As more and more technological advancements emerge, we are seeing once novel items make their way into the cockpit. The iPad is an example of this and has now become an essential part of many pilots’ flight bags, whether student pilot or airline pro’. Tech-packed apps now put features once reserved for the latest glass cockpits in the hands of pilots all around the world. The relatively low cost of aviation apps and the ease of database updates means more pilots are flying with current charts than ever before. That has to be a good thing, right? Anyone that knows me will know I have a love of all things tech-driven and being a pilot is driving that passion even more. Here are my top five Aviation app picks.
OzRunways – The guys at OzRunways provide one of the best EFB apps in Australia. I have tried a variety of different products in the category but simply can’t go past OzRunways. On the ground, it’s great for flight planning and in the air performs flawlessly as a moving map with all current charts. Ozrunways really does do all of the thinking for you, though can also be used as a back-up or safety line when navigating the skies. This is probably the main app that I use on the iPad and to be honest was the only reason I initially purchased it. The subscription fee is incredibly low when you look at the package that is provided. A one-time purchase of all the maps provided would cost you 5 times the yearly subscription cost. All in all, a great app and definitely worth a look.
Flight Radar 24 – Whilst not technically an app used by pilots, this app is the Pièce de résistance for any aviation enthusiast. Real time (live) tracking of commercial aircraft around the world with detailed aircraft information, arrival and departure information and so much more. It’s not an app I use in the air though as an aviation buff, it’s an app that I use quite often. Love it!
NAIPS – All pilots will know exactly what NAIPS is, though for those that don’t, or aren’t at that stage of their training yet, The National Aeronautical Information Processing System (NAIPS) is a multi-function, computerised, aeronautical information system. It processes and stores meteorological and NOTAM information as well as enables the provision of briefing products and services to pilots and the Australian Air traffic Control platform. This app has most of the functionality of the Airservices Australia online system. The only downfall is that it doesn’t allow for more than 3 legs, which for some flights deems it useless. Though for the most part, it is a simple and user friendly app.
Oz Weather – This app is on the iPad more for convenience than anything. All of the information can be found using OzRunways, however, for quick reference I use Oz Weather. It contains current weather information, including ground wind speed and direction and has forecasts based on information from the Bureau of Meteorology. A great app to keep handy.
X-Plane 9 – Ok, this one is just for fun! I love it. If you’re bored at work or stuck waiting for the weather to clear up, this app can provide hours of aviation fun. Practice your landings in anything from a C172 to a B747.
I would love to hear what your favorite apps are. Let me know in the comments box below.