ForeFlight Mobile Receives Operational Suitability Approval on iPad and iPhone

We are pleased to announce that the FAA’s Aircraft Evaluation Group completed an evaluation of ForeFlight Mobile as an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) solution and found the app to be operationally suitable as a “complete flight deck solution for continuous accessibility for the pilot.”

The approval letter goes on to say: “[The] ForeFlight Mobile application includes airport flight directory information and instrument departure and arrival procedures and charts for all of the US and Canadian IFR National Airspace System. The mobile application was evaluated and found to be operationally suitable.”

The Operational Suitability evaluation was completed on an iPad 2, however the approval covers the iPad 2 or newer, iPad Mini, and iPhone 3GS or newer hardware. In related efforts, the co-developed Stratus 2 ADS-B receiver with Appareo Systems has received approval for use in Part 121 aircraft operations. The Stratus platform enables the display of ADS-B weather on iPad and iPhone running the ForeFlight Mobile app, as well as WAAS-grade GPS positioning for ownship display. Professional operators with access to inflight weather routinely report saving thousands of pounds of gas by being able to see ahead and work with flight operations on inflight re-routes.

In the United States, operators falling under FAR Part 91K, 121, 125, and 135 are required to have formal FAA authorization to use EFB solutions inflight. This letter makes it even easier for operators to obtain approval for use of ForeFlight Mobile on iOS devices. ForeFlight will share copies of the letter to interested customers seeking this approval.

For more information about obtaining ForeFlight Mobile and Stratus approvals, contact ForeFlight at sales@foreflight.com.

ForeFlight Launches Geo-referenced Approach Plates For Canada

NAV CANADA has recently taken steps to modernize the Canada Air Pilot (CAP) and Restricted Canada Air Pilot (RCAP) publications. One of the six key areas of improvement is making all published procedures to scale, which (we are excited to announce) enables us to geo-reference them for ownship display. The new charts are available in-app now as a late-cycle 1406 data update. Current Canada subscribers will see the new, geo-referenced publications automatically replace the old ones as part of the standard data update process.

Ownship on Vancouver airport diagram

Ownship display shown on Vancouver BC airport diagram.

For improved situational awareness and better decision-making, our Canadian customers can now take full advantage of pre-flight planning and inflight moving map features like Plates on Maps:

ForeFlight Mobile Pro Canada is available for $149.99 per year. For more information and to purchase, visit our Canada web page.

Stadium TFRs

Updated June 21, 2014

Graphical Stadium TFRs

Graphical Stadium TFRs are displayed on the Maps view.

Stadium TFRs are now graphically represented in the Maps view as part of the TFRs layer, both inflight using Stratus and on the ground over Internet. No additional Settings are required to view them.

ForeFlight monitors event schedules for Major League Baseball, the National Football League, NCAA Football, Indy Car, NASCAR Sprint Cup, and Formula 1 and integrates that information into the TFR layer on the Maps view.

ForeFlight looks forward seven days for events that match this criteria and the default duration for each event is set to six hours. Red TFRs are active or will be active in the next 24 hours. Yellow TFRs are inactive for at least the next 24 hours. As always, we recommend communicating with ATC inflight to steer clear of these areas when they are active.

In the Maps view, tap on the drop down menu in the upper left and select TFRs from the overlay options:

Select TFRs in the Maps overlay options

In the Maps view, select TFRs in the overlay menu.

One other thing to note about TFRs is that if the FAA publishes a TFR without graphical shape information, it may not appear in the Maps overlay. We encourage you to also check the Airports page > NOTAMs > TFRs, as well as with ATC, for any additional TFR information.

NOTAMs in the Airports view

Reference additional TFR information in the Airports view > NOTAMs > TFR.

Managing Your Downloads And Pack

To complement the release of Pack, let’s take a closer look at the Downloads view and how to manage chart and data downloads in the app.

The Downloads view (More tab > Downloads) is the primary way to manage the charts, maps, and other information you have on your device.

