ForeFlight Documents Deliver FAR More Value To Flight Departments

ForeFlight’s built-in Documents catalog provides you with our complete library of always-current ForeFlight user guides, as well as an extensive library of up-to-date publications issued by the FAA. Chart supplements and legends, FAA handbooks, and Federal Aviation Regulations are all at your fingertips and included with your ForeFlight subscription. We recently expanded ForeFlight Documents to include more FARs that your flight crews will find as useful references:

  • FAR Part 119 Certification: Air Carriers and Commercial Operators
  • FAR Part 120 Drug & Alcohol Testing Program
  • CFR 49 Part 175 Carriage by Aircraft and Hazardous Materials

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“Having the FAA documents right in the app is very convenient. Plus the ability to text search, annotate and add personal bookmarks makes it easy to use. Also very important to us is the automatic updating of the documents. It takes away a lot of stress monitoring the FAA documents for currency.” –Daniel Thornton, Millbrook Aviation

These additions join our comprehensive list of FARs already in the Documents catalog, including:

  • Part 23 – Airworthiness Standards
  • Part 43 – Maintenance
  • Part 91 – General Operating and Flight Rules
  • Part 121 – Operating Requirements
  • Part 135 – Operating Requirements

ForeFlight’s Business Pro plan for flight departments includes the built-in Documents catalog, as well as the ability to add secure cloud-based document distribution of your company pubs. ForeFlight Cloud Documents gives you a fast, easy, affordable way to distribute company documents to every flight crew member. Your administrator can control the distribution of every new or revised flight manual, operating handbook, or special procedures to every pilot’s iPad delivered from the cloud of your choice: Dropbox, Box, or Amazon S3.

Learn more about ForeFlight for Business Aviation here: foreflight.com/business

If you are interested in making ForeFlight a part of your Electronic Flight Bag program, we’d love to chat! Contact sales@foreflight.com or visit foreflight.com/approved.

Why Use Convective Outlooks?

Perhaps one of the most underutilized weather products shown on the ForeFlight Map view are the yellow-shaded polygons called convective outlooks. On any given eight-hour shift, they are issued hourly by a highly trained meteorologist at the Aviation Weather Center (AWC) in Kansas City. In fact, convective SIGMETs shown by a red-shaded polygon are also issued by this same forecaster.

wst-outlooks

Convective outlooks, shown in yellow, can be displayed by picking the AIR/SIGMET/CWAs menu selection. Tapping on the TS button will display all convective SIGMETs as well as any convective outlooks.

Let’s start with convective SIGMETs

Convective SIGMETs (WSTs) define regions of airspace with active areas of thunderstorms that meet specific criteria. The important word here is active. In other words, convective SIGMETs represent more of a NOWcast for thunderstorms than a forecast. Here’s the way it works. Each and every hour the convective SIGMET forecaster at the AWC looks for thunderstorms throughout the lower 48 United States and coastal waters that meet specific criteria. A single cell pulse thunderstorm isn’t necessarily hazardous as long as you don’t fly through the same airspace that it occupies. However, when thunderstorms form long lines, are clustered close together in widespread areas, are embedded or severe, they become more of a threat to aviation and the forecaster will issue a convective SIGMET for those areas of thunderstorms at 55 minutes past each hour.

wst-siriusxm

A convective SIGMET outlined in red for a line of embedded thunderstorms as depicted from the SiriusXM satellite weather broadcast.

Despite the fact that convective SIGMETs are valid for two hours when issued, the following hour the forecaster will once again evaluate the convective threat and issue a new round of convective SIGMETs. Each new issuance at 55 minutes past the hour will supersede the previous set of convective SIGMETs. Effectively, no convective SIGMET will ever exist for two hours.

This is not to say that you must fly around convective SIGMET areas. For a convective SIGMET to be issued, the area of convection must contain significant radar echoes that fill a minimum of 40% of the area at least 3,000 square miles or 40% of a line of at least 60 miles in length. This leaves a fair amount of airspace to navigate through some convective SIGMET areas.

What about convective outlooks?

