In recent years, a trend toward the concept of a paperless cockpit has taken the aviation world by storm. Gone are the days of pilots carrying flight bags filled with more than 20 pounds of paper safety checklists, logbooks, navigation charts, manuals, and weather information. With new digital software and apps, pilots can now operate nearly entirely paper-free with the convenience of a tablet. Here are a few popular resources to make your transition to a paperless cockpit easier.
ForeFlight is known as one of the most popular apps for flight planning, but it also has a wide variety of additional features such as in-flight safety alerts, digital checklists and logbook, and interactive weather maps. ForeFlight can even assist with aircraft weight and balance calculations, to save time and provide better accuracy. The app is free to download but a subscription is required to access all the features.
METARs Aviation Weather
The METARs app uses weather data from METAR stations around the world. Pilots can customize METAR reports to show the current weather conditions at their favorite airports. The reports are also color-coded according to flight category (IFR, VFR, MVFR, or LIFR) and each report is available in a plain language translation to make it easier to read and understand. The METARs app can also pair with smartwatches to give pilots up-to-date weather alerts while in flight.
When it comes to tracking in-flight data for post-flight debriefing, CloudAhoy is a great tool. Pilots of all experience levels can benefit from analyzing components of their flights to identify areas for improvement. The CloudAhoy app captures in-flight data for pilots to review in 2D or 3D format after landing. Pilots can then share their flight with other CloudAhoy users or post on their social media accounts. The app’s flight logging, listing, and viewing features are free, while the debriefing service requires a yearly subscription.
Making the switch to an electronic flight bag can help you file flight plans quickly, improve situational awareness, and keep your logbook up to date, but these are just a handful of the hundreds of aviation apps and software available. Do you have a favorite aviation app or program that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!