New Graphical Preflight Briefing, Track Log and Weather Upgrades in ForeFlight 7.4


For years, pilots have endured a cryptic, wall-of-text preflight briefing. With ForeFlight Mobile 7.4, we are thrilled to introduce ForeFlight Briefing—a graphical, translated, interactive briefing that helps you better visualize weather and related flight information along your proposed route. This release also delivers an enhanced AIR/SIGMETs map layer and new Track Log capabilities that allow you to automatically record your flights.

You Can Brief Clearly Now With ForeFlight Briefing

ForeFlight Briefing is a standard briefing with content derived from approved government sources. It includes all the elements of a standard preflight briefing prescribed by the FAA—adverse conditions, synopsis, current conditions, enroute and destination forecasts, NOTAMs, and more—delivered in a visually elegant design for enhanced readability. With this next generation briefing format, we believe you will enjoy and get more from the preflight briefing.

ForeFlight Briefing is seamlessly integrated into the ForeFlight Mobile app and is presented in clearly organized sections, making it simple to tap through each element of the briefing in a logical sequence. Translated and raw text options are available, as well as full-color graphics, which help you better understand and consume briefing information.

ForeFlight Briefing organized into logical sections

Some helpful aspects of the new briefing include color-coding and notations to indicate if an advisory will be active or inactive during or near your passing time:

ForeFlight Briefing with active and inactive AIRMET alertAlso, colored dots used in conjunction with METARs and TAFs give you an at-a-glance view of current and forecast weather. In the screen shot above, green represents VFR, blue is marginal VFR, red is IFR, and magenta is low IFR.

In the TAF view, color-coding is again used to indicate the forecast flight category. Based on your planned departure time and aircraft profile, your passing time at each station is automatically calculated and plotted on the TAF:

ForeFlight Briefing on the iPad and iPhoneThe briefing is mobile and portable—once the briefing is retrieved, you do not need an Internet connection to access it again on the go. In addition, after you file your flight plan you can click the link in your confirmation email to view the briefing on any web browser.

In addition, ForeFlight Briefings are timestamped and stored on your iPad and iPhone, and in the ForeFlight cloud, to record that you obtained weather and pertinent NOTAMs in compliant manner with 14 CFR 91.103(a) preflight action.

ForeFlight Briefing is available to all customers with ForeFlight Mobile version 7.4 on both the iPad and iPhone. Customers with 7.4 installed will be automatically given the opportunity to use the new format the next time they brief a planned flight.

For more information visit

Global SIGMETs, New Graphical Center Weather Advisories

The refreshed AIR/SIGMET/CWAs Map layer now includes graphical Center Weather Advisories (CWAs) alongside AIRMETs and SIGMETs, giving you a better picture of current conditions. SIGMETs are also expanded to include global coverage.

Refreshed AIR/SIGMET/CWA map layer

A new interactive filter on this layer helps you single out adverse condition advisories based on type (icing, turbulence, IFR conditions, and thunderstorms), allowing you to declutter and get straight to the information you want to know:

AIR/SIGMET/CWA layer filter

Scott Dennstaedt, our in-house Weather Scientist, has written this blog post and this one to provide more insight on how to use these helpful weather resources in your everyday flight planning.

Capture Every Flight—Automatically

Have you ever been half-an-hour into a flight and realized you forgot to tap the Track Log record button? Now you don’t have to remember! With 7.4, we’ve made it easier than ever to record your flights.

Track Log shown in Google Earth.

Track Log shown in Google Earth.

Track Logs can automatically start recording when you take off and, after touchdown, automatically stop recording—ensuring that every flight is captured for your post-flight debrief. When you get back to Wi-Fi, Track Logs are also automatically uploaded to the ForeFlight cloud for safekeeping and for easy access from your other devices.

The Track Log includes your taxi time so you can have a complete record of your time in the cockpit — on and off the ground.

You can control the auto-record function in the app settings:
Track Log record settings

(Please note that Stratus Track Logs do not currently auto-upload.)

Apple iOS 9 Spotlight Search

ForeFlight Mobile 7.4 supports Spotlight Search, Apple’s smart search feature, which now displays relevant airport results from inside ForeFlight Mobile right on your device’s Home page.

