Garmin Pilot vs Foreflight

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by MIFlyer, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    So, I've done a lot of reading and have done limited trials of both. I'm mostly interested in feedback from someone who has tried both, on an IPAD. Ideally somewhat recently, as I think the newest version of GP added a lot.

    Me: 13 hour student
    Plane I'll be flying for the foreseeable future: 172/182 with 430WAAS. Owners will handle ADSB mandates, so I don't need to factor that into my decision.
    Own an IPad Air 2 with GPS/Cellular data

    So, I won't need the application for navigation. I'd use it for preflight planning, perhaps during flight to look up frequencies/weather/etc.

    I'm sure this has been hashed a lot, but honestly, none of the discussions I'd seen were very recent, and VERY few people seem to have tried both on an apple product.
     
  2. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I should also mention that I'm based in the Seattle are (for weather traffic, that means lots of rapidly changing weather, and some relatively busy airspace with Class B, C, and D airports all within where i'd be flying.

    after PPL, typical mission will be ~100NM VFR flights with occasional 400-500NM (Sonoma/etc)

    I will likely pursue IR training on a casual basis after getting PPL and some fun trips in over the summer. (Planning to finish PPL in May/June)
     
  3. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Don't bother till you get your PPL, I don't allow students to use iPads.

    Once you get your PPL, FF pro with SV is what I run in my mini cellular.

    I use it for both work and play with my own plane, not using it for some nav is silly, it's a great tool. I don't use ADSB/wx or anything else like that on the iPad. Aircraft wise I'm in IFR equipped planes, one is a amphibian other is a turboprop.

    Also if you're in Seattle, join FATPNW if you're not already on it, GREAT group for north west flying, lots of fellow pilots, CFIs, ATPs, career and hobby pilots alike who know the area, plan fly ins, etc.


    https://www.facebook.com/groups/FLightsAboveThePNW/
     
  4. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    With the 430 you don't need an app. Just carry paper charts. The 430 has everything you need a few clicks away. BUT... you have to have paper.

    I've used Foreflight and Pilot. I did purchase a GDL-39 which works only with Pilot and that kind of ended my foreflight experience. Then I purchased a Garmin 696, which works with the GDL and I no longer carry a tablet.

    If I had to buy Pilot or Foreflight today, I'd buy WingX. Oh.. I mean Pilot.

    But since you're a 13 hour student you're right around time for first solo. Focus on that. Leave the iPad at home and fly. Get an App as your gift to yourself for nailing that check ride.

    unrelated story -- my girlfriend was on her way to her lesson where it was almost certain she'd be getting her shirt-tail cut. She calls me and asks "Should I bring the handheld radio, iPad, etc. etc" And I said, "No, bring an extra pen, your charts, some paper, and wear the DC H10-20's because they don't need batteries. You've got enough to think about and carrying a bunch of extra crap will be a distraction"
     
  5. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    This is true!

    The more hours you get the less crap you bring with you.

    When I go out to the plane, it's my headset and my iPad with a small legal pad attached to the cover for notes.


    As for the paper charts, FF pro with the geo ref plates and taxi diagrams are really nice to have, of course have some backup paper plates somewhere you can reach just incase.
     
  6. Scrabo

    Scrabo Pattern Altitude

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    Why a narrow focus ?
     
  7. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Hi, is that addressed to me?

    I am choosing Ipad because I already bought one for aviation, so i'd prefer to use it.

    I briefly tried wingx and found it bewildering and couldn't figure out how to make it do anything.

    I like the UX in GP, but know that foreflight seems to have more training/support/etc.

    James, you wouldn't use FF/GP for cross country planning as a student?

    I don't take it in the plane with me now, too busy with aviating and communicating, but seems useful for CC.

    Also seems like it's about the same cost as paper charts, no? So if I have to have a backup anyway...
     
  8. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    GP has a scratch section for notes: ATIS, CRAFT, and free form pages, no need for legal pad
     
  9. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As a student, you have to learn how to do your cross country planning the old fashioned way. It's not competent aviation if you cancel a flight because your iPad has a dead battery. So, learn how to do it, THEN use the iPad.

    I'd expect an instructor to be amenable to an iPad once you've demonstrated you can do it "right." But there are only a few chances to do that prior to your check ride.

