ForeFlight vs. Garmin Pilot: Which mobile application is perfect for you?

ForeFlight vs. Garmin Pilot: Which mobile application is perfect for you?

Visit your chosen basic aviation airport on any Saturday and you’re prone to find pilots in a spirited discussion, defending the merits of a low-wing vs. High-wing airplanes, or north-up vs. Track-up on a moving map display. It didn’t just take very long following the Wright Brothers’ very very first flight for pilots to make strong views in aviation, and after this you won’t find an even more debated topic than which iPad software is most beneficial for pilots: ForeFlight or Garmin Pilot.

Aviation software designers came and gone considering that the iPad was launched this season, and you will find simply a few single-solution apps utilized by pilots today, with ForeFlight and Garmin Pilot near the top of that list. The objective of both apps has additionally grown from electronic chart display to an avionics that is integrated, and today they could do a lot more than most certified avionics.

Whenever you break it down however, the actual concern you ought to be asking is which app is the best for me personally. Both apps have got all the features and capabilities to feel right in the home within the cockpit of the pupil pilot understanding how to fly, while simultaneously fulfilling the requirements of expert pilots turbine that is flying. They’ve also grown to provide worldwide chart and trip help because of partnerships with Jeppesen and Eurocontrol.

The increase associated with the iPad

Ahead of the iPad’s introduction this season, pilots mainly relied on handheld GPS receivers to deliver airport that is supplemental and a going map within the cockpit. Garmin dominated this section with a number hardware choices and display screen sizes, selling for up to $2,500. These portable GPS systems had been a nice-to-have accessory in the cockpit, but didn’t replace paper maps or provide much when it comes to preflight climate or journey preparation. It took some work and cost to keep the databases present.

Then, if the iPad ended up being established this season, pilots immediately recognized it once the long-awaited consumer item which could transform exactly exactly exactly how information ended up being handled and consumed when you look at the cockpit. It absolutely was nearly too advisable that you be real: a slim tablet with a bright, responsive, 10” color touchscreen and a battery pack life that could outlast a 4-hour journey. As well as on the application part, ForeFlight ended up being in the same way released and responsive a single-solution iPad software, building in the popularity of its iPhone form of the software. The paperless cockpit period had formally begun.

As they didn’t obtain the jump that is early ForeFlight, Garmin debuted their full-featured Pilot software for iPad, iPhone and Android os 2 yrs later on when you look at the springtime of 2012. Garmin might have been the biggest basic aviation avionics business in those days, nevertheless they discovered on their own within the position of playing get up when you look at the app market that is mobile.

Garmin reacted with a steady-stream of innovative component improvements in the last six years, that has permitted it to fulfill, as well as on some fronts exceed, the abilities each and every other aviation iPad software currently available. Coupled with its substantial portable and certified avionics connectivity choices, Garmin is deciding tougher than in the past whenever making a choice on the most readily useful application to meet your needs.

More similar than various

As the design and interface of those apps couldn’t be much more different, you’ll quickly discover that after investing a while with both apps they provide the exact same core abilities:

  • Trip preparing– airport information, FBOs details and charges, preflight weather briefing, aircraft performance pages, electronic navlog, trip solution climate briefing, climate imagery, ICAO journey plan help, pre-departure clearances (PDC)
  • Charts– FAA VFR Sectionals and TACs, IFR high and low altitude enroute maps, terminal procedures, worldw Document Management – upload, view and edit flight-relevant documents like aircraft manuals, worldwide paperwork and training papers

What you’ll find after utilizing either application is you need to both prepare for and execute a flight that they really are a one-stop shop for everything. The next thing is to dig much deeper into each app’s core abilities and determine which provider will deliver a benefit for your needs predicated on exactly what, where, and exactly how you fly.


ForeFlight’s design includes a lot of Apple’s iOS that are standard conventions, menus and settings, which eases the training bend. It requires merely a couple of taps to arrive at any location when you look at the application which you’ll appreciate when you really need to get into information quickly, like finding a guitar approach chart or airspace information. ForeFlight makes use of the iOS that are familiar bar menu at the end for the display screen to quickly switch between displays with one faucet. Instead, the search that is universal, available near the top of the Maps, Airports and Plates parts of the application, enables you to look for just about any information (airport info, chart, route, etc. ) and jump to its location when you look at the application.

After investing a while with ForeFlight, you’ll find many thoughtful features made to make life easier for the GA pilot single-pilot that is flying. The software excels at using routine data that we’ve been making use of for decades and presenting it in an infinitely more meaningful method. For instance, whenever viewing a guitar approach chart or airport diagram, ForeFlight shows a shortcut regarding the display to see all relevant NOTAMs about this procedure. So when an airport possesses NOTAM for a shut runway, the application presents a bold red advertising over the center associated with airport information screen to be sure it does not get ignored. An automatic chart pack choice is available whenever preparing a journey, letting you press one key to down load all the VFR/IFR maps necessary for the journey. Then, whenever brand new maps become readily available for down load every 28 days, ForeFlight will automatically download them when you start the software, reducing the likelihood you’ll ever get stuck with old maps in trip.

With regards time and energy to prepare a trip, the routes area of the application guides you through each step for the procedure associated with process, eliminating the necessity to jump around to gather and enter information. For IFR pilots, ForeFlight provides A route that is recommended feature assist select the optimum IFR path. This routing engine analyzes lots and lots of feasible choices centered on your aircraft that is detailed performance and time/fuel cost cost savings, while also accounting essay writing service for the aircraft ceiling, chosen paths, and trending ATC cleared tracks.

ForeFlight’s Alternate Advisor analyzes other similar filed journey plans, along with some time gas needs, forecast climate, available approach procedures to recommend IFR alternative airport relating to your journey plan.

Takeoff and landing performance preparation is another capability that is unique ForeFlight. This effective function will automatically determine takeoff and landing performance data in line with the aircraft profile chosen when it comes to journey. It facets in today’s climate, runway factors and aircraft fat to automatically calculate takeoff and landing distance (this does need a efficiency Plus membership).

You will find just like numerous tools available in-flight whenever automation can help really. ForeFlight’s contextual alerts have fun with the part for the electronic copilot, and certainly will alert you on the floor with both a artistic and aural message while you approach and enter active runways. Floating around, they’ll notify whenever approaching a TFR or even the Washington, D.C. SFRA. From the trip security point of view, the software will alert you to definitely cabin altitude issues, nearby terrain/obstacles, high sink rates, lineage through 500’ AGL, and nearby traffic whenever along with an ADS-B receiver.

There’s also convenience alerts like showing the ATIS frequency for the destination airport throughout the arrival, or showing the nearby altimeter setting whenever descending through FL180. Plus the performance preparation function will alert you if computed landing or takeoff distances surpass available runway lengths.

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