ForeFlight and Apple Spotlight Search

To access Spotlight Search, swipe from left to right on the Home page of your iPad or iPhone. Begin typing an airport name, identifier, or city name and results from ForeFlight Mobile populate the search results list. Tap the desired airport search result and ForeFlight Mobile opens directly to that location in the Airports view. To continue searching, tap “Back to Search” in the upper left corner of the screen to return to the Spotlight Search view. Spotlight Search is available on iPhone 5 and up, all iPad Air models, and iPad Mini 2 and up.


ForeFlight Mobile 7.4 is a free update available on the App Store.

ForeFlight Web Moves to Open Beta

ForeFlight Web is now in open Beta, meaning that anyone with an active ForeFlight subscription can access it. Just go to and sign in using your ForeFlight username and password.

Screenshot 2015-11-17 15.58.35

Plan a flight or view weather and airport information all from your web browser. Routes are synced to ForeFlight Mobile on all your devices, allowing you to pick up at the airport right where you left off at home.

As a Beta program, we’re continually refining and adding new features to ForeFlight Web, and we welcome any feedback you have about how it can be improved.

Learn more at

ForeFlight is Ready for iPad Pro

Apple shipped the new iPad Pro this week and our dev team is already logging time with it in the cockpit. So far we are impressed with its performance. We also released ForeFlight 7.4 this week which is compatible with the new hardware.


We designed the 7.4 release to take advantage of the expanded screen real estate and display more information at once, including two more instruments in the Instrument Panel and expanded sections in the Weight & Balance view. Apple’s new A9X chip also provides incredible processing speed and graphics performance, making your flight planning more immersive than ever.

Flight testing with iPad Pro

Flight testing with the iPad Pro!

If you can find room for it in your cockpit, you can view more of a chart at once, and going split-screen with Synthetic Vision still provides the same amount of chart space as an iPad Air. The Pro in landscape orientation is equivalent in screen size to two iPad Airs side-by-side! And despite the large screen, we’ve seen great battery performance out of it so far. We are looking forward to all the new possibilities on this platform.

ForeFlight Partners with Gogo on Inflight Connectivity

We are excited to announce our partnership with Gogo to make ForeFlight Mobile available to customers using Gogo’s ATG 1000 inflight connectivity system beginning in December 2015.gogo-logo

ForeFlight customers on aircraft equipped with the ATG 1000 can take advantage of the app’s full range of real-time information inflight, including up to the minute weather, Flight Notifications, NOTAMs and TFRs, as well as Cockpit Sharing – a feature pilots can use to wirelessly share route information with one another and with passengers’ iPads and iPhones.

Tyson Weihs, ForeFlight co-founder and CEO, shared: “Internet connectivity with the ATG 1000 is yet another example of our commitment to give our customers every possibility to enhance their in-flight experience with ForeFlight Mobile. In addition, many business passengers are also pilots or they may have an active interest in aviation. ForeFlight Mobile allows them to see the weather and route information that the pilots up front are seeing.”

Weather On The Front Lines

If you surveyed a group of general aviation pilots, it would probably not surprise you to learn that Center Weather Advisories are not a weather source that pilots use very frequently when planning a flight. They have always been included within the ForeFlight Mobile app by tapping the Brief button under File & Brief. But this standard briefing only provides the advisory in raw text form—unless of course you are using the new and improved ForeFlight Briefing where it is also displayed graphically. In ForeFlight Mobile 7.4, Center Weather Advisories are now depicted graphically within the existing AIR/SIGMET layer on the Map view making them even more useful.

In-flight advisory

Center Weather Advisories, or CWAs, are the “front lines” of aviation weather in the U.S. for adverse weather such as low IFR conditions, thunderstorms, icing, and turbulence. While they smell a lot like AIRMETs and SIGMETs, they are more of an in-flight advisory about current conditions than they are a planning tool or forecast. Therefore, it’s critical to look for these while en route to your destination and just before you close the door to depart. Now is a good time to mention that CWAs are not part of the ADS-B broadcast so you will not receive them while connected to a Stratus.

Center centric

CWAs are issued by highly trained meteorologists at the Center Weather Service Units (CWSUs) located at the various Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCCs) pictured below.


A map of the Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) boundaries in the U.S. Each ARTCC has a Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU) staffed by meteorologists that are responsible for issuing Center Weather Advisories (CWAs) for their respective ARTCC area.

