ForeFlight for Apple Watch. Coming Soon.

ForeFlight for Apple Watch

Apple Watch is the first product Apple has designed to be worn and represents a new chapter in the relationship pilots have with technology. It brings a fresh opportunity for ForeFlight designers and developers to deliver new experiences that make interacting with ForeFlight Mobile and important flight information easier and more personal. We are excited to share with you this preview of ForeFlight for Apple Watch.

ForeFlight for Apple Watch weather and instruments.

At-a-Glance Weather and Time

With a flick of the wrist, ForeFlight displays nearby flight conditions, as well as local and zulu time using the Apple Watch Glances feature. Know when flight conditions are above minimums and forget having to do local to zulu time conversions in your head!

ADS-B Weather to Your Wrist

With a Stratus on board and connected to iPhone, ADS-B weather is delivered right to ForeFlight for Apple Watch. In flight and on the ground, easily view current METARs for airports in your recents and favorites lists.ForeFlight for Apple Watch Instruments view.

Customizable Flight Instruments

A customizable dashboard of flight instruments helps you keep track of information like ETE, ETA, distance to destination, track, ground speed, GPS altitude, and more. Configure the instrument layout to suit your preferences.

Flight Notifications and Timers

Apple Watch delivers the ForeFlight flight notifications that you are used to, but in a more convenient way. Get a discreet wrist tap as soon as an expected route clearance is issued. Keep tabs on total flight time or timed approaches in the Timers view.

ForeFlight for Apple Watch Timers view.Get Ready

An iPhone 5 or later running iOS 8.2 or higher is required to run ForeFlight for Apple Watch. The iPhone installs supported applications on Apple Watch and manages communications between the devices. Without an iPhone, you cannot install Apple Watch applications at this time.

 

 

Pre-orders begin today and Apple Watch goes on sale April 24th.

ForeFlight for Apple Watch with iPhone.

ForeFlight Lands at 2015 Army Aviation Summit

ForeFlight at Army Aviation Summit.

Team ForeFlight lands in Nashville this week to participate for the first time in the annual Army Aviation Summit. ForeFlight is all about making your flight mission easier,  safer, and more productive. Come by Booth 1902 for a full demonstration of our Military Flight Bag (MFB) electronic flight bag solution.

MFB is your all-in-one app for digital access to charts and maps, weather, route planning, document management, and more. MFB is an enhanced version of ForeFlight Mobile Pro that integrates the global data set of the DAFIF, D-FLIP publications, AQP pages, and geo-referenced D-FLIP terminal procedures, airport diagrams, and enroute charts.

We have extensive MFB deployments in the Army and Army National Guard, United States Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps, with major deployments in Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC), US Coast Guard, and US Army Operational Support Airlift Agency.

We can help get your electronic flight bag program off the ground! Reach out using the form here or see us in Booth 1902 at the Summit. Let’s get going on your ForeFlight Military Flight Bag deployment!

Learn more at: www.foreflight.com/military

ForeFlight MOS is Now Booming

As icing AIRMETs begin to morph into convective SIGMETs, you’ll be happy to know that ForeFlight Mobile is ready for the upcoming convective season with some enhancements to its Model Output Statistics or MOS forecast. As was announced earlier, MOS provides a TAF-like forecast out to three days for over 2,000 airports in the U.S. and its territories. To help you anticipate convection during your preflight planning, MOS now includes a forecast for thunderstorms over the next three days as shown below.

Thunder-MOS

April Showers

To celebrate the spring thaw, we are taking MOS a step further; in addition to thunderstorm forecasts, ForeFlight’s MOS product now forecasts showery precipitation at the airport as shown below. While rain showers may not seem like a threat to many pilots, it can be a precursor for deep, moist convection or thunderstorms, including embedded thunderstorms. So any forecast for rain or snow showers should get your attention since it means a convective process is anticipated even if natural lightning isn’t likely. Showery precipitation creates a hazardous environment capable of moderate or greater turbulence in those showery clouds. Additionally, a forecast for showers should raise a red flag that a serious threat of airframe ice may exist while flying in visible moisture at a temperature below freezing.