First, they are not “outlook SIGMETs” as I’ve seen them called. In fact, they are not SIGMETs at all. Unlike convective SIGMETs, convective outlooks are truly forecasts; there isn’t a requirement that active thunderstorms exist when they are issued. Instead, they define larger regions of airspace that are expected to contain thunderstorms that meet convective SIGMET criteria in the next two to six hours after the outlook was issued. These may include ongoing areas or lines of convection covered by a convective SIGMET or they may include new areas or lines of thunderstorms that are expected to develop and reach convective SIGMET criteria in the two to six hours valid period.

wst-outlook

A convective outlook is outlined in yellow. This shows the region where convective SIGMETs are likely to be issued within the next two to six hours. The text of the outlook provides the effective time.

That two to six hour window is a perfect “sweet spot” for many of us making flights. There may not be any thunderstorms when you go to depart, but if your proposed route takes you through one of these convective outlook areas in the valid time specified you may see one or more convective SIGMETs issued within this outlook area during your flight.

outlook-with-cwa

When convection doesn’t quite meet convective SIGMET criteria you may still see a Center Weather Advisory (CWA) issued for thunderstorms as shown in this image. CWAs are issued by meteorologists at the Center Weather Service Units and coordinated with forecasters at the Aviation Weather Center.

What about ADS-B or SiriusXM?

At the moment, convective outlooks are not broadcast over the ADS-B ground stations and are not part of the SiriusXM satellite weather broadcast. In ForeFlight, we attempt to preserve the latest convective outlooks until they expire six hours later. So be sure to use the Pack feature of ForeFlight prior to departure.

SiriusXM Aviation Weather and Logbook Currency Details in ForeFlight 8.1

With ForeFlight 8.1 we introduce support for SiriusXM’s powerful SXAR1 Aviation Weather Receiver, which supplies ForeFlight with high resolution radar with storm cell attributes and tracks, lightning, METARs, TAFs, AIR/SIGMETs, TFRs, and more. In addition, more of your logbook data is now in easy reach with Currency Details and access to Custom Field data in Reports. Download ForeFlight Mobile version 8.1 in the Apple App Store today!

Powerful, Portable Satellite Weather from SiriusXM

We’re excited to announce that we have partnered with SiriusXM to offer a portable XM weather solution to ForeFlight customers in the form of the SXAR1 Aviation Receiver. This compact, lightweight device wirelessly delivers a wide range of XM weather products to ForeFlight Mobile, including both composite and lowest-tilt NEXRAD radar, storm cell attributes like echo tops and tracks, AIRMETs and SIGMETs, TFRs, METARs, TAFs, winds aloft, and more, as well as GPS position. Future updates will unlock even more capabilities that will continue to make the SXAR1 a powerful inflight weather solution.

Check out Scott Dennstaedt’s article for some great insight and tips for using SiriusXM weather inflight.

SiriusXM SXAR1 and ForeFlight aviation weatherBecause it receives weather information from satellites, the SXAR1 bypasses many of the limitations affecting the delivery of FIS-B weather. The SXAR1 provides nationwide weather with no coverage gaps, minimum altitudes, or line-of-sight restrictions – all it needs is a clear view of the sky. The built-in rechargeable battery and Bluetooth connectivity eliminates the need for wires in the cockpit.

Coinciding with ForeFlight 8.1, SiriusXM is introducing the new Pilot for ForeFlight weather subscription package specifically designed for this integration. SiriusXM is also offering a $200 savings to pilots who buy the SXAR1 and activate the new subscription package.

Learn more at foreflight.com/siriusxm.

Currency Details and Custom Field Data in Logbook

ForeFlight Logbook continues to improve with new ways to access important flight data. Tap on Currency Summaries on Logbook’s main view to see in-depth information about which flights contribute to each currency type, and a brief description of the requirements for each currency type. Access to this neatly organized information makes it easier than ever to understand your currency and stay on top of it.

Tap on a currency summary to see detailed information about it

Logbook experience reports were also upgraded to include Custom Field data. Aggregated totals from any custom fields you’ve added to your logbook now appear at the bottom of experience reports.

