Flight Planning with ForeFlight, Garmin Pilot, SkyVector.com, FltPlan.com and more + GA News



There are many ways for a pilot to flight plan a trip. Traditionally, it was done with a paper map, pencil, and a plotter. But now there are many new flight planning tools available on the Internet and as smartphone apps for iPhone and Android phones.

We first talk about which percentage of listeners use each tool, then describe the most popular tools, and finally describe how user use multiple tools. Some of the tools described include:

  • ForeFlight
  • Skyvector.com
  • Garmin Pilot
  • FltPlan.com
  • OzRunways
  • 1800wxbrief.com
  • WingX
  • AOPA Flight Planner
  • DUATs
  • SkyDemon
  • NavPlan EFB
  • FlyQ EFB AirNav Pro
  • Mermoz

To reduce iPad discharge in flight, Greg Brown recommended turning the brightness down and this USB charger.

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Instrument Pilot IFR Tips – Using GPS on a VOR or ILS approach, Foreflight + GA News


Last week we talked about briefing the approach and said one of the first things you should do is check to see whether GPS is in the title of the approach. For example, you might look to see whether the title is just VOR 21 approach or if it’s VOR 21 OR GPS. If it’s the latter, it’s obvious you can use GPS in lieu of a VOR signal for the entire approach. But what’s less clear is when you can use GPS for a portion of the approach if it says just VOR 21 and doesn’t have GPS in the title of the approach.

Although GPS receivers have been around for over 20 years, pilots are still unclear as to when they can use GPS on non-GPS approaches such as ILS and VOR approaches. As Max explains, the rules are different for VOR and ILS approaches. The regulatory basis can be found in FAA Advisory Circular AC 90-108, dated March 3, 2011, and in the AIM, the Aeronautical Information Manual, in section 1-2-3, sub-paragraphs c4 and c-5, updated May 26, 2016.

These tell us that for a VOR or NDB approach, you can now use GPS for the entire approach, even if GPS is not listed in the title of the approach. So in our example, if the title of the approach is VOR 21, and GPS is not in the title, you can still now use GPS for the entire approach, but with one caveat. The VOR or NDB signal MUST be in service, and you MUST monitor that signal for the final approach course.

But for an ILS or Localizer approach, as soon as you turn onto a localizer or ILS, you need to display course guidance from the Nav radio. On the Garmin 430/530, that means as soon as you turn onto the localizer, you must push the CDI button so VLOC is displayed. You can, if you wish, monitor RNAV (GPS) data as you fly along a localizer, but GPS cannot be used for primary guidance at any time while on a localizer.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what what ADS-B portable receiver you own or plan to buy, and what you like and dislike about it.

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You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

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Instrument Pilot IFR Tips – Briefing the Approach, iPhone iOS 11 update + GA News


Everyone knows that when flying VFR, that a pilot’s priorities are to aviate, navigate, and communicate. But when flying IFR, pilots are often confused by their priorities when faced with a high task load while preparing to fly an instrument approach. 2008 National Flight Instructor of the Year Max Trescott explains that IFR pilots should prioritize these three things above all other activities. 1. Rolling out onto headings 2. Leveling off at Altitudes 3. Intercepting the final approach course Getting the ATIS, briefing the approach, talking to ATC and everything else are all lower priorities. Max then talks about how to brief an instrument approach while in cruise flight and setting up for an instrument approach.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight.

Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

News Stories