    IRL, many of us use tablets of one sort or another as a preflight tool. But I don't cancel flights because the iPad is at home.

    There are other issues, too. Foreflight doesn't do VNAV, so if you have multiple cruise levels (e.g., crossing high mountains or dodging airspace), you'll have to augment it. It also doesn't show top of climb or top of descent; the latter is rather important, particularly from a high altitude. And sometimes the timing seems a little odd; it depends on what you enter, and rate of climb isn't constant (or else true airspeed isn't constant) over a long climb. Foreflight doesn't document what it actually does here.
     
  10. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So does Foreflight. In practice, it doesn't work as well as a pen and paper. Especially when copying a clearance, speed is extremely important. If airborne, it also has to be easy and comfortable, and the result has to be decipherable.
     
  11. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I would not, all of my guys do all the planning with a plotter and ruler, using math to get all their numbers on a paper nav log.

    Personally, I teach at the base foundation and build on that. Any monkey can flight plan with foreflight or fltplan, thing is you need to learn the foundation first.

    It's like having a kid learn basic math and letting him use a calculator, gotta learn to do what the machine does before you earn the use of the machine, if that makes sense.

    As far as paper approach plates, they are free and I like to have a "chit happens" backup, I use foreflight pro for my plates, but I always have my paper backups just incase, flying a lot of night IMC I'm belt and suspenders when it comes to some stuff.
     
  12. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    tahnks! good persepective. I'll wait for now. I guess I'll buy new charts because mine just expired again. My theory was post checkride to have the 430, tablet as a backup (fuel price checker/etc) and then have paper charts (even if a bit out of date) in my flight bag as a third line of defense.

    I guess i'll just play with GP at home until the trial ends and then wait until checkride passed to buy one of them.

    So to the original question, if i'm a PP-ASEL in 4 months, talk to me about the apps, bearing in mind i'll still have a 430W in the plane.
     
  13. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Good plan :yes:

    Fore flight pro with SV.

    I also like FltPlan for accurate flight planning and briefing (free)


    I use my 430/530 as primary and paper as backup, though FF can be used in emergency to navigate, it's not really the normal use of the tool, for me it's a electronic charting system, AFD, etc. I use it alongside my panel installed avionics.


    That.

    For IFR ops you really need a real scratchpad, and a good way to stow your pen otherwise you'll end up with a ton of pens in the belly of your plane and nothing to write with :mad2:
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  14. N747JB

    N747JB Final Approach

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    I am pretty much the same, my headset stays in the airplane, I keep scratch paper in the airplane, I usually only carry my iPad in it's case, which holds my glasses and a bottle of water. :D Once a month, I bring the Garmin updates as well. :D
     
  15. NickC99

    NickC99 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Get the one you like best.

    I'm in favor of having a subscription as a student. I integrated an EFB (ForeFlight) into my training, and it worked out very well. There's a WEALTH of information all together in one device that makes flight planning much easier.

    You don't need to rush to use it in the plane. You can spend plenty of time with it watching the weather, reading notams, studying charts, etc. before you go on flights. The time you spend learning it out of the plane will be well spent so that you're not fumbling with or distracted by it in the air. There is definitely a lot to learn to get comfortable with an EFB. It's worth the extra time.

    Echoing what others said, though, be proficient with the manual methods so you understand how it all works. This is just good judgement and awareness. Work with your instructor on when is best to integrate it into your training. I used ForeFlight for my PPL XC trips just the same as I used paper charts with pilotage, dead reckoning, VORs, etc. We flew outbound without the EFB or GPS and inbound with it each flight. I also used both paper and ForeFlight on my check ride.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  16. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    If you ever plan to upgrade 430 to 650, you'll appreciate the similarities in the user interface between GP and 650.
     
  17. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Silly to spend money to swap out a 430w for a 650, exact same functionality, maybe of it were free and you're paid for your down time, but to swap out a working unit for another unit that does the same thing... :dunno:
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  18. Rick Wallace

    Rick Wallace Pre-Flight

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    I would prepare for how you are going to fly in real life. Paper charts probably are not going to be a part of that. In fact, in this day and time you are more than likely not to even have a paper chart in your plane... ever. I would get used to foreflight/Garmin now. Your never going to use a paper chart in your life after you get your license, I might focus is on what you WILL use and get proficient at it.
     
