As a student pilot, you may have read yourself to sleep with the 4″ thick FAR/AIM book (Federal Aviation Regulations and the Aeronautical Information Manual). It’s not exciting reading, but it is essential – and it changes all the time. That usually means buying a new book every year or at least printing out a bunch of pages from a website.
Mobile apps have made this process easier and faster than ever. In fact, organizing large documents like this is one of the best uses for a tablet or smartphone. The regs are always with you and they are always up to date.
This is the time of year when 2017 FAR/AIM books are released, incorporating all the changes in the last 12 months. That makes it a great time to consider an app – for less than the price of one new book, you can have an app that never expires. Right on cue, Sporty’s has released a new version of their FAR/AIM app, produced in collaboration with well-known book publisher ASA.
This app includes almost all parts of the FARs, including commonly-used sections like 61, 91, 121, 135 and 141. New for 2017 is the FAA’s rule for unmanned aircraft systems (aka, drones), which is found in section 107. The app also includes the full AIM and the Pilot/Controller Glossary. The latest edition of the app includes significant updates, but minor updates can be downloaded right from the app at any time – there’s a handy “check for updates” button. Best of all, these updates are free, with no subscription or annual repurchase requirement.
Besides just a digital version of these lengthy books, the app has a few handy study tools. First is the study by pilot rating option, which allows you to focus on relevant sections that pertain to training for the Private Pilot certificate, Commercial certificate, etc. There’s also a very helpful search function that makes it easy to find all the different places Class C airspace is referenced. Finally, a highlight tool helps pilots retain important information.
Sporty’s FAR/AIM app works on iPhone and iPad, and is available for $9.99 in the iTunes App Store.