CWAs are issued to warn pilots of the following in-flight weather hazards:

  • Conditions meeting or expecting to meet convective SIGMET criteria
  • Moderate or greater airframe icing
  • Moderate or greater turbulence
  • Heavy precipitation
  • Freezing precipitation
  • Conditions at or approaching Low IFR
  • Sustained surface winds/gusts > 30 knots
  • Non-convective low level wind shear below 2,000 feet AGL
  • Volcanic ash, dust storms, or sandstorms

Short lead time

Unlike their AIRMET counterpart, CWAs are not routinely issued and have no defined schedule. Moreover, they have a very short lead time since they are issued on an as-needed basis. So it’s not unusual to see a CWA issued at 20 minutes past the hour to describe adverse weather that has evolved very rapidly. Once issued, CWAs are valid for two hours or less. If conditions are anticipated to persist beyond two hours, it will be indicated in the last line of the CWA text. As mentioned earlier, CWAs are not as valuable of a preflight planning tool because of its short lead time and duration. They tend to pop up as adverse weather evolves or develops throughout the U.S. and along its coastal waters.

Complementary guidance to other advisories

Forecasters at the CWSUs have a fair amount of latitude when issuing a CWA. Conditions do not have to meet national in-flight advisory criteria in terms of intensity or areal coverage. For example, unlike convective SIGMETs, CWAs for convection can be issued before thunderstorms have formed. That is, they can describe a broad area of towering cumulus or showery precipitation that is trending toward an aviation hazard within the next two hours especially in regions that may affect flow into or out of busy airspace. Convective SIGMETs issued by forecasters at the Aviation Weather Center (AWC) are more of a NOWcast that warn pilots about active areas of thunderstorms that have already met specific hazard criteria.

A good example of its complementary nature is a CWA for low IFR conditions. An AIRMET for IFR conditions is primarily directed at pilots flying under visual flight rules (VFR). It describes an area that may experience a ceiling and/or visibility below VFR minimums. However, what if a portion of the AIRMET region is also plagued with persistent low IFR conditions? This would be critical information for all pilots including those flying under instrument flight rules (IFR). As shown below, given the number of stations reporting low IFR conditions (magenta markers) within the AIRMET region, the Denver CWSU issued a CWA for ceilings at or below 500 feet and visibility at or below 1/2 statute miles.


This Center Weather Advisory (CWA) was issued for ceilings at or below 500 feet and visibilities at or below 1/2 statute mile that were occurring within an existing AIRMET for IFR conditions.

While CWAs can be issued at any time, they are generally coordinated with other agencies within NOAA to ensure meteorological consistency between products. This includes meteorologists at the AWC who are responsible for issuing the area forecast, AIRMETs, SIGMETs and convective SIGMETs. It’s pretty typical for the meteorologist at the CWSU to have a brief phone conversation with the appropriate meteorologist at the AWC before issuing a new CWA.

Finding CWAs in ForeFlight

The CWA layer can be displayed from the Map view in ForeFlight Mobile 7.4. Simply tap the Map mode button in the upper left and select AIR/SIGMET/CWAs from the menu as shown below:

CWA Menu

Center Weather Advisories (CWAs) can be selected from tapping the mode button and selecting AIR/SIGMET/CWAs from that menu.

Once the layer has been selected you will see CWAs depicted on the ForeFlight map view as cyan-colored polygons regardless of the hazard type. In most cases, these areas will be smaller in size than an AIRMET or SIGMET because of their complementary nature and short duration. To see the associated uncoded text of the CWA, simply tap on the polygon in the same way that you view the uncoded text for AIRMETs and SIGMETs. Be sure to always read the text of the CWA since it will have additional details about the flight conditions such as the altitudes affected and an indication of whether or not conditions are expected to improve or persist beyond the valid time.


When AIR/SIGMET/CWAs are selected, the four buttons at the bottom of the Map allow you to filter advisories according to hazard type.

Lastly, given that CWAs are a complementary product to AIRMETs, SIGMETs and convective SIGMETs, with ForeFlight Mobile 7.4 you can overlay them with other advisories. Tapping on the buttons at the bottom labeled Ice, Turb, IFR and TS, will permit you to add or remove CWAs from the Map based on hazard type. In this example above, only IFR hazards are selected which includes AIRMETs for IFR conditions and mountain obscuration as well as a single CWA for low IFR conditions captured by the cyan-colored polygon. Any advisories for icing, turbulence and convection (if any) have been filtered from the Map.

