What Do I Need Beyond ForeFlight?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Keith Ward, Jan 13, 2019.

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  1. Keith Ward

    Keith Ward Pre-Flight

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    I'm just getting back into flying, and have downloaded (but not yet used) ForeFlight.

    Does that pretty much do everything in terms of flight planning? Are there other must-have tools in the cockpit, or can it be the only tool I need?

    Thanks for your feedback!
     
  2. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Foreflight, and EFBs ("electronic flight bags") in general, are electronic substitutes for the charts, maps, facility directories, etc we all carried around with us. They also assist us with retrieving weather information, filing flight plans, etc.

    Just like with paper, we need to understand what the EFB is doing and its limitations, which includes failure modes and our ability to do without. So the biggest extra tool we need in the cockpit is the one between our ears.
     
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  3. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    You haven't mentioned what you downloaded ForeFlight onto. If the iPad is WiFi only, a GPS would be helpful; I use a Bad Elf but there are others.
    Another device with charts would be helpful too, or just a paper chart. I left my iPad in the plane last year during lunch and it overheated. Pulled out my chart and it was a non-event.
    I still calculate fuel manually and compare that to the ForeFlight predictions if I'm going further than a local flight.
     
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  4. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  5. Keith Ward

    Keith Ward Pre-Flight

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    Wise advice, Mark. Thanks!
     
  6. Keith Ward

    Keith Ward Pre-Flight

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    Thanks, Cap'n! An important reminder that tech can always let you down!
     
  7. Van Johnston

    Van Johnston Line Up and Wait

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    I use WnB Pro for weight and balance. I prefer it to the weight and balance capability in Garmin Pilot, which is the EFB I use. I can’t speak to FF’s W&B.

    I also keep FltPlan Go on my iPad as a backup if GP ever goes belly up on me. Very clunky to use, but is free.
     
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  8. Keith Ward

    Keith Ward Pre-Flight

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    Thanks, Van! Much appreciated.
     
  9. Challenged

    Challenged Pattern Altitude

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  10. arkvet

    arkvet Line Up and Wait

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    What’s the typical mission / plane panel you’ll be flying with?

    VFR only? IFR? What part of the country ?
     
  11. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    Regarding flight planning, it’s pretty decent. My own habit is to route plan on paper charts then transfer that to FF. That way I have my backup ready to go if needed. The numbers it kicks out match the numbers calculated by hand. As was mentioned if it’s not a cellular iPad you will need a gps unit. There’s quite a few to choose from. I started with a Bad Elf and still have it. Great little device.

    Other devices provide gps as well as ADSB, synthetic vision, AHRS, and weather updates.

    I recently bought a Sentry which provides all of that plus a CO monitor but you need at least the FF pro plus (2nd tier) subscription for some of it.

    However, don’t discount your paper charts, compass and stopwatch! The tech is a fun upgrade but not foolproof. And don’t rely on FF for things like TFRs. A user here has a thread concerning that very topic.
     
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  12. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    11 Posts in and not a mention of Stratus 3? Hell, Foreflight is MADE for Stratus.

    OP.... You need some sort of ADS-B receiver and GPS source. If you do not have a panel mounted solution for ADS-B in capability, I would get the Stratus 3 personally.
     
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  13. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    I did mention the Sentry. Nearly everything the Stratus does and $200 less.
     
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  14. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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  15. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    In the argument between Stratus and others, I will add the Stratux, an open source ADSB/GPS source built on a Raspberry Pi. You buy the parts and put it together yourself. Price was slightly over $100 when I built mine.
     
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  16. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

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    Welcome back to aviation. Now that you have Foreflight, learn how to use it ON THE GROUND!!! There's way too much information on there to try and learn it while flying.
     
  17. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Sunglasses. Watch with optional second hand. Working compass. Like others here, I flight plan on paper and the EFB. I also keep backup paper charts in the plane. I never assume anything electrical will alway work correctly. As much as I like GPS, I don’t depend on that either. I fly in areas were GPS can be unstable and frequently NOTaM’d, including the departure end of my home ‘drome runway!
     
  18. Keith Ward

    Keith Ward Pre-Flight

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    Agreed! And a great reminder!
     
  19. Keith Ward

    Keith Ward Pre-Flight

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    VFR, but going for IFR after my flight review. East coast, primarily DelMarVa for now.
     
  20. Keith Ward

    Keith Ward Pre-Flight

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    Love this forum! The advice to use paper first, then transfer to digital, will be heeded. (I was shocked a few years ago when my son said he couldn't read a paper map. "I've got GPS!" he exclaimed. SMH...)
     
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  21. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    I'd just build a Stratux. Works well, inexpensive, does the same thing depending on how many components one adds. I just glance at the thing, but I personally only find the weather radar really useful.
    Mentioned below.
     
  22. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    Parachute...so you can pull the chute
     
  23. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've been using ForeFlight extensively since the iPad first came out, so I'm far beyond the learning stage... But I think the majority of my ForeFlight usage is still on the ground. In "attention paid" if not in time, anyway.

    It's a pre-flight planner first for me. Once I'm in the plane, I beam my flight plan to the panel and then only occasionally look at it. I do keep it running and generating the track log, and I use it for plates, but a well-planned flight usually means there's not that much left to do in flight.
     
  24. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    If you are a VFR pilot, there are other less expensive options to Foreflight you might want to evaluate, including the 99 cent WingX EFB.
     
  25. Keith Ward

    Keith Ward Pre-Flight

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    VFR for now. Hopefully, not for long... ;)
     
  26. Cheyenne

    Cheyenne Filing Flight Plan

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    Don't forget money.You'll need more than you did when you flew before.
     
  27. Keith Ward

    Keith Ward Pre-Flight

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    Roger that!
     
  28. mkosmo

    mkosmo Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I don't know if you play with any flight simulators, but you can actually feed Garmin Pilot and Foreflight from Prepar3d and X-Plane. By doing that, you can play with the enroute functionalities (not just the pre-flight) and get familiar before jumping in the airplane and trying to learn it while also doing your BFR.
     
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  29. Keith Ward

    Keith Ward Pre-Flight

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    My son-in-law is a total nerdgamer with a homebuilt computer he's been tweaking for years, so I'll see if he has X-Plane. Thanks for the tip!
     
  30. Cheyenne

    Cheyenne Filing Flight Plan

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    I just linked X-Plane 11 with ForeFlight. Pretty cool! Thanks for the tip.
     
  31. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    FF alone will get it done. . . Velcro your iPad to the panel. That's pretty much all you need. . . maybe buy an external, Bluetooth GPS (Dual, Bad Elf, $100 or so).
     
  32. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route PoA Supporter

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    You don't NEED Foreflight or any other electronic gizmo. If you're just going for a loop around the local area, or a burger run less than an hour away, just pull up the local weather forecast and go fly. You don't need ADS-B, onboard weather updates, and magenta lines. Grab a chart and have fun.
     
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  33. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Maybe not, fuel has actually decreased from several years ago.
     
  34. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The OP said in another thread that it was a 14-year hiatus. 14 years ago, I was the treasurer of my flying club and fuel was $2.00/gallon at our home base (class C). At the same FBO, it's now around $5/gal.

    It's been worse, but not by a whole lot. :(