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

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

Drop by your chosen aviation that is general on any Saturday and you’re very likely to find pilots in a spirited conversation, 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 simply take long following the Wright Brothers’ very very first journey for pilots to make strong views in aviation, and after this you won’t find a far more debated topic than which iPad application is the best for pilots: ForeFlight or Garmin Pilot.

Aviation application designers attended and gone considering that the iPad was launched this season, and you will find simply a small number of single-solution apps utilized by pilots today, with ForeFlight and Garmin Pilot towards the top of that list. The objective of both apps in addition has grown from electronic chart display to a integrated avionics system, and today they could do a lot 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 the features and capabilities to feel right in the house into the cockpit of a pupil pilot understanding how to fly, while simultaneously fulfilling the requirements of expert pilots traveling turbine airplanes. They’ve also grown to provide chart that is international trip support because of partnerships with Jeppesen and Eurocontrol.

The increase associated with iPad

Ahead of the iPad’s introduction this year, pilots mainly relied on handheld GPS receivers to give you airport that is supplemental and a going map within the cockpit. Garmin dominated this portion with a number equipment choices and display sizes, attempting to sell for just as much as $2,500. These portable GPS systems were a nice-to-have accessory in the cockpit, but didn’t replace paper maps or provide much in the form of preflight climate or journey preparation. Additionally took some ongoing work and cost to help keep the databases present.

Then, if the iPad ended up being established this season, pilots instantly respected it once the long-awaited customer item which could transform just just exactly how information had been handled and consumed into the cockpit. It had been very 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 program part, ForeFlight ended up being just like responsive and released a single-solution iPad software, building regarding the rise in popularity of its iPhone form of the software. The paperless cockpit age had formally started.

As they didn’t have the very early jump like ForeFlight, Garmin debuted their full-featured Pilot application for iPad, iPhone and Android os 2 yrs later on within the springtime of 2012. Garmin was the biggest basic aviation avionics business in those days, nevertheless they discovered by themselves when you look at the place of playing get caught up into the app market that is mobile.

Garmin reacted having a steady-stream of innovative component improvements in the last six years, which includes permitted it to generally meet, as well as on some fronts surpass, the abilities of any other aviation iPad application today that is available. Along with its considerable portable and certified avionics connectivity choices, Garmin is deciding tougher than in the past whenever making a choice on the most readily useful software to meet your needs.

More similar than various

Although the design and graphical user interface of the apps couldn’t become more different, you’ll quickly discover that after investing a while with both apps they provide the essay writing core that is same:

  • Trip preparing airport that is, FBOs details and costs, preflight weather briefing, aircraft performance pages, electronic navlog, journey solution climate briefing, climate imagery, ICAO journey plan help, pre-departure clearances (PDC)
  • Charts– FAA VFR Sectionals and TACs, IFR high and low altitude enroute maps, terminal procedures, worldw Document Management – upload, view and edit flight-relevant documents like aircraft manuals, worldwide paperwork and training papers

What you’ll find after making use of either software is which they actually are a one-stop go shopping for all you need to both get ready for and perform a trip. The next phase is to dig much deeper into each app’s core abilities and discover which provider will deliver a benefit you fly for you based on what, where, and how.


ForeFlight’s design includes several of Apple’s iOS that are standard conventions, menus and settings, which eases the training bend. It can take only a taps that are few reach any location when you look at the software which you’ll appreciate when you really need to gain access to information quickly, like finding a guitar approach chart or airspace information. ForeFlight utilizes the iOS that are familiar bar menu in the bottom of this display to quickly switch between displays with one faucet. Instead, the universal search function, available towards the top of the Maps, Airports and Plates sections of the app, lets you seek out just about any information (airport info, chart, path, 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 for the GA pilot single-pilot that is flying. The application excels at using routine data that we’ve been using for a long time and presenting it in an infinitely more way that is meaningful. For instance, when viewing a musical instrument approach chart or airport diagram, ForeFlight shows a shortcut from the display screen to look at all relevant NOTAMs about this procedure. So when an airport includes a NOTAM for a runway that is closed the application presents a bold red banner throughout the center for the airport information screen to be sure it does not get over looked. An automatic chart pack choice is available whenever planning a trip, enabling you to press one switch to down load all the VFR/IFR maps needed for the journey. Then, whenever charts that are new designed for down load every 28 days, ForeFlight will automatically download them when you start the app, decreasing the likelihood you’ll ever get stuck with old charts in journey.

In regards time for you to prepare a journey, the routes portion of the application guides you through each step regarding the procedure of the process, eliminating the necessity to jump around to gather and enter information. For IFR pilots, ForeFlight supplies a suggested route function to assist select the optimum IFR path. This routing engine analyzes huge number of feasible choices centered on your aircraft that is detailed performance and time/fuel cost cost savings, while also accounting for the aircraft ceiling, chosen paths, and trending ATC cleared tracks.

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

Takeoff and landing performance preparation is another unique ability within ForeFlight. This powerful function will automatically determine takeoff and landing performance information on the basis of the aircraft profile chosen when it comes to trip. It facets in today’s climate, runway factors and aircraft fat to automatically compute takeoff and landing distance (this does demand A efficiency Plus membership).

You can find in the same way numerous tools available in-flight whenever automation can help really. ForeFlight’s contextual alerts have fun with the part regarding the digital copilot, and can alert you on the floor with both a artistic and aural message while you approach and enter active runways. They’ll notify when approaching a TFR or the Washington, D.C. SFRA in the air. From the trip security point of view, the software will alert you to definitely cabin altitude issues, nearby terrain/obstacles, high sink prices, lineage through 500’ AGL, and nearby traffic when along with an ADS-B receiver.

There are convenience alerts like showing the ATIS regularity when it comes to location airport through the arrival, or showing the nearby altimeter establishing whenever descending through FL180. In addition to performance preparation function will warn you if computed takeoff or landing distances surpass available runway lengths.


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