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 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.
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 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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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):
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:
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:
In our example, Oregon charts are Packed, but Oregon is not auto-selected in the State selector.
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.
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:
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help or have any questions.