Logbook custom fields in experience reports

ForeFlight and Apple iOS 10

Click here for the latest information regarding ForeFlight Mobile and iOS 10 compatibility.

ForeFlight Supports Intra-Canada and Cross-Border VFR Flight Plan Filing

UPDATE: ForeFlight supports filing VFR flight plans between Canada and the US in either direction. VFR flight plans should be opened in the country of departure and closed in the destination country. For a Canada-to-US flight, close your flight plan by calling 1-800-WXBRIEF or through the Tower. For a US-to-Canada VFR flight, close your flight plan by calling 1-866-WXBRIEF.

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ForeFlight’s flight plan filing capabilities recently got a big boost with support for intra-Canada VFR flight plans.

VFR flight plans for routes within Canada are now sent directly to Nav Canada, allowing customers to both plan and file Canadian VFR flights entirely within ForeFlight Mobile or via the ForeFlight website. ForeFlight also supports cross-border VFR flight plans from the U.S. to Canada and all IFR flight plans within or between the U.S. and Canada, in either direction.

When filing a VFR flight plan within Canada, pilots are required to fill out the Destination Contact and Phone fields in the ICAO flight plan form. These fields specify who should be contacted if search and rescue actions need to be initiated. Pilots are also required to provide their license number, which can be entered after their name in the Pilot Name field (e.g. “Joe Pilot LIC 123456”).

Information required by Nav Canada can be entered in the Destination Contact and Phone fields

Pilots filing Canadian VFR flights are required to provide their license number, which can be entered after their name in the Pilot Name field as shown here.

As with other flight plan types, Canadian VFR flight plans can be amended or canceled within ForeFlight using the Amend and Cancel buttons at the bottom of the flight plan form. The Activate and Close functions are not currently available for Canadian flight plans, so a pilot must contact flight service to perform these functions. If a flight plan is not activated by phone, it will automatically activate at the estimated time of departure specified in the flight plan, as prescribed in Transport Canada’s Aeronautical Information Manual:

“A VFR flight plan should normally be opened with a Tower, a Flight Service Station, a Flight Information Center or a Community Aerodrome Radio Station upon departure to activate the alerting service. The pilot is responsible for extending or cancelling the flight plan if the flight is delayed or cancelled. If an extension or cancellation is not received by the proposed departure time, the responsible ATS unit will activate the flight plan or flight itinerary, using the Estimated Time of Departure (ETD) as the Actual Time of Departure (ATD).”

Learn more about filing in ForeFlight at foreflight.com/file.

ForeFlight Mobile 8.0.2 Available On The App Store

ForeFlight 8.0.2 is a minor release that delivers a refinement in the Airports view to include more nearby weather stations, as well as some fixes in preparation for iOS 10 compatibility. Apple has announced that it plans to release iOS 10 to the public on Tuesday, September 13th. We continue to conduct thorough testing on iOS 10 to ensure full compatibility with ForeFlight. Please stay tuned to our blog post, Facebook page, and Twitter feed for updates on our ‘all-clear’ notice. As always, feel free to email team@foreflight.com if you have any questions.

ForeFlight 8: Global Data-Driven Aeronautical Maps, Logbook Enhancements, TFR Alerts

The wait is over—ForeFlight 8 is here! Download on the App Store today to experience our groundbreaking data-driven Aeronautical Maps. New TFR Alerts help you steer clear of TFRs while inflight and upgrades to Logbook make flight logging even easier and more connected than ever. In addition, major enhancements to ForeFlight on the web make it possible to plan, file, and brief whenever and wherever it is most convenient. Read more about web updates here.

The Future Of Maps Is Here

Fast, powerful, and beautiful, ForeFlight Aeronautical Maps represent the next generation of mapping technology. Rather than using scans of paper charts, Aeronautical Maps are driven by data, opening up a huge range of possibilities for how information is displayed on the map.