Pack can be used to supplement your Download Settings to run a preflight check and ensure you have the information you need for a trip downloaded to your device for offline (inflight) use.

The Downloads View

Downloads is the primary interface to manage the charts and data you wish to have stored on your device. The selections you make here will automatically present updates at each data cycle. (Click on images for a larger view)

The Downloads view in ForeFlight Mobile.

The main Downloads view in ForeFlight Mobile.

In the Downloads view, you can:

  • Select the types of charts you need (e.g. IFR high or low enroute, VFR Sectionals, VNC)
  • Select the areas where you normally fly or plan to fly (e.g. US, Canada, Oregon, British Columbia)
  • Download those areas to your iPad or iPhone (and then automatically receive updates to those areas each data cycle)

Keep in mind that data downloads are separate from app software updates, which are delivered via the App Store.

Let’s walk through an example to illustrate how this works. Let’s say you are based in Tulsa, OK, USA and primarily fly IFR in the US midwest. To begin, navigate to More > Downloads.

The first section of the right hand column is labeled Download Settings.

Depending on what subscription service you have (US, Canada, and/or Military Flight Bag), you will have a list of choices similar to this screen shot:

Download Settings is where you will select chart types and States/Provinces for download.

Download Settings is where you will select chart types and States/Provinces for download.

In our example, you want to have offline access to charts and data for the midwest States where you normally fly.

Tap on the United States line, then you will see a screen like this:

In this view, select the chart types and States you want to download to your device.

In the Download Settings view, select the chart types and States you want to download to your device.

On this view, use the toggle switches (blue means the switch is ON) to select the chart types you want for each State, including Terminal Procedures, IFR low enroute charts, and VFR Sectionals for reference:

Toggle switches select chart types for each State

Use the toggle switches in the Download Settings view to select the chart types you want for each State. Blue means the switch is ON.

Next, select the States you want. Flying the midwest you probably want Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, etc.

Keep scrolling and selecting (tap on each line) as many states as you need. To help you better manage the available space on your device, each line displays a file size. The yellow highlight and checkmark means the State has been selected.

State selector in the Download Settings view

Scroll below the toggle switches to select States. Tap on each line you want to download.

Ok, at this point you’re close, but not quite done!

To complete the download process you need to tap the green download button back on the main Downloads view.

Navigate back by tapping on the “Downloads” button on the top bar:

State selector in the Download Settings view

Tap on Downloads to navigate back to the main Downloads view and complete the download process.

On the main Downloads view, tap the green Download button along the bottom bar to begin the download process:

Download button

Tap the green Download button in the main Downloads view to begin downloading charts, maps, and information per your selections in Download Settings.

You will see the progress bar appear for each line item as the downloads occur:

On the main Downloads view, tap the green Download button along the bottom bar to begin the download process:

Here the download status indicators are shown.

Things to keep in mind when managing your chart downloads:

  •  Maps, charts, and data can be accessed over the Internet or from local storage on the device.
  • If you see blurry charts or the “no charts” gray grid where you expect to see a chart while inflight, then the charts have not been downloaded to your device.

The Role of Pack

Think of Pack as a preflight tool for your iPad that ensures you will have the charts and information you need available for offline (inflight) use.

Based on your planned flight, Pack compares the charts and information you will need for your entire route against what you already have downloaded to your device.

The Pack analysis looks at a 50 NM corridor along your planned route (25 NM to the left and 25 NM to the right), as well as a 50 NM radius around your departure and destination, and presents a list of suggested downloads.

Important note: Pack only analyzes the charts along your route based on the chart type selections you made in the Download Settings view. So, for example, if you are planning a flight above 18,000’ be sure you have IFR High Charts turned ON.

Select chart types in Download Settings

Pack only analyzes your route based on the chart type selections in Download Settings.

To keep going with our example, say you need to fly from Tulsa, OK to Portland, OR. You already have some midwest States selected and downloaded so Pack suggests the remaining charts and information you may need to complete your flight (eg Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, etc):

Pack

Tap on the Pack (suitcase) button on the Route Editor to open the Pack analysis window.

