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

Visit your preferred basic aviation airport 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 for a going map display. It didn’t take very long after the Wright Brothers’ very very 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 most beneficial for pilots: ForeFlight or Garmin Pilot.

Aviation software designers attended and gone considering that the iPad was launched this year, and you will find simply a small number of single-solution apps employed by pilots today, with ForeFlight and Garmin Pilot near the top of that list. The mission of both apps has additionally grown from electronic chart display to an avionics that is integrated, and today they could do a lot more than most certified avionics.

Once you break it down however, the true concern you need to be asking is which app is most beneficial for me personally. Both apps have got all the features and abilities to feel right at home into the cockpit of the pupil pilot learning how to fly, while simultaneously fulfilling the requirements of expert pilots turbine that is flying. They’ve also grown to provide chart that is international trip help compliment of partnerships with Jeppesen and Eurocontrol.

The increase associated with iPad

Before the iPad’s introduction this season, pilots primarily relied on handheld GPS receivers to give you airport that is supplemental and a going map when you look at the cockpit. Garmin dominated this portion with a number equipment choices and display sizes, offering for up to $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 climate or journey preparation. Moreover it took some ongoing work and cost to help keep the databases current.

Then, once the iPad ended up being established this year, pilots immediately recognized it once the long-awaited customer item that may transform just exactly how information had been managed and consumed within the cockpit. It absolutely was very nearly too good to be real: a slim tablet by having a bright, responsive, 10” color touchscreen and a battery pack life that could outlast a flight that is 4-hour. As well as on the application side, ForeFlight had been just like released and responsive a single-solution iPad software, building regarding the rise in popularity of its iPhone form of the software. The cockpit that is paperless had officially started.

As they didn’t obtain the jump that is early ForeFlight, Garmin debuted their full-featured Pilot application for iPad, iPhone and Android 2 yrs later on in the springtime of 2012. Garmin might have been the biggest general aviation avionics business during those times, however they discovered on their own into the place of playing get up within the mobile software market.

Garmin reacted with a steady-stream of innovative feature additions in the last six years, which includes permitted it to satisfy, as well as on some fronts surpass, the abilities of each other aviation iPad software on the market. Coupled with its considerable portable and certified avionics connectivity choices, Garmin is choosing tougher than in the past whenever making a choice on the app that is best to your requirements.

More comparable than various

Although the design and graphical user interface of the 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:

  • Trip preparing airport that is, FBOs details and costs, preflight weather briefing, aircraft performance pages, electronic navlog, flight service climate briefing, weather imagery, ICAO journey plan help, pre-departure clearances (PDC)
  • Charts– FAA VFR Sectionals and TACs, IFR high and low altitude enroute charts, 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 application is you need to both prepare for and execute a flight that they really are a one-stop shop for everything. The next phase is to dig much deeper into each app’s core capabilities to see which provider will deliver a benefit for your needs centered on just what, paper writer where, and exactly how you fly.


ForeFlight’s design includes a lot of Apple’s iOS that are standard conventions, menus and settings, which eases the educational bend. It will require simply a few taps to reach any location within the application which you’ll appreciate when you really need to gain access to information quickly, like finding a guitar approach chart or airspace information. ForeFlight makes use of the iOS that are familiar bar menu at the end associated with the display screen to quickly switch between displays with one faucet. Instead, the search that is universal, available near the top of the Maps, Airports and Plates chapters of the software, lets you seek out virtually any information (airport info, chart, path, etc. ) and jump to its location into the software.

After investing a while with ForeFlight, you’ll find many thoughtful features built to make life easier for the GA pilot traveling single-pilot. The software excels at using routine data that we’ve been making use of for decades and presenting it in a more way that is meaningful. As an example, whenever viewing a guitar approach chart or airport diagram, ForeFlight shows a shortcut regarding the display to look at all relevant NOTAMs about this procedure. As soon as an airport possesses NOTAM for the shut runway, the application presents a bold red advertising over the center for the airport info screen to be sure it does not get ignored. An automatic chart pack choice is available whenever arranging a trip, enabling you to press one switch to down load all the VFR/IFR maps necessary 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 application, decreasing the likelihood you’ll ever get stuck with old maps in journey.

As it pertains time for you to prepare a trip, the routes element of the software guides you through each step associated with process, eliminating the requirement to bounce around to gather and enter information. For IFR pilots, ForeFlight supplies a recommended route function to assist pick the optimum IFR path. This routing engine analyzes 1000s 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 tracks, and trending ATC cleared channels.

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

Takeoff and landing performance preparation is yet another unique capability within 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 require A efficiency Plus membership).

You will find just like 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 can alert you on a lawn with both an artistic and aural message while you approach and enter active runways. Floating around, they’ll notify whenever approaching a TFR or even 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.

Additionally, there are convenience alerts like showing the ATIS regularity for the location airport throughout the arrival, or showing the nearby altimeter establishing whenever descending through FL180. Together with performance preparation function will alert you if computed takeoff or landing distances surpass available runway lengths.