  19. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Still got to learn the fundamentals and given enough flight hours you'll wish you had a solid foundation with stuff like paper charts and eyeballs and pens and paper.
     
  20. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Hold off on the app. The only time I let my students use the GPS is when we do the diversion and see how accurate their calculations are
     
  21. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Having played with both a bit I personally love Foreflight. Most of the anti-Foreflight crowd seems to be more anti I-Anything than the app specifically.

    I am Inspector Gadget when it comes to technology in the cockpit but I did not use Foreflight until after my PPL and think it is an amazing resource available to you in the cockpit (or whatever app you choose) .

    Knowing what I know now, I fall in the middle when it comes to EFB and PPL training. I say buy it, use it as a planning tool, learn it but keep it OUT of the cockpit till after you pass your PPL. My $.02.
     
  22. ahypnoz

    ahypnoz Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I like Foreflight over the Garmin Pilot. They both use a different form of logic in their organization. One is not better than the other, just different. I have noticed that engineers and people who like the android phones seem to gravitate more toward the Garmin products and that people who like the Apple iPhone seem to use Foreflight. This is just an observation.

    I would use what you are planning on using after you get your ppl. I would learn the paper chart method and bring it as a back up, but personally I would try to use the Forelight as much as possible in the cockpit with your CFI. A really good CFI will teach you how to appropriatly use the iPad and how to increase your situational awareness (not getting distracted by always looking down at your iPad) but looking outside the cockpit, where your eyes should be.

    In general Paper maps, are a Major distraction in the cockpit (having it obstructing your view of the instruments while folding and unfolding) and probably would not be approved by the Faa.

    Remember, when it comes to taking your check ride, your examiner will (most likely) let you use Foreflight but they will make you turn off 3 things under the settings tab during the exam. The gps positioning of the aircraft, the distance rings and the track vectors button. So it really make Foreflight like a nice, detailed map. That is how I would train with it and use it for my cross country training in conjunction with my paper VFR flight planner.

    (I agree with Avnet, Keep it in the cockpit)
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  23. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Like everyone else is saying, you need to learn the old fashioned way, if only to satisfy your CFI and DPE's examinations.

    After that, you'll never use any of them again (within reason). Keep paper backups, sure, but FF and an E6B app is all you're ever going to need. And scratch paper and a pencil in the cockpit.

    Scratch paper on a kneeboard that velcro'd around your thigh.

    Mechanical pencil with a tiny strip of velcro on it, to velcro to the dash.

    Pens leak and explode (ask me how I know). Normal pencils break. Mech pencil's only downfall is that eventually its chamber will run out of lead.
     
  24. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Meh...I do use a kneeboard but this is one place that my Ipad with Foreflight scracthpad is my BACKUP to paper!
     
  25. MikeTuggle

    MikeTuggle Pre-Flight

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    Agree with the "mechanical pencil." Even with the ability to take scribble notes on an iPad or Android tablet, paper still makes better sense at times.

    As far as FF vs the GP products, FlyQ (not the earlier AOPA version) is the only reason for me to go to the iPad. The current FlyQ product is not available for Android.

    See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOt4tGJu78g
     
  26. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    I've been doing a similar comparison on my own while waiting for the new ipad to come out (I don't have an ithing at all, just android so I am a little familiar with the gp on android)

    I'm torn and will need to use the free trial of both to help me decide.
    In my mind garmin is the go-to for the vfr only pilot and foreflight for ifr.
    Here's why:
    One advantage of Garmin pilot is that you don't need an advanced subscription to get geo-refrenced maps. This means everything except for taxi diagrams and approach charts for ifr. So $75 can get you geo-refrenced vfr charts, low ifr, vfr wac, etc and the new log book feature. If you are vfr only and want geo-refrenced taxi diagrams you can add on the geo-refrencing plus a few other features (synthetic vision if you have a gdl 39 3d, and terrain/obstacle alerts) for $50. I *think* (just brochure knowledge here) this is a little bit better of a deal for a vfr only pilot.
    The biggest reason I say foreflight is the winner for ifr pilots is because of being able to place the approach chart on top of any other chart if you have the top tier package. Plus I think it can do a little bit better job flight planning and navigating using approach/departure procedures.

