iPad apps for turbine pilots

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A large number of apps have been released in the past year to help turbine pilots with performance calculations.
A large number of apps have been developed to help turbine pilots with performance calculations.

There’s a good chance if you peek your head in most airline or corporate flight decks you’ll find the pilots actively using an iPad to display charts and aviation data (or the Android/Windows tablet equivalent). Not only is the iPad replacing the 50 pound chart cases that many professional pilots had to lug around, but its also simplifying routine performance planning and the time-consuming task of updating charts and manuals.

Here we’ve assembled a list of apps that will be useful to turbine pilots, grouped by category:

Aircraft Performance Calculator & Flight Manual Apps
  • Airbus FlySmart Apps – this collection of apps help compute takeoff and landing performance calculations, electronic document management and weight and balance for Airbus airplanes. (Includes free demo, requires separate account for full features)
  • Boeing Onboard Performance Tool – provides pilots of Boeing aircraft with takeoff and landing calculations and weight & balance information. (Requires configuration files and databases, available separately from Boeing)
  • Bombardier Flight Deck – provides pilots of Bombardier aircraft with digital flight manuals and includes automatic revision updates. (Requires an account through Bombardier)
  • Cessna Citation Performance Calculator (CPCalc) – provides a performance calculator for many of the Cessna Citation models currently in production, along with older 550, S550 and 650 models. (Requires CESNAV subscription)
  • Cessna Citation Weight & Balance Calculator (CLCalc) – this companion app to CPCalc allows Cessna Citation pilots to quickly perform weight & balance calculations based on aircraft specific profiles. (Requires CESNAV subscription)
  • Eclipse Quick Reference App (QRA) – turns the Eclipse flight manual into an interactive app that computes performance, weight and balance and includes the full electronic flight manual and checklist for Eclipse airplanes.
  • Embraer ePerfBook – provides performance calculations for Embraer commercial jet aircraft.
  • Gulfstream Apps – collection of apps to help organize and maintain pilot’s manuals, compute performance, weight and balance and more for pilots of Gulfstream airplanes. (Requires subscription from Gulfstream).
  • Beechcraft Technical Publications – allows pilots to download and manage technical publications for Beechcraft and King Air airplanes.
  • myPhenom Flight Calculator – a complete EFB for Phenom 100 & 300 aircraft, including performance calculations, weight & balance, checklists, AFM, POH and QRH manuals. (Requires membership to Phenom Jet Association).
  • Pilatus PC-12 Digital Airplane Flight Manual – this free app from Pilatus provides performance and weight & balance calculators for pilots and owners of Pilatus PC-12 turboprop airplanes.
Apps from Cessna, Embraer and Hawker Beechcraft provide timely aircraft support data.
Apps from Cessna, Embraer and Hawker Beechcraft provide timely aircraft support data.
Aircraft Support
  • Textron Aviation Directory – this iPhone app provides immediate mobile access to the Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker worldwide networks of support personnel and service stations.
  • Bombardier SmartFix – diagnostic and troubleshooting app from Bombardier airplanes.
  • Embraer Executive Jets Customer Support – allows you to located and connect with the nearest Embraer service center and customer support representatives.
  • GE Beacon – includes GE aviation service directories, and the ability to ask product support questions right from the app.
  • Gulfstream 24-Hour Support – contains contact and service information for Gulfstream airplane owners.
  • Rolls Royce MyAeroengine Support – provides owners and operators of Rolls-Royce powered business jets with support information and contacts.
Flight Planning, Weather and Trip Support
  • AC-U-KWIK World Edition – contains information on 8,000+ airports across the globe, 3,400+ FBOs and  extensive listings of Handlers, fuel suppliers, charter operators, ground transportation, maintenance and catering companies.
  • AvioFuel – designed for light jets and turboprops, this app allows you to quickly determine fuel loading based on specific aircraft profiles.
  • FlashPass eAPIS – helps pilots file the required eAPIS passenger manifests when crossing the U.S. border.
  • Fltplan.com Go – allows fltplan.com users to retrieve and store weather briefings and navlogs for offline use in the air, and provides full flight planning and moving map features.
  • Iridium Go – use this app to connect the Iridium Go mobile hotspot to make in-flight phone calls and send text messages using your mobile phone over the Iridium satellite network.
  • LogTen Pro – provides pilots of all levels with a full customizable iPad logbook, including an international airport database and currency tracking.
Apps from Universal, AC-U-KWIK and WSI provide excellent international trip planning features.
Apps from Universal, AC-U-KWIK and WSI provide excellent international trip planning features.
  • Jeppesen Mobile FD – provides flight departments who currently use paper Jepp charts an easy way to transition to digital charts. This is also one of the few ways to get full international coverage on an iPad. (Requires subscription from Jeppesen)
  • Sporty’s E6B  – provides 23 aviation calculations, including planned mach number, percent MAC, specific range, descent planning and jet fuel conversions.
  • Universal Ops Brief – allows pilots and flight departments who currently use Universal Trip Support Services to download and view operational briefing packages. Services include fuel releases, ground handling confirmations, APIS confirmations, runway analysis, TSA waivers and much more. (Requires Universal user’s account)
  • WSI Intellicast – this free in-depth weather app from the largest private weather company provides detailed weather reporting and radar imagery for the US and Europe
  • WSI PilotBrief Optima – provides access to WSI’s premium PilotBrief Optima detailed weather service directly on an iPad. (Requires WSI PilotBrief Optima subscription)

Of course the popular navigation apps like ForeFlight Mobile, Garmin Pilot and WingX work great in turbine aircraft also. Many pilots have also found the document management features included with ForeFlight Mobile and WingX to be particularly useful in organizing flight manuals and paperwork. There are also a variety of apps from many of the popular FBOs in the U.S. that you can quickly access by searching in the app store.

There’s one last item for turbine iPad pilots to be familiar with. Pilots flying “for-hire” under part 121 or 135, and those flying aircraft with a max gross weight over 12,500 lbs., are required to follow the guidance of AC 120-76C when using an iPad as a paper chart replacement. To help you understand the details of this AC we suggest reading our iPad Legal Briefing here. And if you’re looking for assistance in getting FAA approval to use an iPad as the sole source of aviation data in the cockpit, check out Sporty’s Easy Approval for iPad service.