Tap on the Pack (suitcase) button on the Route Editor to open the Pack analysis window. Tap the Pack button to begin the additional downloads.

Here are a some things to keep in mind with Pack:

  • Pack data seamlessly integrates with the rest of the data you already have downloaded or are viewing over the Internet. View all of the charts, maps, and data as you would normally.
  • Currently Pack only suggests downloads based on the chart types you have selected in your Download Settings (eg IFR high enroute, VFR Sectionals)
  • For redundancy fans: It is good practice to test that the data you are expecting to be there inflight is there. Before you leave your Internet connection, put your iPad in Airplane Mode and test access to the charts and data you will need.
  • Packed data is downloaded based on the current data cycle and will not automatically update at the next data cycle. In our example trip from Tulsa to Portland, the additional State downloads for Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming will show in the main Downloads view, but not in the State selector.

To illustrate that last one, in these screen shots you’ll see confirmation that Oregon data has been downloaded on the main Downloads view:

Packed Oregon charts in the main Downloads view

In our example, Packed Oregon charts are confirmed as downloaded in the main Downloads view.

But the Oregon data is only temporary for that data cycle, unless you manually select to add the State:

Packed States are not auto-selected in the State selector

In our example, Oregon charts are Packed, but Oregon is not auto-selected in the State selector.

Deleting Data

Hand in hand with downloading data is how to delete it when you no longer need it or when you need to free up some space on your device.

Deleting Pack Data

Maps, charts, and data downloaded by Pack will be saved until the next data cycle. After the new data cycle goes active, you can bulk delete the items you Packed during the last data cycle by tapping More > Downloads > Delete > Delete Expired.

Delete Expired clears out expired data

In the main Downloads view, Delete > Delete Expired clears out expired data on the new effective date.

You can also delete Packed data before the data cycle change over. Swipe right to left on the line to reveal the Delete command:

Use swipe delete to delete a specific State chart type.

Swipe right-to-left to delete a specific State chart type.

Deleting Data From The Downloads View

Going back to our example, let’s say you no longer fly in Arkansas and would like to delete that State’s data off of your device.  To do this, first navigate to the State selector screen and  tap to uncheck Arkansas:

Deselect States in the Downloads view to delete

A State must be deselected in the State selector in order to delete its data from your device.

After deselecting the State, you can delete all of that State’s data after the new data cycle takes effect by tapping Delete > Delete Expired. Or you can delete by line item as illustrated in the Deleting Pack Data section above.

Here are some things to keep in mind with deleting data:

  • If a state is one you have selected for download in More > Downloads > United States, and you try the swipe-delete as described, that chart will immediately show up for re-download. This is your cue to deselect that State in the State selector view.
  • At data cycle changeover time, you will potentially be using twice the space on your device during that 7-10 days prior to the next effective date. Some suggestions for managing space are: perform a Delete > Delete Expired cleanup, if possible wait until the effective date to download the new data, reconsider the States and/or Provinces you really need and deselect as able.

As always, we are on frequency to assist at team@foreflight.com if you need help or have any questions.

ForeFlight Mobile 6.1 Introduces Pack, Now Available on the App Store

Pack Feature Automatically Selects The Data You Need For Your Flight

ForeFlight Mobile 6.1 introduces Pack—a feature that simplifies pre-flight preparation and enhances your safety by ensuring that you have all of the current charts, data, NOTAMS, fuel prices, and the latest pre-departure weather information stored on your device for inflight access. During the flight planning phase, Pack prompts you to download to your iPad or iPhone the relevant information you may need based on your planned flight. Check out our short video that introduces how to use Pack:

 

On the iPad

Enter your desired route in the Route Editor. The Pack icon, or suitcase, is located on the bottom right of the Route Editor.

Pack icon

The Pack icon is located in the lower right of the Route Editor box.

