How to calculate takeoff and landing distance with ForeFlight 11.4

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ForeFlight tends to ramp up their release of new features during the spring and summer flying season and this year is proving to be no exception. The latest update adds a new safety feature that pilots have been requesting for awhile now – automatic takeoff and landing distance calculations. The update also adds some enhancements to the Flights Navlog form, enables flight sharing and automatically assigns photos taken in flight to logbook entries.

Takeoff and Landing Performance

The feature most pilots will want to check out right away is the new takeoff and landing performance calculator. This new feature requires a Performance subscription and automates these routine calculations in the Flights section of the app, allowing you to say goodbye to interpolation, run-around charts and potential math errors. ForeFlight includes profiles for nearly 200 of the most common piston and single-engine turboprop airplanes, so there is virtually no setup involved (view the full list or compatible models here.)

To get started, enter the departure and destination airport, your aircraft N# and ETD in the Flights section of the app. You’ll see two new buttons next to the airport identifiers, used to access the Takeoff or Landing calculation screen:

After tapping one of these, you’ll see editable information at the top half of the screen and the calculated performance outputs at the bottom. Most of the data at the top will be pre-filled using information from the airport directory, and actual or forecast weather sourced from a METAR, TAF or MOS, depending on your ETD and location. You can also tap any of these variables to enter a custom value.

Above the runway selector, a header shows the most critical takeoff or landing information, typically a total distance and one or more target V speeds. The full output list is found in the Calculations section at the bottom of the page. The length and content of this list is driven by what runway performance data can be calculated per the aircraft’s POH.

When flying a multiengine airplane, you’ll see additional information related to performance when flying on just one engine, labeled as “One Engine Inoperative”, or OEI:

The app continuously monitors your calculated performance numbers against available runway lengths and will provide an alert when they are exceeded:

Enhanced Navlog

After entering your flight details in the Flights section of ForeFlight, you can see a formatted NavLog sheet displaying all the pertinent flight data. This is useful to review before the flight to verify all the en route planning looks correct, and to reference in flight to monitor how the plan matches up with actual groundspeed and flight times. The NavLog is accessed from the purple button at the top left of the Flights screen:

You’ll find some additional information in the NavLog with the recent update:

  • Altitude added next to the selected cruise profile in the upper left header.
  • Altitude added after the route in the summary section.
  • Added “MAG” to clarify that HDG and CRS are magnetic in the waypoint list.
  • Added PIC to the top of the Summary & Times table.
  • (Performance plans only) Added average fuel flow per hour in the Summary & Times table.
  • Added “Signature” row to the notes section.
  • Airport details table moved to below the Summary & Times table.
  • Added airport diagrams for departure and destination airports, when available.

Here’s where to look for each of the new updates:

Flight Sharing

When it comes time to share your flight with a copilot or another pilot riding along for the flight, you can use the Share PDF from the Send To menu at the top right of the Flights screen. This creates a PDF of the same Navlog depicted above which you can send using the standard messaging formats (Mail, Messages, AirDrop, etc.).

The latest update takes this one step further and provides the ability to share all the Flight details to another ForeFlight user’s Flights section of the app. This will display a read-only listing in that person’s ForeFlight Flights screen, that will automatically stay in sync as you update flight details in your app.

Here’s how it works – after entering your flight details, select the Share Flight button from the Send To menu at the top of the screen and select the AirDrop, Mail or Message method to send the data to another ForeFlight user:

The other person will receive a pop-up message if AirDrop was used, or a link to click when sharing via Messages or Mail. After clicking on the confirm button on the second device, the Flight details will show in read-only form in the Flights section. You’ll see an name label in the list view and just above the NavLog button to help you identify flights shared with you:

The shared flight stays up to date with any changes you make to the original as long as an internet connection is available. The recipient can’t change any of the flight’s details, but they can view its Navlog and Briefing, load the flight onto the Maps view using the Send To button, or create a copy of the flight that they can edit on their device.

Automatic Photos in Logbook

Pilot logbooks have evolved from boring green pages with endless rows of numbers to multimedia records of flights with smart currency and qualification monitoring. Most of the recent ForeFlight logbook updates have focused on the business side of record keeping and monitoring, but the latest new features takes a break from that with something a little more fun.

ForeFlight will now automatically suggest pictures and screenshots you took during a flight with that flight’s logbook entry, greatly simplifying the task of adding photos to a new entry. When ForeFlight creates a draft logbook entry from a new track log, photos and screenshots that you took during the flight appear in the draft entry as suggestions, allowing you to select the ones you want to keep and discard the rest.

Logbook also now supports night vision goggles (NVG) currency tracking for both rotorcraft and airplane pilots, with separate currency trackers for NVG operations with and without passengers.

SID/STAR Leg Depiction

Most IFR departure and arrival procedures begin or end with a leg that is based on a heading to be flown, or a turn after crossing a certain altitude. These cannot be accurately depicted since the actual track across the ground will be different each day, based on winds aloft and airplane performance. Previously when selecting one of these procedures, ForeFlight would display this message:

With the latest update, ForeFlight will no longer issue this warning, and instead depict these legs with a dashed line on the Maps screen, as shown between KSRQ and the KIZIZ waypoint on the SRKUS4 departure out of Sarasota, Florida:

 

8 COMMENTS

  1. While I generally really like Foreflight, the trend continues and unfortunately with Boeing now in the mix will likely be the trend to leave the small GA pilot behind.

    The new TOLD feature is a great example, there is little to no value in the Performance version of Foreflight for the SEL pilot, but TOLD is important to every conscientious pilot. However, not available unless you go to the next level.

    Foreflight and Boeing should not forget how they got where they are, it was not in the cockpit of G500’s.

  2. The list of supported aircraft is pretty limited when you look at it. Only new models of piston and a handful of turboprop aircraft. No comment from Foreflight on support for bizjets or older aircraft. Thus,the takeoff/landing performance module is NOT a reason to spend the extra bucks for a Performance Plus subscription unless you fly one of the few aircraft supported on a frequent basis.

  3. I’m with Dave. No way to enter MY airplane? Needless expense for the upgrade. I have been and will be a loyal and appreciative ForeFlight customer. But not getting on board this one without the candy!

  4. I like the new Navlog format. I had a thought for improving in flight use of the Airport details table. It is sort of an adjunct to the destination WX popup. At times, particularly in the mountains when flying to non-towered airports located in valleys with limited access and departure routes , I like to check WX as well as CTAF well ahead of starting my descent. Once I’ve dropped into a pass with little room to maneuver or turn around I don’t like to be surprised with high winds, advisories and traffic. Unfortunately at times when I select one of these frequencies the facility is out of range because I’m too low, the airport is too low, or a mountain is in the way. I have to keep checking the frequency and that time that could be spent watching for aircraft, etc. It would be helpful if ForeFlight could do real time calculations of the likelihood of communications for each of those radios and change the color of the frequency display in the chart to indicate those that are in and out of range. That way I don’t have to keep checking, tweaking the squelch, listening and wondering if I’m not hearing the selected radio because I’m out of range, or in the cast of the CTAF, nobody’s talking. The calculation can use the airport and aircraft locations and altitudes, along with any communications obstructions (mountains) from the terrain map for the calculations. It would be a lot simpler for me if the WX and CTAF frequencies would turn from black to green when I come into range.

  5. Safety features should not be for sale. This feature should be part of the basic subscription. Maybe Boeing forgot about charging for safety features like they did in the Max?

  6. I love ForeFlight, it is an amazing program.
    But as a Canadian, can’t registration numbers “N”, also allow for “C’

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