Maneuver scoring provides a snapshot of how well you flew. Review airspeed, altitude, and wind corrections and relive your ground reference maneuvers or instrument approaches.
7. Sporty’s Pilot Training App (iOS)
Sporty’s Pilot Training App is a comprehensive learning tool for pilots. It’s packed with video lessons, written content, and interactive tools to help you become a better pilot.
- Learning Material: The app offers hundreds of video lessons covering various topics, from basic flight training to instrument rating and more.
- Interactive Tools: Sporty’s app includes interactive tools like practice tests, flashcards, and a flight training syllabus.
- Updates: The app is regularly updated with new content, ensuring you’re always learning something new.
Sporty’s Pilot Training
Sporty’s innovative Pilot Training app brings a variety of aviation training courses to one location, allowing you to access all of your Sporty’s aviation content from your iPad, iPhone or AppleTV. It’s free to get started – including interactive free FAA handbooks, free FAR/AIM, FAA practice tests and HD/4K training videos.
8. Air Navigation Pro (iOS)
Air Navigation Pro is a high-quality flight planning and real-time navigation application. It’s designed for VFR and IFR pilots alike.
- Flight Planning: Air Navigation Pro allows you to plan your route, calculate flight time and fuel consumption, and more.
- Real-Time Navigation: The app provides real-time navigation with 2D and 3D moving maps.
- Weather: Get real-time weather updates, including METARs, TAFs, and wind information.
9. MyRadar Weather Radar (iOS)
MyRadar Weather Radar is a fast, easy-to-use weather application that displays animated weather radar around your current location.
- Weather Radar: MyRadar provides real-time animated weather radar images on a highly interactive map.
- Weather Alerts: The app offers weather alerts and temperature on the map.
- Aviation Features: MyRadar includes aviation features like TFRs and flight plan overlay.
MyRadar Weather Radar
MyRadar is a fast, powerful, easy-to-use weather app that displays animated weather radar around your current location and to quickly show what weather is coming your way. Just start the app; your location pops up with animated live radar, with radar loop lengths of up to two hours.
10. LogTen Pro (iOS)
LogTen Pro is the most advanced pilot logbook for iOS, designed to take the hassle out of logging flights.
- Flight Logging: LogTen Pro makes it easy to log your flights, track hours, and maintain your logbook.
- Analytics: The app provides detailed analytics of your flight time, helping you track your progress.
- Sync: LogTen Pro syncs across all your devices, ensuring your logbook is always up to date.
LogTen is the most complete pilot logbook for iOS and Mac, used by over 120,000 pilots worldwide and in every airline to track flight time, currency, endorsements, duty, rest, BFRs and more.
- ForeFlight: An all-in-one tool for comprehensive flight planning, weather updates, and navigation.
- Garmin Pilot: A robust app offering interactive trip planning, real-time weather information, and high-quality aviation charts.
- SkyDemon: A leading European flight planning app known for its user-friendly interface and detailed aeronautical charts.
- AeroWeather Pro: A dedicated weather app providing detailed weather information, including METARs, TAFs, and NOTAMs.
- FltPlan Go: A reliable and free flight planning app offering features like flight planning, navigation, and real-time weather updates.
- CloudAhoy: A flight debriefing tool that helps you analyse and improve your flight skills.
- Sporty’s Pilot Training App: A comprehensive learning tool packed with video lessons and interactive tools.
- Air Navigation Pro: A high-quality flight planning and real-time navigation application.
- MyRadar Weather Radar: A fast, easy-to-use weather application that displays animated weather radar.
- LogTen Pro: The most advanced pilot logbook for iOS, designed totake the hassle out of logging flights.
Why Every Pilot Needs the Best Aviation Apps
It’s common in any discipline or recreation to be on the lookout for the next useful tool or software, and aviation is no exception. The best aviation apps have become an essential part of every pilot’s toolkit. These apps, designed mainly for iPads but also available for other tablets and mobile devices, offer a wealth of features that make flying safer, more efficient, and more enjoyable.
The All-in-One App for Flying
Many of the best aviation apps serve as an all-in-one electronic flight bag. These apps offer interactive flight planning tools, weather forecasting, navigation, and even weight and balance calculators. They’re like having a co-pilot in your pocket, ready to assist with every aspect of your flight operations.
Flight Planning Made Easy
Flight planning is a crucial part of any flight, and the top apps make it easy. With features like synthetic vision while in flight and up-to-date IFR approach and procedure plates, these apps provide a richer flying experience. They allow pilots to plan their route, check fuel consumption, and even file their flight plan directly from the app.
Weather Forecasting and Navigation
Weather can be unpredictable, and having real-time weather updates at your fingertips is a game-changer. The best aviation apps provide detailed weather information, including METARs, TAFs, and radar imagery. They also offer advanced navigation features, such as high-resolution maps and charts, ensuring you’re always on the right path.
Cockpit Calculations Simplified
Weight and balance, altitude calculations, and other cockpit calculations are essential for safe and efficient flying. The top aviation apps offer these features, making them a must-have for every pilot. Whether you’re a student pilot just starting out or a seasoned airline pilot, these apps can simplify these complex calculations and help you focus on enjoying your flight.
Live ATC Feeds
For pilots operating in a controlled airport, being familiar with ATC terms or calls is crucial. Some of the best aviation apps allow pilots to listen to live ATC feeds throughout the U.S and select international airports. This feature not only helps pilots stay informed but also helps them become more familiar with ATC terms and procedures.
With these additional apps, you’re now equipped with a comprehensive list of the best apps for flight planning. From flight debriefing with CloudAhoy, learning new skills with Sporty’s Pilot Training App, to logging your flights with LogTen Pro, these apps have got you covered. Remember, being a pilot is not just about flying. It’s about constantly learning, improving, and adapting. These apps are tools that can help you do just that. So, download these apps, plan your flight, and take to the skies with confidence. Happy flying, aviators!