In the Map Settings menu, new ForeFlight Map controls allow you to select from Light and Dark map themes and to turn the Terrain layer on or off. You will also see new Aeronautical Map Settings when the Aeronautical layer is selected in the Maps dropdown. The ability to customize the map is made possible by ForeFlight’s data-driven map technology. You can turn airspace on or off, set airways to High, Low, or Off, turn ARTCC boundaries on or off, and more. Use the text slider to adjust label text size for better readability. This set of controls for the Aeronautical Map is the first iteration of the choices you will have over what map elements you show or hide—future updates will bring more capability.

Aeronautical Maps settings

New Aeronautical Map Settings give you control over what map elements to show or hide.

In addition, Continuous Zoom™ and dynamic decluttering of map elements allows you to find useful information at any zoom level, and “always-up” labels make it easy to read text on the map no matter how it’s oriented.

A new feature called Smart Airway Labels provides information about segments of any airway in your flight plan. These labels start out small – only showing the name of the airway – but expand as you zoom in, showing additional information about the airway segment like magnetic heading and the MEA.

We’ve also taken our Plates on Maps feature to a new level by directly integrating ForeFlight’s airport diagrams into the Aeronautical layer. Zoom in on an airport and runways and taxiways materialize right on the map, complete with labels and FBO markers.

ForeFlight Aeronautical Maps are available with Basic Plus, Pro Plus, and Business Pro plans.

Logbook Is More Connected Than Ever

ForeFlight 8 adds a new feature to Logbook that busy CFIs and flight students might find useful – Remote Signing. Students can send draft logbook entries to their instructor who can review, send back edits, or sign the entry, whenever and wherever it is most convenient. The instructor can also opt to add the flight to their own logbook as ‘Dual Given’ time. As an added benefit, students take command and learn how to manage their logbook from the beginning.

We also introduce Logbook Connect, an ecosystem of third-party services that you can connect to your ForeFlight Logbook. Logbook Connect makes it easier to add flight entries directly from the other pilot services you use. Our launch partners, Redbird Flight and Schedule Pointe, allow you to send draft entries from their respective dashboards to your own logbook.

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Sharing flights with friends and followers on social media is easy!

In addition, Logbook Progress Reports are available to help student pilots track the progress of accumulated flight time towards their PPL or Instrument rating.

Finally, sharing flight entries with your friends and followers on Twitter and Facebook is really easy. Simply tap the send-to button in an entry and ForeFlight will create a template post, along with photo attachments.

ForeFlight Logbook is bundled with our Basic Plus and Pro Plus plans.

TFR Alerts Keep You Aware In The Air

The new alerts watch for active TFRs near your current altitude and provide visual and auditory warnings as you approach, and again if you enter one. The alerts work whether or not the TFR layer is selected on the Maps view.

TFR ahead on data-driven light theme

Enhancements To ForeFlight On The Web

In conjunction with ForeFlight 8, ForeFlight on the web features a number of updates that are now available for ForeFlight subscribers, including the ability to file flight plans, generate weather briefings, and manage aircraft profiles. You can also access and plan flights with our new global Aeronautical Maps. Log in to ForeFlight anytime using your ForeFlight Mobile credentials and access ForeFlight’s powerful flight planning from your desktop computer. Read more about updates to ForeFlight on the web in this article.

File, Brief, Manage Aircraft Profiles With ForeFlight On The Web

In conjunction with ForeFlight 8, ForeFlight on the web features a number of updates that are now available for ForeFlight subscribers, including the ability to file flight plans, generate weather briefings, and manage aircraft profiles. You can also access and plan flights with our new global Aeronautical Maps. Log in to ForeFlight anytime using your ForeFlight Mobile credentials and access ForeFlight’s powerful flight planning from your desktop computer.

ForeFlight on the web

ForeFlight’s powerful flight planning capabilities are available on your desktop computer.

Route Editor, NavLog, & Route Advisor

Familiar Route Editor and Navlog views make it easy to build and edit a route using text input or rubber band planning. ForeFlight’s auto-complete search engine returns results as fast as you type based on waypoints, navaids, airport names, routes, and city names. Just like on ForeFlight Mobile, Route Advisor™ allows you to simply enter departure and destination identifiers into the Route Editor, then select from available route suggestions including airway, recently cleared ATC routes, preferred routes, or TEC routes.

