One of the biggest concerns we hear from pilots transitioning to the iPad is the fear of discovering in flight that the digital charts were not properly downloaded and stored on their device. To help eliminate this concern ForeFlight added a new preflight feature called Pack to ensure you have always have the data you need for every flight.
After entering a flight plan in the route editor during preflight, Pack provides peace of mind by automatically verifying that you have all the necessary charts saved for that particular trip. When on the maps page, a red alert circle will appear on the Route Editor button at the top of the screen if you are missing any of the charts for that flight. After pressing the route editor button, you will see a new suitcase button at the bottom right of the that displays the Pack window. Pack analyzes your planned route against the data you already have downloaded, and then prompts you to download any additional charts, plates, TFRs, METARs, TAFs, AIR/SIGMETs, NOTAMs and fuel price data you may need for offline access. Simply press the Pack button in the lower right corner, and ForeFlight will take care of the rest.
If you already have all the charts downloaded for the entered flight plan, Pack provides the option to still download the latest weather and NOTAMs, which can be useful in flight when not flying with datalink weather. Pack adds a new preference in the main settings section of the app that toggles Enable Auto-Check on and off. Turning Enable Auto-Check ON enables Pack to automatically start the route analysis process as soon as you enter a flight plan. In the OFF position, you can still trigger Pack manually by tapping on the suitcase icon in the Route Editor.
iPhone users can access Pack in the Route view. Tap on the Menu button, then scroll to the Routes section. Tap on one of the three recent routes listed, Favorites, Recents, or Create to select the route for which you wish to Pack. After choosing or entering a route, scroll to the bottom of the Route page to the Pack line. Just like on the iPad, after a few seconds Pack analyzes the route to determine if additional data needs to be downloaded.
The new Pack feature is available today for all ForeFlight Mobile subscribers in the version 6.1 update in the app store.