MOS-Showers

Finding MOS in ForeFlight

The MOS forecast is available to all subscribers with ForeFlight Mobile 6.6 or later. To find it in the app, simply select an airport or station from the Maps view. In the pop-over window, tap the Forecast tab at the bottom. Then tap the MOS button and scroll through the next three days to see if those springtime boomers may alter your plans.

Access the MOS forecast in the Maps view by tapping on an airport.

Access the MOS forecast in the Maps view by tapping on an airport.

Icing and Turbulence Products Now Approved for Operational Decisions

If you have ever used the Current and Forecast Icing Products (CIP and FIP) or the Graphical Turbulence Guidance (GTG) product available in ForeFlight or on the Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) website, you may have noticed a disclaimer at the top of the image like the one shown below. Essentially, FAA policy prohibited pilots from using this automated guidance to make operational decisions without also consulting the official forecasts, namely, G-AIRMETs and SIGMETs that are issued by meteorologists.

Warning-CIPEffective January 21, 2015 the NWS and the FAA agreed to relax this limitation and quietly removed the disclaimer from the charts. This opens the door for pilots to make safety decisions based on the information contained within this guidance. This is not to say that G-AIRMETs and SIGMETs can be ignored; they still provide valuable guidance to pilots, but may not have a comparable temporal or spatial resolution found in these automated products.

The disclaimer was also confusing to pilots given that G-AIRMETs for icing are issued for widespread moderate non-convective icing whereas the CIP and FIP provides guidance about all icing hazards big or small. In fact, these automated tools often provide a more realistic picture of the icing environment as it evolves.

It is certainly understandable for such a disclaimer to be required when a new weather product is first introduced or is considered experimental, especially if the guidance is automated. However, these icing and turbulence tools have been available to pilots for over a decade, so it’s finally nice to see them lift these restrictions.

 

Flight Rules Thrown Out of the ForeFlight Mobile App

No, we didn’t convince the FAA to change the regulations; however, in ForeFlight Mobile we’ve stopped using the term Flight Rules when referring to weather conditions for an airport. Flight Rules has now been replaced with a more appropriate term, namely, Flight Category which appears as a selection below TFRs. Same useful information, just under a new name.

Flight Category selected in the Map overlay selector

Flight Category overlay is shown selected in the Maps view menu.

Flight rules refers to the regulatory requirements defined in 14 CFR Part 91, Subpart B. These include Visual Flight Rules (VFR), Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) and Special VFR. Although derived from Flight Rules, Flight Category describes the observed or forecast weather conditions at the airport based on the combination of prevailing ground visibility and ceiling. Using a color-coded marker, flight categories include VFR, Marginal VFR (MVFR), IFR and Low IFR (LIFR) as shown below. Although not implemented in ForeFlight, the National Weather Service (NWS) uses a fifth category to represent Very Low IFR (VLIFR) conditions which includes a ceiling less than 200 feet and/or visibility less than 1/2 statute miles.

Flight Category legend.

Flight Category legend used in ForeFlight Mobile.

In the app, you can also display the ceiling and visibility markers separately on the ForeFlight Map. Similar color coding of these markers will occur based on the criteria shown above. For example, ceilings markers are being displayed on the Map below. Notice for Topeka, Kansas,  a marker labeled “26” representing a MVFR ceiling of 2,600 feet so the marker is shown in blue. It is critical to understand that this does not imply that the Flight Category for the airport is MVFR since this marker does not also factor in the reported visibility.

Ceiling marker view.

Ceiling markers do not factor in the reported visibility relative to Flight Category color coding.

In this case, tapping the marker for Topeka as shown below indicates that the surface visibility is reported at 1 statute mile representing an IFR Flight Category. Hence the coded observation is colored red accordingly.  Similarly, when displaying the visibility markers on the Map, the color shown does not also factor in the reported ceiling.

Weather station details in the Maps view.

Tap on the marker to reveal the Flight Category, indicated by the highlighted observation text, when using the Ceiling and Visibility overlays.

Lastly, ceiling markers are unique in that a marker will only be displayed when the observation is reporting a broken, overcast or indefinite ceiling. In other words, if the sky is clear or there are just scattered or few clouds in the report, a marker will not be displayed on the Map.

While the departure from Flight Rules seems pretty subtle, using Flight Category in the ForeFlight Mobile app now matches FAA documentation and other official weather guidance provided by the NWS.

