Letters to ForeFlight: “Lifesavers”

Subject: Lifesavers

Hi Guys,

Once more I want to compliment you guys on your product and your outstanding response time to questions and issues.

More importantly I want to thank you for averting a potentially dangerous situation. While departing KTEB yesterday in N***** on the RUUDY TWO (RNAV) SID, in IMC, (5nm from KEWR) we experienced some mild turbulence.

The other pilot was in the process of changing a frequency on the Garmin 530W when he inadvertently bumped the data card door. The unit apparently thought that we had installed a new data card and initiated a 30 second power down and then a restart. We could not stop the process and were out of Navigation and Communication for approximately 1.5 minutes (seemed a lot longer). When the unit came back on line our rather complex flight plan had been wiped.

Fortunately I had ForeFlight programmed and running on my iPad and was able to complete the turns to our next two fixes and stay on course.

Thanks Again,


Flight Departments Adopt ForeFlight HD

ForeFlight LLC is excited to announce that over thirty-five flight departments have adopted ForeFlight HD and iPad for use fleet-wide. These new customers range from charter operators to Fortune 50 flight departments operating many aircraft.

2011 is shaping up to be a tipping-point year for adoption of the iPad by corporate flight departments and commercial operators. Airlines and operators are evaluating the deployment of thousands of iPads to airframes and pilots. Our system integration associates are reporting unprecedented demand for their services to help them ready corporate, 121, and 135 customers for operational use of iPads. With ForeFlight HD and our Sporty’s Plates solutions, we’re geared up to help CONUS operators make the jump.

It’s exciting to see just how fast this technology is being adopted in general, business, and commercial aviation. We’ve never witnessed anything like it before. New customers can visit our corporate website and sign up for fleet-wide iPad service in minutes – no quotes, no sales team involvement required, no purchase orders, and a solution that’s 1/10th the cost of the alternatives. Easier to buy and more fun to use – all backed by fanatical support.

If your corporate flight department is looking to adopt iPad on anywhere from 5 to 100 devices, please visit https://www.foreflight.com/corporate and you can get started in under 5 minutes.  If you’d like to talk with us about our enterprise roadmap and our enterprise plans over the next twelve months, please drop us an email at team@foreflight.com and we’ll schedule a call.

ForeFlight Assists Safe Return of Lancair Pilot in Distress

One of the most rewarding aspects of building ForeFlight is reading the continuous stream of supportive and encouraging feedback we get from customers. Over the past three years, we have heard some really amazing things – feedback that motivates us to climb higher, farther, and faster.

Some of the most highly rewarding feedback we receive is from customers who believe they are now safer and more informed pilots or who have used ForeFlight to work through a challenging situation. For example, this recent post on twitter:

pilotconway@ForeFlight I have been so much more aware of the weather now that I have FF.

This past week, a customer experiencing landing gear issues sent along this testimonial:

Dear ForeFlight,

My wife and I purchased your Mobile 3 HD program for our iPad the day before we left for our vacation.  My wife, who is not a pilot remarked how intuitive and user-friendly the program seemed to be.  We had no idea how valuable that would prove to be.

On our return trip home, I descended to pattern altitude at a non-towered airport for fuel.  As I  deployed the landing gear, I was not greeted with the usual wind howl and subsequent 3 greens.  Realizing the landing gear had not deployed, I immediately decided to divert to another airport.  While I was occupied with airspeed and emergency procedures, my wife was able to give me frequencies, identifiers and a situational awareness from your program that she had only worked with for 1 day much quicker than I could from my GPS which I have owned for over a year.

With the information she was giving me, I was able to contact ATC and declare an emergency.  They vectored us to Sacramento International where a first response team was waiting in position.  The tower and ground crew confirmed the gear malfunction after a low pass.  I then executed the final emergency procedures and activated the emergency gear switch which functioned correctly and turned a frightening 30 minutes into an uneventful landing.

Your software was certainly a part of us being able to walk away safely.

Thank you,

Allen Layton
Rolling Hills Estates, CA

The reason why speed and elegance are such important tenets for us when designing our apps is that because when it counts, speed matters. Allen was in a challenging situation, responded by flying the airplane, and handed his iPad to his wife to help him offload some of the work. She was able to help and use ForeFlight without prior training, without flipping through a user manual, and by using the apps prevalent search functions.

We like to say ForeFlight Mobile HD is “intuitive”, but that word is typically of little value because it is overused and subjective. The testimonial above is the right measure of intuitive – Allen’s wife, a non-pilot and first time user of the app, was able to find information and help with situation awareness while he flew the airplane. Truly rewarding.

Allen, happy we could help!

iPhone Helps Save a Life

When we first started developing software for the iPhone, we had no idea just how many people would find what we built useful and valuable.  Over the past year, we have founds ourselves amazed at the ways the iPhone and mobile aviation software has helped improve situational awareness and safety. Every day we get encouraging and supportive emails from customers around the world: from helicopter pilots carrying rig workers to platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, to Red Bull air racers checking weather before a lap around the pylons. An email we received last night from a surgeon was most unexpected.

The email we received was perhaps the most heartwarming, tear-jerking, and unexpected emails from an unexpected customer.  The first paragraph read:

I am sure that every day someone uses your software and its makes their
flight safer.  Indirectly, it helps saves lives.  Yesterday your
software directly saved a life.  I want to thank you for this.