Pack analyzes your planned route against the data you already have downloaded, and then prompts you to download any additional charts, plates, TFRs, METARs, TAFs, AIR/SIGMETs, NOTAMs and fuel price data you may need for offline access.

Pack has a Settings control that toggles Enable Auto-Check on and off. Turning Enable Auto-Check ON enables Pack to automatically start the route analysis process. In the OFF position, you can still trigger Pack manually by tapping on the icon in the Route Editor.

Toggle the auto-enable for Pack in the Settings menu.

Toggle the auto-enable for Pack in the Settings menu.

The red exclamation point badge on the Route Editor icon and on the suitcase icon indicates that you need to pack for your trip.

Pack badges

The red exclamation point badges indicate that you need to pack for your trip.

Tap on the Pack icon to view the download detail for your trip.

Pack view.

View the data you need to download for offline use in the Pack view. Download items individually by tapping the blue download arrows, or trigger the entire set by tapping Pack in the lower right.

Each type of chart or set of data is bundled into a single line item. You can download each line item individually by tapping on the blue arrow(s); or you can trigger the entire set by tapping the Pack button in the lower right corner. To help you manage the available space on your iPad, each line item is labeled with file sizes. The total file size is indicated in the lower left corner.

Modifying your route via typing in the Route Editor in the Maps view; touch planning in the Maps view; typing in the File & Brief view; or accepting expected route notifications (Flight Alerts) triggers a new Pack analysis. The updated route is evaluated and you’ll be presented with any additional data you need to download.

On the iPhone

Pack can be accessed on the iPhone in the Route view. Tap on the Menu button, then scroll to the Routes section. Tap on one of the three recent routes listed, Favorites, Recents, or Create to select the route for which you wish to Pack.

After choosing or entering a route, scroll to the bottom of the Route page to the Pack line. Just like on the iPad, after a few seconds Pack analyzes the route to determine if additional data needs to be downloaded.

Pack is available with version 6.1 of ForeFlight Mobile Standard, Pro, and Canada. ForeFlight Mobile version 6.1 is a free download for subscribers via the Apple Store. For additional information, be sure to review the Pack section of our Pilot’s Guide.

ForeFlight’s Military Flight Bag Is Ready For Duty

ForeFlight’s Military Flight Bag (MFB) is a service available to US military and government pilots who have approval to access the Department of Defense Flight Information Publications, or FLIP. MFB supports the global flight operations of these pilots by providing a worldwide geo-referenced library of Department of Defense approach plates, airport diagrams, and chart coverage, all fully integrated with the ForeFlight Mobile Pro app.

Plate-on-maps in Military Flight Bag

Plate on Maps view is shown in the moving map mode with a geo-referenced FLIP approach chart.

For even greater situational awareness, pilots can overlay the geo-referenced procedures and diagrams onto IFR enroute charts, VFR sectionals, and other base maps for a seamless moving map view of own ship position along with hazard and weather information.

Military Flight Bag Documents view

Organize Flight Information Publication documents and more into binders. Stay current with Document Syncing.

ForeFlight’s Document manager organizes Flight Information Publications like Airfield Qualification Program (AQP) pages, Planning Change Notices, Area Planning Documents, Chart Supplements, Enroute Change Notices, and Terminal Change Notices.

Customers can also import their own documents and, with Document Syncing, keep all crew members up to date with current procedures and operating manuals. To ensure compliance, administrators can add and remove documents and monitor database currency on each device via a web-based tool.

Keeping MFB data current is easy via the in-app Download manager. This capability eliminates the need for the DVD, and all charts, documents and data are encrypted and delivered via Wi-Fi Internet.

Military Flight Bag can be purchased by qualified individual pilots on the ForeFlight website for $274.99 per year. Customers with an existing ForeFlight Mobile Standard or Pro service, will see a pro-rated credit at checkout for Military Flight Bag. To get started, visit www.foreflight.com/military.

Organizations that are interested in multi-pilot accounts should contact sales@foreflight.com for pricing information. Multi-pilot accounts are great for crews who wish to manage ForeFlight access for two or more pilots in a single administrative interface.