ForeFlight web planner route advisor

Route Advisor helps you select from available route suggestions.

You will also see a new Aircraft tab on the left-hand side; here you can create and edit aircraft profiles. When you add performance data, the Navlog computes your route time and fuel burn, just like in the mobile app. The best part is that any aircraft profile changes you make on the web are automatically synced to your mobile devices.

In addition, the new global Aeronautical Maps look stunning on a desktop browser and include many of the same benefits as the mobile app, like dynamic decluttering, customizable information, light and dark themes, and Smart Airway Labels.

File & Brief Anywhere, Anytime

All of the same file and brief features you enjoy on ForeFlight Mobile are available via the web. You can amend and cancel IFR plans and activate and close VFR plans – and it’s all instantly synced to your iPad and iPhone. In the Aircraft view, you can add ICAO equipment and performance codes, and ForeFlight pre-populates your flight plan form with this information.

ForeFlight on the web graphical briefing

Generate ForeFlight’s Graphical Briefing right from your desktop computer.

ForeFlight’s Graphical Briefing can be generated on the web. Graphical Briefing transforms the standard text briefing information and delivers it in a visually elegant design for better readability – and it looks amazing in the full desktop view.

Check out this how-to video to learn more about Graphical Briefing:

Logbook On The Web

In addition to experience reports and the 8710 report, student pilots will enjoy keeping tabs on accumulated flight time towards their PPL or Instrument Rating using the new Progress Reports. These reports use data from your logbook entries to display a checklist of requirements needed for each, checking off each item as you complete it.

Logbook progress tracking report

ForeFlight Logbook Progress Reports help student pilots keep an eye on the prize.

ForeFlight on the web gives you more flexibility to plan and file when and where it is convenient. You can log in to ForeFlight anytime using your ForeFlight Mobile credentials. Access to Logbook features and the new Aeronautical Maps requires a Basic Plus or Pro Plus subscription plan. If you need to make changes to your subscription, you can do that on the web, too!

Logbook Flight Sharing, Stratus ESG Support, New Radar Layer in ForeFlight 7.7

ForeFlight 7.7 introduces the ability to share Logbook draft entries with other pilots, as well as a new radar layer, a new rate of descent instrument, Stratus ESG support, and lots of work under the hood to improve general map performance.

Flight Logging Just Got Easier with Flight Sharing

The new Flight Sharing feature in ForeFlight Logbook makes it easy for pilots to send and receive draft flight entries. Pilots can share a flight with one or more people right from the ForeFlight app. The receiving party then modifies and accepts the entry into their own Logbook. Flight Sharing makes it convenient when practicing approaches with a friend– use one iPad to collect the flight details, then simply share the entry. It is also a time-saver for corporate flight crews who can now share a logbook entry between the Captain and First Officer, reducing time spent on the administrative aspect of a flight.

You can review and make edits to the shared entry before adding it to your Logbook

Shared entries are just like drafts from Track Logs – review and edit the information, then tap Approve to add it to your Logbook.

Track Medical Currency in LogbookTrack the time left on your medical certificate with other currency types

Don’t let your medical expiration sneak up on you. When you add your medical certificate to the Logbook Qualifications section, you can now also add it to your currency summary view. This keeps the time remaining until your medical certificate expires front and center.

Stratus ESG Support and Firmware Upgrade for Stratus 1S/2S

Bundled with ForeFlight 7.7 is a firmware upgrade for Stratus 1S and 2S receivers. This upgrade adds support for the Stratus ESG, Appareo’s new all-in-one ADS-B Out solution. Stratus 1S and 2S devices can connect to the Stratus ESG via a USB cable to take advantage of its auxiliary power for continual charging, as well as the transponder’s externally mounted WAAS GPS and ADS-B receivers for maximum reception.