Dr. Ira Kirschenbaum, the Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in Bronx, NY, downloaded the free version of ForeFlight Checklist and modified the standard templates for three major surgical procedures: total hip replacement, total knee replacement, and arthroscopy of the knee.  In preparation for a recent surgical procedure, Dr. Kirschenbaum ticked off each of the steps in his pre-op checklist – except one:

When I got to one of the checks looking at a particular laboratory
I checked the lab result and noted it to be outside of parameters for
what would be considered normal.  It did not receive my check on
ForeFlight Checklist.  I called over the anesthesiologist and brought
this up to his attention.  This led us to look deeply into the chart and
we noted an undiagnosed liver problem that would have placed the patient
at high risk for this surgical procedure.  All this done before the
‘flight’ started.  A life was saved.

As software developers, this is both humbling and inspirational.  The iPhone is truly an evolution that is changing the way people work, interact, and interface with software.  We are grateful and excited to be a part of the change.

TRON Guy, Powered by ForeFlight Mobile 2.0

Have you heard of Tron Guy?  You haven’t?  Allow us to introduce you to Jay Maynard, a.k.a. TRON Guy.  You can read about Tron Guy herehere and here.  He made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live and is a YouTube celebrity – his commentary on net neutrality has been viewed over 1.6 million times.

A search of Google Images yields 121,000 photos of Tron Guy.  I’d say if the Goog can find 121,000 photos of you, you’re famous. Here’s a photo of Jay, one happy mate:

Jay is the definition of commitment.  As reported by Jenna Wortham in a Wired magazine article, he recently took delivery of an AMD Zodiac that he had custom built to his specifications.

The only request they couldn’t fulfill was exterior illumination.  If you know how to legally light an aircraft in TRON colors, help our brother out. We want to see Jay in the Sun and Fun night show!

Jay downloaded ForeFlight Mobile 2.0 yesterday and wrote in:

I got pointed to ForeFlight Mobile by a poster at the Pilots of America  web forum. I’ve been wanting flight information software for my iPhone, and one look at FFM was all it took. Wow. That’s what software for the iPhone should be: straightforward, clear, and intuitive.

Jay, thanks for the kind words, and “Welcome Friend”.  Keep the shiny side up. We’ll be eagerly awaiting the first night flight of TRON Guy in an illuminated Zodiac.

Yankee Alpha Foxtrot Bravo

Hamish Reid is a photographer, designer, and software engineer living and working in Oakland, California.  He keeps a blog titled Yankee Alpha Foxtrot Bravo and a journal about learning to fly. He recently posted about how ForeFlight helps him make last minute weather checks before he flies.  It’s good to see pilots using their mobile phones to double check the conditions at a destination airport, whether or not they are using ForeFlight.  Ease of access to this information hopefully instills a habit of checking it often.

So what do I like about ForeFlight? Firstly, it fits into my planning workflow really well: I usually do the initial heavy lifting on my laptop, including filing a flight plan if I’m flying IFR, and then check again on the tarmac just before engine startup. Foreflight works really well for this last stage, where you can do a last-minute spot check or sanity check without lugging a laptop around or calling flight services. It’s also great for informally checking weather, airport information, etc., for an intended flight whenever and wherever you are (a cafe, a hangar, a wireless-free (as opposed to a free wireless) FBO, an office…), and for prepping approaches informally before flying when you don’t have the plates handy. And it’ll let you file that last-minute flight plan, as long as you have a DUATS account.

Here’s a picture of Hamish:


You can read the rest of his review of foreflight on his blog.

Warning: Filing in Church

We’ve receive some reports that ForeFlight File! is too convenient.  A couple of customers have  reported filing flight plans while listening to the homily at church.  While the short-term benefits of such convenience may be obvious, the long-term consequences are unknown.  So, proceed with caution when deciding whether to pay attention in church on Sunday or get a head start on that hamburger run.

Recent ForeFlight Sightings

Today Apple released their own list of WebApps built for iPhone and iPod touch. The ForeFlight team is happy to be included on this list under the Weather category.

Check out the list when you have a moment – it’s chock full of good looking applications!

We were also recently featured in the EAA’s excellent Sport Aviation magazine (October 2007).   We will post a link to that as soon as we can.

Field Report: Greg Crouchley and his SkyRanger

Greg Crouchley is a passionate student pilot. After reading an article about Light Sport Aircraft in the April 2006 issue of Popular Mechanics, Greg packed up some gear and headed off to a flight school to get his license. Upon his return and finding no aircraft to rent in his home state of Rhode Island, he decided to buy and build a SkyRanger LSA.

The airport he flies the SkyRanger from is a small grass strip airpark. He typically camps overnight on the field so that he can log lots of solo time. ForeFlight iPhone Edition is part of Greg’s routine now:

“When I visit the airport, which is an airport community where the folks all around the airport have homes with hangers attached (grass strip), I simply camp there. This way I get a lot of solo hours in the calm evenings and daybreak morning flights.

This is where ForeFlight simply buries every other possible tool. I must run the weather app every half hour (sometimes waking up at night to check it!) watching for VFR. Since I got it, morning fog and of course wind are my two most checked features (599 lb. plane with low wing loading makes for a lot of interesting rides in the bumps). Perfect. To me, all the info I can get, WELL ORGANIZED, is exactly what ADDS to my flight experience.”

Pictures of Greg’s SkyRanger are below. You can view more photos of his completed project online.

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Thanks for the kind words, Greg, and best of luck on your check-ride.