Flight Plan Acknowledgment Notifications From ATC

In our continued integration with Lockheed Martin AFSS services (LMFS), ForeFlight Mobile now sends an acknowledgment notification when ATC accepts your flight plan.

The acknowledgment is sent after your plan is filed and within the 3-hours to ETD window.

The acknowledgment notification is in addition to the existing “Filing succeeded: Your flight plan was filed” message that appears upon filing your flight plan, and is additional assurance that your flight plan has been accepted by ATC.

The filing succeeded message appears after tapping the File button, when your flight plan is successfully transmitted to Lockheed Martin.

The filing succeeded message appears after tapping the File button, when your flight plan is successfully transmitted to Lockheed Martin.

Push Notifications must be turned ON for ForeFlight in order to receive the ATC acknowledgment message. You can manage this in your iOS Settings by navigating to your Settings app, then Notification Center.

Within the Settings app on your iOS device, tap on ForeFlight in your Notification Center list, then select your preferences.

Here’s what you’ll see when you file your flight plan through ForeFlight Mobile using LMFS:

  • When your ETD is less than 3 hours, you will see the filing succeeded message after tapping the ‘File’ button, followed shortly by the ATC acknowledgment notification.
  • When your ETD is more than 3 hours, you will receive the filing succeeded message after tapping the ‘File’ button. The ATC acknowledgment will be sent at around the 3 hours to departure point.

IMPORTANT TIP: To set your filing preference to Lockheed Martin, you will need to sign out of your DUATS account from within the ForeFlight Mobile app. Navigate to More > Accounts > Account Logins. Tap on the CSC DUATS line and sign out if you have your DUATS account linked to ForeFlight. Please note that you will still receive your DUATS route briefing in the app.

Navigate to More > Accounts > Account logins to sign out of your DUATS account.

Navigate to More > Accounts > Account logins to sign out of your DUATS account.

ForeFlight Mobile automatically files all ICAO type flight plans through LMFS. FAA/Domestic flight plans are filed through DUATS if you have DUATS credentials entered on the Accounts screen.

The ATC acknowledgment notifications are available to both Standard and Pro subscribers.

ForeFlight Mobile 6.0.1 Is Now Available At The App Store

ForeFlight Mobile version 6.0.1 is now available to download at the App Store. As a  follow-up to our major 6.0 release, this minor update fixes:
  • An issue where map markers (flight rules, ceiling, etc.) could stay hidden,
  • An issue on iPhone 5 that would cause the app to exit,
  • An issue with flight rules display within the NavLog,
  • And we removed ‘Direct Connect’ features for external GPS accessories that could cause the app to exit.

We also included several performance improvements for a better app experience.

ForeFlight Mobile 6.0.1 is a free update from the App Store and is available to all current subscribers. Click here for instructions on updating to the latest version.

New Airport Diagrams from ForeFlight

Last week we launched over 400 ForeFlight-generated, geo-referenced airport diagrams as part of a mid-cycle 1404 data update. These new diagrams provide situational awareness at airports that would not otherwise have this type of information available. At unfamiliar destinations, large or small, we find it helpful to have ownship position as a tool for navigating on the ground. Especially at night.

ForeFlight airport diagrams are geo-referenced for position overlay, a ForeFlight Mobile Pro feature.

ForeFlight airport diagrams are geo-referenced for position overlay, a ForeFlight Mobile Pro feature.

In addition to geo-referencing, the diagrams integrate with all of the existing ForeFlight features like plates on maps, annotations, runway proximity advisor alerts, and the auto-display of the diagram upon landing.

The locations in this first batch were chosen based on a combination of airport operation count and frequency of flight plans filed to the airport; excluded are those airports for which the FAA already has a diagram. Here is the current list of airports for which ForeFlight has created a diagram, as well as the locations that are on deck for the next data update:

Here is the current ForeFlight Airport Diagram list. Locations in blue are slated for the upcoming May 1 data cycle (1405).