Weather Without Borders

With ForeFlight Mobile 7.4, SIGMETs issued beyond the U.S. border can now be displayed. These International SIGMETs are advisories that cover a wide range of hazards including convection (thunderstorms), severe turbulence, severe icing, tropical cyclone and volcanic ash just to name a few. In most cases these are displayed on the ForeFlight Map view as polygons similar to the way domestic AIRMETs, SIGMETs and convective SIGMETs are depicted. To help with all of these new advisories, we’ve also added the ability to filter this layer by the type of hazard.

The whole FIR and nothing but the FIR

Unlike advisories issued by forecasters in the U.S., International SIGMETs are not always well defined by the source. Occasionally the origin country may not provide the points that define the advisory area. For those situations, the entire Flight Information Region (FIR) is displayed on the Map as is shown below for a hazard within the Mexican FIR.

Entire FIR

When the source of the SIGMET isn’t specific about the exact location of the hazard, the entire FIR may be outlined in red.

Unspecified conditions

Similarly, when tapping on a SIGMET polygon, you may see “Unspecified Conditions” displayed in the title of the popover as shown below. This means the source of the advisory did not specify the details of the type of hazard. While ForeFlight will make an attempt to determine the hazard by parsing the raw text, there’s no guarantee we will be able to make that determination in every case. In these situations it’s strongly encouraged to review the raw text of the SIGMET for the details.

Unspecified Conditions

In some cases the type of adverse conditions are not specifically provided by the source government. For those situations, Unspecified Conditions will be shown. You are encouraged to read the raw text for those details.

No more clutter

Another feature added to ForeFlight Mobile 7.4 is the ability to filter the AIR/SIGMET/CWAs layer by hazard type. When this layer is displayed, you’ll notice four buttons at the bottom of the Map view labeled Ice, Turb, IFR and TS representing hazards associated with airframe icing, turbulence, IFR conditions and convection, respectively. Tapping on any of these buttons will add or remove advisories for that hazard type from the Map. For example, the Turb, IFR and TS hazards have been filtered with only the Ice hazard displayed as shown below. Please note that these selections are preserved. Therefore, if you’ve removed the layer from the Map or closed the app, the next time you view the AIR/SIGMET/CWAs layer on your device, the hazard selections you made earlier will be restored.


When the AIR/SIGMET/CWA layer is active, use the buttons at the bottom to hide or display the advisories by hazard type.

The only hazards that are never filtered are those SIGMETs issued for tropical cyclones, radioactive cloud or volcanic ash like the one shown below. These SIGMETs often persist for days or even weeks at a time once they are issued.


Not all hazards can be filtered. These include volcanic ash, radioactive cloud and tropical cyclone advisories.

VFR Arrival/Departure Routes Documents Available in Military Flight Bag

VFR Arrival/Departure Routes for Europe and Korea are now available to our Military Flight Bag customers. These documents include general and regional information as well as detailed procedures for many airports and heliports. Specific airport information was previously available in the Airport and Plates views, but now regional and supplemental information is available inside our Documents Catalog.

vfr-routes-catalog bezel

To download these new documents, tap the Catalog button inside the Documents view of ForeFlight Mobile. Select the DOD catalog and scroll to the Supplements section.

Bulletin: November 12 Data Updates

Data updates are now available to download for the November 12, 2015 – December 10, 2015 period:

  • Airport and Navigation Database
  • Documents
  • VFR Charts and Terminal Area Charts
  • Taxi Diagrams
  • Terminal Procedures
  • Airport/Facility Diagrams
  • ForeFlight Airport Diagrams, including new diagrams for the following airports:

Data updates are also available for our Military Flight Bag customers:

  • Global airport, navigation, and airway coverage from the Digital Aeronautical Flight Information File
  • Georeferenced worldwide D-FLIP Terminal Procedures
  • Georeferenced worldwide D-FLIP Airport Diagrams
  • AFR High Enroutes, Area Charts
  • EEA High Enroutes, Area Charts
  • ENAME High and Low Enroutes, Area Charts
  • Airfield Qualification Program (AQP) diagrams
  • Airfield Suitability and Restrictions Report (Giant Report)
  • Airport/Facility Directory
  • Documents, including new VFR Routes Europe and VFR Routes Korea

All customers will be prompted to download these updates inside of ForeFlight Mobile.