Stratus ESG with 2S and iPad

The upgrade also adds new features to the Stratus 2S. The built-in Flight Data Recorder now has automatic flight leg detection which automatically stops a Stratus Track Log and starts a new one when a full landing is detected. In addition, customers now have the option to save AHRS calibration settings between uses – this is especially helpful for taildragger aircraft pilots who set ‘straight and level’ attitude while inflight.

New ‘Lowest Tilt’ Radar Layer

For more informed preflight planning, you can now choose between the existing NEXRAD composite reflectivity layer and a new NEXRAD base reflectivity from the lowest elevation angle, or Lowest Tilt, layer. The current radar layer — renamed ‘Radar (Composite)’ — does what its name implies: it shows a composite view of multiple angles of radar scans. The new Radar (Lowest Tilt) layer shows only the lowest angle scan, generally providing a more accurate picture of where precipitation is actually reaching the ground.

Lowest-tilt radar provides a better indication of where precipitation is reaching the ground

The composite radar image at left shows precipitation over Atlanta, but the lowest-tilt scan on the right reveals that precipitation is only reaching the ground well west of the city.

In addition, you can display either radar layer in the low resolution, 4-color scheme defined by the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics as the standard for airborne radar coloring. This option is available in the Map Settings menu as “Four-color Radar”.

Display radar in a basic four-color formatCheck out Scott Dennstaedt’s blog post to learn more about these new radar features.

Finally, the Lightning layer no longer declutters groups of lightning strikes, allowing you to see all the strikes in a given area to get a better sense of where dangerous convection is occurring in a storm.

Find Your Rate of Descent to Destination

Also on the Maps view is a new option in the instrument panel: Descent to Dest. This instrument uses your GPS ground speed, GPS altitude, and distance to destination to compute the required rate of descent in feet per minute to be at your destination elevation upon arrival.

Descent to Dest Instrument

The Descent to Dest instrument shows the rate of descent required to be at destination elevation upon arrival.

Military Flight Bag Gets new Data Features

Military Flight Bag (or MFB), our dedicated subscription plan for military customers, now allows charts and data to be loaded onto an iPad over a wired computer connection — a process termed “sideloading”. While most of us have ready access to high-speed Wi-Fi and cellular connections, many of our military customers operate in areas of the world with slow or no internet – imagine trying to download a 2GB chart update over dial-up. Sideloading allows these updates to be delivered to multiple devices by connecting them to a central computer with the data already on it, giving military customers added flexibility in how they operate around the world.

FAA Advisory: GPS Interference Testing

UPDATE June 10, 2016: The AOPA reports that the Navy has decided to cancel the planned GPS interference tests that the FAA previously announced. While this news is promising, pilots should continue to follow the official guidance and plan accordingly. The FAA has not officially rescinded its advisory and NOTAMs regarding the tests are still in effect.

ORIGINAL POST June 8, 2016: The FAA has issued a notice advising of GPS interference testing this month that may cause GPS to become unreliable or unavailable for aircraft operating in parts of the southwestern US and on the West coast. The testing will be centered about 60 nm southwest of the BTY VOR in Nevada, with disruption of GPS possible within a radius of 253 nm for aircraft at 500′ AGL, up to a radius of 476 nm for aircraft at FL400 and above.

The radius of possible GPS disruption will expand with greater altitude.

Testing will be conducted between 1630Z and 2230Z on the following dates: June 7, June 9, June 21, June 23, June 28, and June 30. ARTCC NOTAMs regarding the testing have been published for much of the western US, and can be found in ForeFlight under the ARTCC tab when viewing an airport’s NOTAMs.

While noting that all aircraft that rely on GPS may be affected by the testing, the advisory specifically recommends that pilots of Embraer Phenom 300 jets avoid the area entirely, stating that the testing (and resultant disruption of GPS) may affect those aircraft’s flight stability controls.

We urge any pilots flying in the affected area to adequately plan and prepare for the disruption or total loss of GPS service during the dates and times specified. Even without GPS, ForeFlight provides essential tools for navigating in the air, including aeronautical charts and plates downloads, weather and NOTAM data from Pack, and the Maps Ruler for measuring distances and radials.