Here is the current ForeFlight Airport Diagram list. Locations in blue are slated for the upcoming May 1 data cycle (1405).

The order of creating diagrams for locations is modified if we have a reason to bump up the priority such as lots of requests for a specific airport or an upcoming fly-in. If you don’t see your airport listed, be sure to tell us to #ForeFlightMyAirport on Twitter or Facebook and we will adjust its priority for upcoming database updates (don’t forget to include the airport identifier).

Lots of improvements are planned and we’ll be sweeping back through each location to add taxi labels where applicable and other layers of information.

Please note that ForeFlight Airport Diagrams require ForeFlight Mobile 6 or higher.

As always, we encourage your feedback at team@foreflight.com.

Seven Reasons To Go ForeFlight Mobile Pro

Have you been considering the Pro upgrade? To help you determine if the upgrade is right for you, here’s a guide that lays out all the additional features you’ll get for the additional $75 per year. If you currently subscribe to the Standard version, we’ll automatically pro-rate the upgrade based on your remaining subscription time. Simply login to your ForeFlight Manage page, go to the subscription tab, and click Upgrade My Plan; or visit our buy page, enter the email address already associated with your account, and select ForeFlight Mobile Pro.

ForeFlight Mobile Pro contains all of our Standard features (listed below) plus these powerful additional features:

Ownship is shown here on a geo-referenced airport diagram.

 

Geo-referenced approach plates and airport diagrams for US. For greater situational awareness, see your aircraft position overlaid on approach plates and airport diagrams.

 

 

 

 

Approach plate on Map view shown with flight track overlay.

 

Plates on Maps takes geo-referenced charts to the next level and allows you to view approach plates overlaid onto the maps view, along with hazards and weather in one seamless view.

 

 

 

 

Annotations on the airport diagram are shown

 

Annotations allow you to add your own full-color annotations to approach plates, SIDs, STARs, airport diagrams and PDF Documents. Highlight important elements such as crossing altitudes or taxi instructions and add notes to your PDF documents.

 

 

 

 

Yellow and red highlighting in our Hazard Advisor tool.

 

Hazard Advisor is a terrain-based map, colored red or yellow based on terrain height relative to aircraft position (note: the minimum hardware for this feature is an iPad 2 or iPhone 4).

 

 

 

 

 

Profile view is a side view of terrain and obstacles along your planned route. Dynamic color alerting shows you at a glance whether your selected altitude will keep you clear of terrain and obstacle hazards. In flight, Profile shows your current altitude in relation to obstacles or terrain ahead of your track.

 

 

 

Expected route received via Flight Alerts.

 

Flight Alerts send you real-time push and email notifications when expected route information is released from ATC.

 

 

 

 

 

Downloads view showing shared documents are current

 

Document syncing allows you to link your Dropbox account in order to share documents with other ForeFlight users tied to your account. This is helpful for keeping flight ops and crews on the same page.

 

 

 

 

Here are the ForeFlight Mobile Standard features at-a-glance:

  • All software, data, and chart updates.
  • Four data-driven global base maps.
  • All US terminal procedures and airport diagrams.
  • US IFR high and low enroute charts, VFR sectionals, and helicopter charts.
  • Mexico and Caribbean IFR high and low enroute and area charts.
  • Transoceanic planning charts for the Atlantic and Pacific.
  • A dozen dynamic weather, hazard, and fuel price map overlays.
  • Document management.
  • Build and manage plate binders.
  • Flight planning with altitude, route, and traffic pattern advisors.
  • Flight plan filing, including the ability to activate and close VFR flight plans, and amend and cancel VFR and IFR flight plans.
  • Search and rescue grids and search pattern builder.
  • Inflight moving map.
  • Integration with Stratus ADS-B Receiver for inflight weather and traffic, and split screen attitude indicator view.
  • ForeFlight Directory for more than 25,000 destinations worldwide.
  • NOAA, Nav Canada, and Mexico weather imagery.
  • Scratch pad.