More Turbulence Is Better

No, we’re not gluttons for punishment; however, the turbulence Imagery in ForeFlight Mobile has just gotten way better! Forecasts now go out beyond 12 hours to include lead times of 15 and 18 hours. This is a significant improvement to NOAA’s Graphical Turbulence Guidance (GTG-3) product that now includes an analysis and forecast for clear air turbulence as well as turbulence from mountain wave activity with a new forecast updated every hour. Whereas the lowest altitude in the earlier version of GTG originated at 10,000 feet, the new GTG product includes low-level turbulence beginning at 1,000 feet MSL with a vertical resolution of 2,000 feet that extends to FL450. If that isn’t enough, forecasts now have a higher resolution of turbulence intensities that includes the full range of classifications from light to extreme as shown below making the product even more useful to evaluate the risk of dangerous turbulence along your proposed route.

Eddy Dissipation Rate (EDR)

Turbulence intensities now include light (blue to green), moderate (green to orange), severe (orange to red) and extreme (red to dark red).

Eddy Dissipation Rate (EDR)

On the older GTG version, the legacy terminology such as light or moderate turbulence is somewhat arbitrary and based typically on the response of the aircraft to the turbulence, not the atmospheric conditions themselves. Shown in the scale above, Eddy Dissipation Rate, or EDR, is an objective, aircraft-independent, universal measure of turbulence based on the rate at which energy dissipates in the atmosphere. In other words, it is a measure of the turbulent state of the atmosphere. According to turbulence researcher, Dr. Robert Sharman, “When the atmosphere is dissipating energy quickly (i.e the EDR is large), atmospheric turbulence levels are high.” Pilots should be keenly aware that a safe turbulence penetration airspeed varies with the aircraft’s weight which Dr. Sharman quickly points out, “The implication for aircraft bumpiness depends on the size (weight) of the aircraft.”

At the basic level EDR is really an in situ calculation. That is, it is a value determined by an aircraft while in flight. However, it is not directly measured by the aircraft like outside air temperature, for example. Instead it’s determined by using a variety of data from aircraft avionics which means aircraft can (and do) automatically report EDR in flight. Since EDR is an aircraft-independent calculation, a single engine Cessna 152 and a Boeing 747 should determine the same EDR value when flying through the same atmosphere at the same time.

It’s one thing to calculate the EDR in flight, but totally another challenge to provide a forecast for this field. That’s the job of GTG-3. Dr. Sharman points out, “From the forecasting point-of-view we cannot provide a separate forecast for every type of aircraft that is out there.” So depending on the class of aircraft you are flying, there’s a need to evaluate the EDR values properly. Below shows the EDR values that correspond to light-, medium- and heavy-weighted aircraft as they loosely relate to the vertical acceleration/deceleration (turbulence) response in that class of aircraft.

EDR Light

Eddy Dissipation Rate (EDR) scale for light-weight aircraft.

EDR Medium

Eddy Dissipation Rate (EDR) scale for medium-weight aircraft.


Eddy Dissipation Rate (EDR) scale for heavy-weight aircraft.

The new version of GTG includes a forecast for clear-air turbulence often referred to as CAT. Even more exciting, turbulence that is a direct result of mountain wave activity, or MTW, is also forecast separately. While these forecasts are not meant to predict turbulence associated with deep, moist convection, they will provide guidance of low-level terrain and thermally-induced turbulence sources.

To that end, in the ForeFlight Imagery view you’ll find three different forecasts that include clear-air turbulence (CAT), mountain wave turbulence (MTW) and one that combines the two (All). Each one of these is organized into low (1,000 ft – 13,000 ft), middle (15,000 ft -FL290) and high (FL310 – FL450) level collections as shown below.

Turbulence Selections

Turbulence forecasts in the ForeFlight Mobile Imagery view are organized by clear air turbulence (CAT), mountain wave turbulence (MTW), and forecasts that combine the two (All). Each type provides low, medium and high altitude collections beginning at 1,000 ft MSL up to and including FL450.

The GTG forecasts have been approved by the FAA for unrestricted use for preflight planning as stated below on the Aviation Weather Center website:

“GTG is generated operationally at NOAA/NCEP which is supported 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Its use is unrestricted (meteorologists, dispatchers, GA and commercial pilots, ATC, etc).”

Keep in mind that these are automated forecasts and do not have any human input like you might find with AIRMET Tango, SIGMETs for severe or extreme turbulence and Center Weather Advisories (CWAs). When used in combination with these forecaster-generated products and pilot weather reports, GTG will provide you with the ability to minimize your exposure to dangerous turbulence and find the altitude with smoothest ride.