One of the first things a student pilot hears from his flight instructor when beginning flight training is to get a copy of the “regs,” meaning the big book that contains the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) and the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). It then becomes a point of pride to carry that big, thick book around the airport to flight lessons, and show it off to non-aviators to point out your status as a student pilot. But like with paper navigation charts, it’s more convenient to carry this 1,000 page book on your iPad.
Sporty’s FAR/AIM app for iPhone and iPad has been a popular option for many years, but a recent update adds some helpful new features. First, it includes the latest AIM Change 3 and regulation updates through April 2, 2019. The app is continuously updated as regulations change, and a one-time purchase includes all updates. Just buy it once and you’ll always be up to date.
Version 1.5 also includes a much more powerful split-screen view on iPad, which allows you to view a menu and search bar on the left with text on the right. The menu can be hidden for full-screen reading, and it works well on the latest iPad Pro models.
The value of a digital FAR/AIM – beyond the weight savings – is the ability to quickly find the material you need. Sporty’s FAR/AIM app has four good tools for this. First up is search, which got an upgrade in this version. You can search for any phrase and you’ll instantly see a list of matches on the left side menu. You can view only FARs or only AIM sections using the buttons at the top, then tap on one to view the full text.
Another good option is highlight. Simply tap on any section to select the text you want, then tap the Highlight button. This will add a yellow highlight to the text, but also save it in your list of highlights so it’s easy to retrieve in the future. This is great for studying.
If you’d prefer to save an entire section instead of a few lines of text, tap the bookmark icon at the top right of the screen to save a bookmark. Like highlights, this will be saved in a menu on the left side of the screen.
Finally, the app allows you to study the right sections based on the certificate or rating you are pursuing. From the left side Tools menu, choose “Study By Certificate” and you’ll see options for all popular FAA tests. This really simplifies things, so you can skip the obscure regulations about areas of operation that do not apply.
Sporty’s FAR/AIM app includes free updates, and is compatible with both the iPad and iPhone.
It is available for $9.99.