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.

Seamlessly Sync Favorites, Enjoy Profile View Refinements in ForeFlight Mobile 6.2.1

ForeFlight Mobile version 6.2.1 is now available for download on the App Store.

Seamlessly Sync Favorites and Recents

With ForeFlight Mobile version 6.2.1 we introduce Sync, a fast cloud-based syncing system that seamlessly transfers information between your iPhone and iPad. For example, this capability allows you to plan a flight on your iPhone and that flight will appear in the recent routes list on your iPad, or in your favorites list if you have marked the route as a favorite. There is no special user interaction required as syncing is automatic.

Sync between devices.

Seamlessly sync your favorites and recents between devices.

With this initial release, sync seamlessly synchronizes your recent and favorite: routes, airports, weather imagery, user waypoints, and recent procedures across all devices that share the same ForeFlight Mobile login.

In the next release, we will add sync support for aircraft profiles and flight plans, with more sync-enabled features to follow.

Because sync stores recents and favorites to the cloud, changes made on one device will automatically be delivered to the other device when it next connects to the Internet. In addition, if you are setting up a new device or need to reinstall the app your activity is protected and restored automatically.

You can manage sync in More > Settings > then scroll to Preferences > Synchronize User Data. The toggle will turn Sync ON (blue) or OFF for that device.

Sync Settings

Sync has an ON/OFF switch in the Settings menu.

A note for multi-pilot accounts: sync is disabled by default for multi-pilot accounts with a shared single login.

Sync is available with version 6.2.1 on all ForeFlight Mobile Standard, Pro, and Military service levels. Stay tuned! More to come with sync.

Refinements And Filter Options In Profile View

The Profile view has a new refined look with the highest point, clearance, and first strike figures now presented in a panel on the right-hand side of the view, making that information easier to read. In addition, to best suit each flight Profile now gives you the ability to set hazard altitude and route width parameters for filtering terrain and obstacle alerts.

Refined Profile View

The new Profile layout is easier to read and adds additional capability to filter terrain and obstacle alerts.

A new terrain settings menu allows you to set your flight path corridor width and alert altitudes right from the Profile view. Tap on the cog to reveal the new menu:

New terrain settings menu

Tap on the cog symbol to reveal the new terrain and obstacle settings menu.

Select your desired Corridor Width, or route buffer, to display terrain and obstacle alert coloring only within the chosen corridor along your planned flight path. The corridor width options are: ½, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 20 nautical miles.

Corridor Width Setting

In this example, 2 nautical miles will alert you to terrain and obstacles one nautical mile to the left and one nautical mile to the right of your planned flight path.

The hazard altitude setting gives you flexibility in choosing what relative altitudes from your aircraft are used for presenting the yellow and red alert coloring of terrain and obstacles.

Hazard Altitudes Setting

In this example, selecting Heli-Medium will color hazards yellow within 200’ vertical of the aircraft and red at or less than 25’.

The Hazard Altitude setting is reflected in both the Profile view and the Maps Hazard Advisor layer. This is beneficial for low-altitude flight operations, like helicopters, by giving you options to fly closer to terrain or obstacles before the yellow and red hazard alerting appears.

The inflight toggle between route and aircraft mode is now situated at the top of the new panel layout

Route and Aircraft mode toggle

Toggle between route and aircraft mode while inflight.

Profile view is a ForeFlight Mobile Pro feature.

Refinements To Annotations Toolbar

Our refinement theme continues in the Annotations feature with a refreshed menu bar. The buttons now have higher contrast making them easier to see.

Annotations refinement

Shown here is a comparison of the previous versus current Annotation toolbar.

Access the annotations toolbar in either the Plates view or Documents view by tapping on the pencil in the upper right.

Annotations-toolbar2

A tip for using annotations, select your annotation color, thickness, and opacity settings, then select the text or shape option.

Annotations toolbar

A tip for using annotations is to choose your color, then select the annotation type.

Annotations is a ForeFlight Mobile Pro feature.

ForeFlight Mobile Version 6.2.1 Is Available On The App Store

ForeFlight Mobile version 6.2.1 is a free download for subscribers via the App Store. Click here for instructions on how to update the app.

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 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.