    Quick summation: apples-apples comparison at the bottom (most basic subscription $) of the barrel, I think garmin wins and gives you more bang for the buck. Top of the barrel (pro vs. Pro) foreflight wins.

    Hope my RESEARCH is correct and helpful! If I'm wrong please let me know, again no real personal experience with either on an ipad.
     
  27. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I just moved from Android (iFly) to Foreflight.

    My Android costs:

    $80 ASUS tablet.
    iFly is around $130/yr for all-inclusive.
    Dual XGPS170 = $500.

    My Apple costs:

    $450 iPad Air 2
    Foreflight $200/yr for all-inclusive.
    $900 Stratus 2S

    iFly advantages: It can do a very few things that FF can't and some stuff it can do for much, much less than FF. A lof more instrument widgets can be placed on the screen. Developers are very responsive.

    FF advantages: Infinitely cleaner/sleeker looking. Vastly superior weather briefing. Dual band ADSB traffic. Developers just as fast to respond.

    iFly disadvantages: No synthetic vision, no dual band traffic, though Dual just released XGPS190 which offers both. Dunno if iFly does.

    FF disadvantages: Much more expensive. Nickel and diming for the sake of nickel and diming. Synthetic vision not all it's cracked up to be (this opinion may change the more I screw with it). If you're VFR only and wander into IMC, syn vision won't help you get on the ground w/o proper training and approach plates. Many airports don't have taxi diagrams. iFly uses satellite imagery in this case. FF you're just screwed if you're unfamiliar with the field.
     
  28. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Or you can get WingX and get synthetic vision and georeferenced plates for 75 as well as everything that foreflight offers for 75
     
  29. TRocket

    TRocket Line Up and Wait

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    I agree here, I waited until I finished my PPL last year to worry about any apps. Try all 3 (FF, GP, and WingX) and see what you like best, everyone on here will tell you something different, Ford, Chevy, Dodge... same thing. I would say more will recommend ForeFlight than the others. See what works for you, I actually liked WingX Pro the best, then Garmin Pilot in a close second, and wasn't much of a fan of ForeFlight. I only use it for VFR, working on my instrument now and my instructor insists I use paper charts for training. I think even after I get my IR, I will only use WingX for flight planning and VFR flying, with a Garmin 430 and paper charts for IFR, I think that will be all I need. Not a huge tech guy (despite being in my 20's and an engineer by trade). Try them out, see what you like best. They all have 30 free trials. I actually used them all as a passenger on flights for work to get more familiar with each before having to worry about flying an airplane at the same time. Just my 2 cents.
     
  30. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    Garmin pilot has their own version of charts, which I like, you can add,subtract detail, change labels, etc
    [​IMG]
     
  31. airheadpenguin

    airheadpenguin Pre-takeoff checklist

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    While this is true the legal pad is still WAY faster and easier to use. Lets compare the distraction level copying an ammended full route clearance in the air
     
  32. FlightofTwo

    FlightofTwo Pre-Flight

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    I used ForeFlight on an iPad for two years, then moved to Garmin Pilot for the last several years on the iPad. We have a lot of Garmin products in various airplanes, so we got the GDL-39 to use with GP software. I also downloaded my "free to CFIs" WingX Pro on the iPad. I like how Garmin Pilot lets me upload flight plans right to my panel. ForeFlight had to catch up on that and Synthetic Vision both, but it did/is. I fly quite a bit of both VFR and IFR over the year, and GP does and has everything I need. But...All the programs compete against each other and come out with great new features all the time. You can't really go wrong no matter what you do. People tend to like the best what they used first and came to know. But they're all good. Even WingX Pro...I just haven't used it as much so I'm not as comfortable with it. They all have the info, the planning, the tools, the weather, the options, etc. In other words, when the time is right for you to dig into it, pick your poison, you won't go wrong on the iPad with about any of them, and whichever one you end up learning, you'll probably think it's the best of all. :)
     
  33. ahypnoz

    ahypnoz Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Personally I would insist on being instructed on the platform that I am going to use after my tutelage. If you plan on using a paper sectional map, then use paper sectionals during your training. If you are planning on using an electronic map (FF,WingX pro, Garmin Pilot) then use it Now during your training. It is best to have your CFI in the right seat while you are looking at all that electronic eye candy to help you learn how to correctly divide your time between inside and outside of the cabin. And to teach you the limitations and advantage of the electronic map.
    If your CFI does not let you use an electronic map during your training, then you need to ask yourself why? Because your CfI doing you a disservice in your training. If you are going to be distracted by the iPad, the time to be distracted during your training when you are with your CFI, not when you are by yourself. The argument that the iPad is distracting and you need to learn to fly first is the exact same argument that was made when the E6b first came out. (what are you going to do when your batteries in your e6b are dead?).

