When it comes to flying, aviation experts are always looking for new ways to enhance safety and the overall performance of pilots. By now I’m sure many of you have heard of (and are using) one of the newest apps created in Foreflight for your flying. In Fact, over the holiday break my parents got me a new iPad with Foreflight on it! (thanks mom and dad). Over the past few days I’ve been learning all the neat features and how Foreflight works, and I must say this app is incredible; yet, there are some cons with the app that drive me crazy. So, for this week’s post, I’ll be talking about the pros and cons of Foreflight and whether I think it’s worth downloading, especially if you are considering using it for flight.
Okay, so the biggest pro with foreflight, is not having to worry about keeping a large stack of papers in your hands during flight. I’m sure most of you remember in private pilot when you had or still have to plan a cross country by hand, which took a lot of time as well as a lot of papers. Then when you go on your cross-country flight you had to keep up with all those papers while trying to fly. The great thing about foreflight is that it’s all on your device and helps keep your cockpit area clear. Another major advantage of foreflight is that you don’t have to keep buying sectional charts or airport directories since they expire after a certain amount of days, which can add up to a lot of money very quickly. With foreflight all you have to do is update the app, and you instantly get the newest charts, airport updates, any new changes, and so much more. Next, is the fact the foreflight can be used for either VFR or IFR flight. Again, going back to private pilot training, you could only fly when conditions were VFR and you had your flight completed by hand, but foreflight can be used for either one so it doesn’t matter whether if you are flying in either one (if you have the appropriate ratings). Finally, when it comes to foreflight, most commercial and corporate pilots use the app, so using foreflight now helps you get ahead somewhat in the future, in addition knowing how to use the app.
Like any great app, while there are a lot of advantages with foreflight, there are some major disadvantages as well. The first major problem, is that the app is expensive, since you pay for a complete full year use and then pay again so it’s certainly not cheap. Next, is that you must update the app quite often to keep your files up to date. This can be a major headache since we all know that updates can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. When it comes to flying, one of my friends in the aviation department who uses foreflight told me that sometimes the app can have a hard time updating information, or where exactly you are. He told me that he often experiences a lack of the latest weather update as well as sometimes losing his location due to cellular communication. Foreflight has also been a major issue when it comes to check rides since it can be an automatic fail if you use the app. Depending on the check ride some pilots have complained that they failed right away for using the app, so make sure and ask if you can use it on your next check ride. Finally, a major issue that flight instructors have had with foreflight, is that students have become too reliable on the app. Again, during private pilot training you are taught to plan a cross country by hand; yet, some students have just been using foreflight rather than learning by hand, which has caused major concern for instructors, especially since we live in a world with huge technological advantages.
So, what do I think of Foreflight and would I recommend it to you all? Absolutely! Like I said before it’s a great app and saves you a lot of time and helps you stay more organized, so if you can afford it and have the proper device, I would highly recommend you get it. While I think it’s a great app, my only thing is just don’t become heavily reliable on that one app. As pilots, we are trained to fly using various ways whether if it’s by hand or using a mobile app. In addition, you should keep up with how to do everything rather than becoming reliable on just one method
Well guys that’s it for this week’s blog, Also, make sure to check out https://blog.globalair.com/ for other great blogs and featured stories on other pilot stories as well as other reviews on foreflight. As always guys remember that “adventure is out there!”