ForeFlight vs. Garmin Pilot: Which app that is mobile perfect for you?

Drop by your preferred basic aviation airport on any Saturday and you’re prone to find pilots in a spirited discussion, protecting the merits of the low-wing vs. High-wing airplanes, or north-up vs. Track-up on a going map display. It didn’t take very long following the Wright Brothers’ first journey for pilots to create strong viewpoints in aviation, and after this you won’t find an even more debated topic than which iPad application is better for pilots: ForeFlight or Garmin Pilot.

Aviation application designers attended and gone because the iPad was launched this year, and you will find simply a few single-solution apps utilized by pilots today, with ForeFlight and Garmin Pilot near the top of that list. The objective of both apps has additionally grown from electronic chart display to an avionics that is integrated, and today they could do significantly more than many certified avionics.

It down though, the real question you should be asking is which app is best for me when you break. Both apps have got all of the features and capabilities to feel right in the home into the cockpit of a pupil pilot learning how to fly, while simultaneously meeting the requirements of expert pilots flying turbine airplanes. They’ve also grown to supply chart that is international trip help because of partnerships with Jeppesen and Eurocontrol.

The increase associated with the iPad

Before the iPad’s introduction this year, pilots mainly relied on handheld GPS receivers to deliver airport that is supplemental and a going map within the cockpit. Garmin dominated this part with an assortment equipment choices and display screen sizes, attempting to sell for just as much as $2,500. These portable GPS systems had been a nice-to-have accessory in the cockpit, but didn’t replace paper maps or provide much when it comes to preflight weather or journey preparation. In addition took some ongoing work and cost to help keep the databases present.

Then, as soon as the iPad ended up being announced this year, pilots instantly recognized it since the long-awaited customer item which could transform exactly how information ended up being handled and consumed within the cockpit. It absolutely was nearly too good to be real: a slim tablet by having a bright, responsive, 10” color touchscreen and a battery pack life that will outlast a flight that is 4-hour. As well as on the application part, ForeFlight had been in the same way released and responsive a single-solution iPad software, building regarding the rise in popularity of its iPhone type of the application. The paperless cockpit age had formally started.

As they didn’t obtain the jump that is early ForeFlight, Garmin debuted their full-featured Pilot software for iPad, iPhone and Android os 2 yrs later on within the springtime of 2012. Garmin might have been the biggest basic aviation avionics business at that moment, nevertheless they discovered on their own when you look at the place of playing get up into the app market that is mobile.

Garmin reacted by having a steady-stream of innovative component additions over the past six years, that has permitted it to generally meet, as well as on some fronts surpass, the abilities of each and every other aviation iPad software today that is available. Coupled with its considerable portable and certified avionics connectivity choices, Garmin is choosing tougher than ever before whenever choosing the app that is best for your requirements.

More similar than different

As the design and graphical user interface of those apps couldn’t be much more different, you’ll quickly discover that after investing a while with both apps they provide the exact same core abilities:

What you’ll find after utilizing either software is which they are really a one-stop look for all you need to both get ready for and perform a journey. The next phase is to dig much much much deeper into each app’s core abilities and discover which provider will deliver a benefit for you personally centered on exactly what, where, and exactly how you fly.


ForeFlight’s design includes lots of Apple’s iOS that are standard conventions, menus and settings, which eases the educational bend. It will require just a few taps to reach any location within the software which you’ll appreciate when you really need to get into information quickly, like finding a musical instrument approach chart or airspace information. ForeFlight utilizes the familiar iOS tab bar menu in the bottom of this display to quickly switch between screens with one faucet. Alternatively, the search that is universal, available near the top of the Maps, Airports and Plates chapters of the application, enables you to look for just about any data (airport info, chart, route, etc. ) and jump to its location when you look at the application.

After investing a while with ForeFlight, you’ll find many thoughtful features made to make life easier when it comes to GA pilot traveling single-pilot. The software excels at using routine data that we’ve been making use of for a long time and presenting it in an infinitely more way that is meaningful. For instance, whenever viewing a musical instrument approach chart or airport diagram, ForeFlight shows a shortcut from the display to look at all relevant NOTAMs about that procedure. So when an airport features a NOTAM for a shut runway, the software presents a bold red advertising over the center associated with airport information screen to ensure it does not get over looked. An automated chart pack choice is available whenever arranging a trip, letting you press one key to down load all the VFR/IFR charts necessary for the journey. Then, whenever brand new maps become readily available for down load every 28 days, ForeFlight will automatically download them when you start the application, decreasing the reality you’ll ever get stuck with old maps in journey.

When considering time for you to prepare a trip, the routes area of the application guides you through each step of the process regarding the process, eliminating the requirement to bounce around to gather and enter information. For IFR pilots, ForeFlight supplies A route that is recommended feature assist pick the optimum IFR path. This routing engine analyzes a large number of feasible choices centered on your step-by-step aircraft performance profile and time/fuel cost savings, while also accounting for the aircraft ceiling, chosen paths, and trending ATC cleared roads.

ForeFlight’s Alternate Advisor analyzes other comparable filed journey plans, along with some time gas demands, forecast climate conditions, available approach procedures to recommend IFR alternative airport to incorporate in your journey plan.

Takeoff and landing performance preparation is yet another capability that is unique ForeFlight. This feature that is powerful automatically determine takeoff and landing performance information on the basis of the aircraft profile chosen for the trip. It factors in today’s climate, runway factors and aircraft fat to automatically calculate takeoff and landing distance (this does demand A efficiency Plus membership).

You will find in the same way numerous tools available in-flight whenever automation can really assist. ForeFlight’s contextual alerts have fun with the part for the copilot that is digital and certainly will alert you on a lawn with both a artistic and aural message while you approach and enter active runways. Floating around, they’ll notify whenever approaching a TFR or the Washington, D.C. SFRA. The app will alert you to cabin altitude concerns, nearby terrain/obstacles, high sink rates, descent through 500’ AGL, and nearby traffic when coupled with an ADS-B receiver from a flight safety standpoint.

There are convenience alerts like showing the ATIS regularity when it comes to location airport throughout the arrival, or showing the altimeter that is nearby when descending through FL180. Together with performance preparation function will alert you if computed takeoff or landing distances surpass available runway lengths.