    You still need to learn how to use a sectional map for your written check and as a back up in an emergency, but for your training, you need to train on what you are going to use after your ppl. Also for your cross country training I would have the gps position turned off on your iPad, because that is whats is going to happen during your check ride and use need to demonstrate to your examiner your VFR flight planning skills.

    The argument "are you going to cancel your flight if your iPad is not working?" the answer is Yes, especially if your are flying cross country and that is what you normally use.

    I would cancel a day time VFR cross country flight if any of the following were not working:
    the tachometer, oil pressure gauge, manifold pressure gauge, altimeter, temperature gauge, oil temperature gauge, fuel gauges, landing gear position indicator, anti collision lights magnetic compass, ELT, safety belts and if my iPad was not working or my glass panel was malfunctioning. I would also cancel a flight I was tired and I felt like my judgemnt was off, the weather, etc... I digress.

    I find that a yellow notepad with a mechanical pencil works best with my iPad.
     
  34. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Wow, an iPad is in 91.205?

    Yikes.

    If an iPad really is an airworthiness item, you need some remedial training before your next flight. That is not competent airmanship. An overheat or dead battery is going to ruin your whole day.
     
  35. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    [​IMG]
     
  36. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    You could use an abacus, if your instructor won't "allow" electrons. Maybe you can find a CFI who "allows" a calculator, and work your way up from there?

    I'm betting if your iPad battery died someday, you'd probably figure out time, distance, and wind effects. We keep the paper TAC and Sectional in the airplane, but none of us use them; sure nit gonna haul multiple Sectionals and IFR charts x-country. . .

    For which software to use, a friend and I have done side-by-side compares, alternating safety pilot and PIC, just to get an idea. Honestly, they both work well, and we really haven't come up with a reason to pick on over the other.
     
  37. Piperonca

    Piperonca Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    http://www.informationweek.com/government/e6b-computer-celebrating-75-years-of-flight/a/d-id/1323695

    Nothing better than a small E6B whiz wheel that fits in your pocket - quicker and easier estimates within acceptable accuracy. Why worry about batteries? That, a number 2 pencil with a pad on a kneeboard and a cheap watch, and I'm good to go.
     
  38. pilotjlr

    pilotjlr Pre-Flight

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    As others have said, I also advocate for learning the "old fashioned" way, though I would permit a student to use a tablet once he/she has demonstrated competency in planning everything with an E6B and paper. After all, the day you pass your PPL is very likely also the last day you'll ever touch an E6B, so real world training is needed too.

    The app is personal preference. In my case, I use Garmin Pilot because I like their dynamic charts and I like the layout better. I also prefer Android, though I do have an iPad too. One interesting thing about GP is its layout mimics the GTN devices. I had been using GP for about a year when I first used a GTN 650 (only 430/530/G1000 before that). With only a quick youtube video view beforehand, I was prepared to use the device, given the number of similarities between it and GP.
     
  39. Cogito

    Cogito Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    Los Angeles
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    Display name:
    Cogito
    Garmin Pilot and ForeFlight are now very similar in usability and features. The layouts are different, once you learn them either one is great. I have both because originally I could only use GP to upload flight plans to the G3X, but now either works.

    Of course don't listen to these guys who say you shouldn't use an EFB. As others have said learn to fly the way you will when you get your ticket. When I went for my check-ride I was concerned I would get a dinosaur who wouldn't want me using the iPad, but of course she said, "use all available resources to be the safest pilot possible." YMMV.
     
  40. ralarcon

    ralarcon Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2014
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    307
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    Display name:
    LSCT
    Android phone in your pocket (which you are going to carry anyways) with Garmin Pilot, lots faster, and more accurate. Welcome to the 21st Century.

    Cheers