How to use Documents in ForeFlight Mobile

ForeFlight Documents tab
ForeFlight Documents tab

Save and read a wide variety of documents with ForeFlight.

For many pilots, the iPad has become an all-in-one resource in the cockpit, storing charts, flight plans, weight and balance data and even logbooks. In addition to these functions, pilots need to carry a lot of documents, including scanned versions of paper files. While there are a number of stand-alone document viewers, up until now, this has meant switching apps in flight–not always a good option if you’re viewing maps or weather.

But there’s an easier way now. Beginning with version 4.4, ForeFlight Mobile added a new tab to their main menu–Documents. This powerful document viewer and organizer is a great way to find and carry a wide variety of useful products. The nice part about ForeFlight is that there is a built-in catalog of helpful files. Just tap on the Catalog button at the top right, pick a document and ForeFlight adds it directly to your stored library:

  • FAA and NavCanada chart legends (what do all those symbols mean?)
  • Airport/Facility Directory “front of book” information (preferred routes, frequencies, phone numbers)
  • FAA handbooks (study for your next license or rating anywhere you have your iPad)
  • ForeFlight Pilot’s Guide (become an expert user of the app)
  • Enhanced Class B airspace graphics (not easily displayed on the Map tab)
ForeFlight Documents catalog

The built-in documents catalog in ForeFlight has a number of useful items.

Pilots can also add their own documents, which is ideal for aircraft manuals or other reference data. Specifically, ForeFlight accepts PDFs and image files (PNG, JPG, TIF, GIF). You can import files into ForeFlight by viewing a document in another app, like Safari, Mail, Dropbox or GoodReader. Tap the arrow button, which will show an “Open in…” window, then choose ForeFlight. Alternately, files can be brought into ForeFlight by syncing your iPad with iTunes, although this isn’t as easy.

To stay organized, pilots can create document binders, just like on the Plates tab. Tap the My Documents menu at the top center of  page, then tap + to create a new binder. This is a great way to organize imported documents by aircraft if you fly different models.

You can also bookmark, email and print documents right from ForeFlight. Because it uses the larger screen, this feature is available on the iPad only.

ForeFlight also has a video showing off the features of Documents:

Documents in ForeFlight Mobile from ForeFlight on Vimeo.

21 replies
  1. Phil Nuss
    Phil Nuss says:

    What you can’t do is take a picture (.jpg) and use it in ForeFlight Documents. It doesn’t work even if you email it to your own Ipad. It still won’t open. To open such a .jpg, you must go through itunes – a lot of trouble. Not worth it.
    That’s too bad becuase there are times when I wanted to photo a chart or reference from the POH and use it in ForeFlight. References like cruise charts, Pressure Altitude Charts, Cross wind charts, etc. are great quick references that would be nice to have readily available in the program.
    While I can’t readily get them in ForeFlight, I can still see them in the photo section of the Ipad. That’s not as convenient as in ForeFlight itself.

  2. Terry
    Terry says:

    I also found that to be true. There’s probably a way to do it, but I found a quick solution was to convert the image to a PDF then import it. I have an old Windows application called Print to PDF that is selectable in the print dialogue box. Newer programs may already have this capability available.

  3. Phil
    Phil says:

    Good point. Although that involves another PC, it does work in ForeFlight. Thanks for the tip…

  4. philip nuss
    philip nuss says:

    You can also take a picture or screen shot (perhaps a radar image) and then use a free jpg to pdf converter installed on your iPad. he one I use is Photo to PDF. Open Photo to PDF, access your photos (your screen shot will be there too), then select “Open in ForeFlight”. It’s that easy and can be done in 30 seconds once you install Photo to PDF on your iPad. I use it often and it’s ideal for capturing things you may need when no longer on WIFI. Try it, you’ll like it.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] part of the 4.8 update, ForeFlight has also added the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) to their Documents catalog. This includes Parts 61, 67, 91, 93, 95 and 97. To download these FARs, tap Documents, […]

  2. […] part of the 4.8 update, ForeFlight has also added the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) to their Documents catalog. This includes Parts 61, 67, 91, 93, 95 and 97. To download these FARs, tap Documents, […]

  3. […] mentioned before that ForeFlight’s Documents feature is a powerful, but under-appreciated, tool. It’s an easy way to carry all your critical […]

  4. […] mentioned before that ForeFlight’s Documents feature is a powerful, but under-appreciated, tool. It’s an easy way to carry all your critical […]

  5. […] allows a flight department manager to administer a company-wide iPad program) to their powerful new Documents features (which gives pilots the ability to carry SOPs, company manuals and compliance documents), […]

  6. […] allows a flight department manager to administer a company-wide iPad program) to their powerful new Documents features (which gives pilots the ability to carry SOPs, company manuals and compliance documents), […]

  7. […] Documents – Organize your digital documents, like aircraft manuals and FAA publications. ForeFlight includes a catalog of available documents that can be downloaded for free, or you can import your own PDFs, JPGs, GIFs or PNGs. Read more tips on using Documents in this article. […]

  8. […] Documents – Organize your digital documents, like aircraft manuals and FAA publications. ForeFlight includes a catalog of available documents that can be downloaded for free, or you can import your own PDFs, JPGs, GIFs or PNGs. Read more tips on using Documents in this article. […]

  9. […] pre-flight and in-flight product includes moving maps, approach charts, weather graphics, document organization, flight plan filing and a whole lot more. It has replaced paper charts and even portable GPSs for a […]

  10. […] pre-flight and in-flight product includes moving maps, approach charts, weather graphics, document organization, flight plan filing and a whole lot more. It has replaced paper charts and even portable GPSs for a […]

  11. […] pre-flight and in-flight product includes moving maps, approach charts, weather graphics, document organization, flight plan filing and a whole lot more. It has replaced paper charts and even portable GPSs for a […]

  12. […] example of this is the digital terminal procedures supplement in ForeFlight. This is located in the documents section and contains vital information like legend data, inoperative components table for non functioning […]

  13. […] info on the Documents feature here: How to use Documents in ForeFlight Mobile […]

  14. […] storage and organization. As we’ve pointed out before, apps like ForeFlight Mobile (with its Documents feature) and GoodReader make it easy to store a wide variety of paper documents on your iPad, from POHs to […]

  15. […] has a powerful Documents feature, which makes it easy to find, download and view reference items right in the app. This is ideal for […]

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