ForeFlight’s rapid-fire update streak continued this week with yet another big release, delivering several new features that continue to push the app’s capabilities. These include a new visual track log debrief tool, alternate airport advisor, runway selector, expanded European chart coverage and FLARM traffic support for pilots flying in the UK with the SkyEcho 2 portable ADS-B receiver. Here’s how to use each feature on your next flight.
Visual Track Logs
Track logging has become a primary focus in ForeFlight over the past few years, providing pilots with a wealth of important postflight information that can be used for a variety of purposes. At the most basic level, track logging is great for generating automated logbook entries and shareable maps showing your flight path across the ground.
These basic track log and review features have been available for a little while now in the app when flying with a GPS source. The latest update takes the feature one step further and allows you to review granular details from the flight using a new interactive graph. To access this, tap any of the Track Logs from the More section of the app, including logs captured prior to updating to this latest version. The top half of the screen shows the traditional aeronautical map, and the bottom displays a profile view of flight stats.
Press the play button at the lower left to replay the flight at 20x speed, or use the slider to manually scroll through the flight. You can select up to two parameters simultaneously when comparing data, with options to display groundspeed, altitude, pitch and bank (the latter two require a connected device with AHRS, like Stratus or Sentry).
You can access additional track log information by tapping the Info button in the top right of the Track Log Review page. View textual information about the track log, including the flight summary; distance, time, and speed metrics; out, off, on, and in times; an associated Logbook entry if one exists, and add or view your notes for the Track Log.
Tap the Send To button in the top right to share the Track Log, create a new Logbook entry, open it in other apps like Google Earth, and more.
It’s important to always have an alternate airport in mind when flying outside the vicinity of your departure airport, and it’s a legal requirement for IFR pilots when the destination weather is scuzzy. To help with this decision making, ForeFlight added a new Alternate Airport Advisor feature to the Flights section of the app. After tapping the Alternate Airport field, a new pop-up window will appear showing a list of alternate airport suggestions and a map showing their location.
ForeFlight uses a number of criteria to narrow the list of suggested alternatives, including distance and fuel range considerations, whether the airport is closed by NOTAM, the presence of available instrument approaches, and forecast weather conditions. Additionally, ForeFlight will prioritize any airport that you’ve previously used as an alternate on flights with the same destination.
You’ll see only the important details with each airport listing: weather conditions forecast at your ETA, longest runway, instrument approaches available, and the fuel/time required to fly from the destination airport to the alternate.
You can also manually enter a different alternate airport ID directly in the right side of the advisor window.
Pilots flying larger aircraft with sophisticated avionics systems make it a habit to enter both the departure and destination runways into the system to assist with performance and navigation planning. ForeFlight now allows you to do this as well, providing similar benefits. After entering your route before takeoff, tap the airport ID bubble in the route editor and tap the Select Runway button. This will display a listing of all the runways, including which a Best Wind indicator for the runway with the highest headwind component.
After selecting a runway, ForeFlight will display various indicators on the moving map based on your zoom level. When zoomed in close, you’ll see blue chevrons on the selected runway, serving as visual verification when viewing your airplane’s position on the map. Zoom out a little further and you’ll see white chevrons along the extended centerline. ForeFlight will also enter the selected runway in the Takeoff Performance Planning section of the app for Performance Plus users.
When setting up for the arrival in flight, repeat this process by selecting the destination airport bubble in the Route Editor and again tap Select Runway to specify the landing runway. This will display chevrons and a blue line along the final approach path, and chevrons on the runway when zoomed in closer. The runway will also be set as the landing runway in the Flights Performance planning section.
What else is new in ForeFlight 11.5
Organized Track Systems (OTS) Filtering – A new Maps setting lets you filter oceanic tracks on the Aeronautical map by direction so you can declutter the map and only see the tracks relevant to your current flight. This setting can be found in the Airways section of the main map Settings menu, with the option to select Easterly tracks, Westerly tracks, or all tracks.
Expanded European Coverage – All European subscribers can now download AIPs for the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Greenland, which include IFR procedure charts and airport diagrams for all countries; VFR procedure charts for the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland; IFR High and Low enroute charts for the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia; and documents for all countries. Jeppesen’s IFR and VFR aeronautical data is also included for all countries except Greenland (IFR data only).
SkyEcho 2 FLARM Support – Pilots flying in the UK can now take advantage of the SkyEcho 2 portable ADS-B receiver’s capability to receive FLARM traffic data right in ForeFlight.