Top 10 aviation apps (you haven’t heard of)

3 min read

We like to highlight unique lists of aviation apps to help both new and pro iPad pilots stay up on the best aviation apps available in the app store. This list is a bit different, and is designed to help you expand your app horizons and check out some new aviation apps you might not have tried out yet:

10. Flyover CountryEver wonder about the details of the terrain you’re flying over on cross-country flights? This app uses GPS and its extensive database to provide you with information about topography, points of interest and other geoscience data.

9. Precision Altimeter. This iPhone app takes advantage of the pressure altitude sensor in iPhone 6 or newer to display a detailed altimeter instrument and vertical speed indicator. You can also add an external wireless Bluetooth sensor from Texas Instruments that sends outside air temp and humidity right to the app to display a real-time view of the density altitude.

8. InstructairDeveloped by the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI), this app allows students and licensed pilots to quickly search for CFIs and browse their bios and specialties to help find a good fit and instantly schedule a lesson.

7. IFR Flight Trainer SimulatorThis app takes the mystery out of learning to navigate by using VOR and how to interpret the HSI in the cockpit with a visual simulator. It also includes a series of challenges and scenarios to put your navigation skills to the test.

6. AvioFuelThis iPhone app provides a simple and intuitive interface for performing fuel loading calculations, especially for larger aircraft that measure fuel in pounds. It allows you to enter custom aircraft profiles and quickly determine how much fuel you can load in each tank based on passenger/baggage requirements and the weight limits for your airplane.

5. MiraCheck CoPilotBy integrating voice controls and voice recognition, it provides a heads-up and hands-free way to run normal and emergency checklists in flight, turning your iPad into a virtual copilot. MiraCheck partnered with CheckMate to offer a more comprehensive collection of checklists for over 100 common airplane models.

4. NRST: Descent Rate and Airport Finder. This app provides a great resource when you need to initiate a diversion and find the nearest airport. It maintains a list of nearest airports based on your present position, including distance and bearing to each one, and gives the vertical speed required to fly there based on current groundspeed.

3. RunwayMap. You can view flight videos, reviews and photos from other pilots as well as share your flying experiences. Features at a glance include airport frequencies, webcam images, aviation weather, 3D images, local restaurant reviews and more.

2. Cloud TopperHow many times have you been on a flight and see a cloud up ahead and wonder if you’ll be able to top it at your current altitude? This clever app can help answer that question using your iPhone or iPad’s camera as a sight level. Simply open the app, hold it up to the front window and level it out using the pitch indication in the viewfinder. You can also enter the distance from the cloud and have the app calculate the approximate distance you’ll pass above or below the cloud top.

1. FlyQ InsightUse your iPhone or iPad’s camera to help identify and locate nearby airports with this augmented reality app. Hold your device up to the window and it’ll present a virtual marker on the ground to help you spot and fly towards nearby airports.

5 replies
  1. Gary Eckart
    Gary Eckart says:

    You forgot the (in my opinion) most useful platform independent (Android AND iOS/iPadOS) app for Synthetic Vision, Moving Map, AHRS, Weather etc… : “Horizon – Your Portable Glass Cockpit” available at:

    Attitude and ADS-B works via standard GDL90 from devices like Levil, Talos, Stratus, etc… . Alternatively it can also use the internal gyroscope of a tablet using special algorithms.
    It is also much cheaper than similar products.

  2. Shane Kisling
    Shane Kisling says:

    Can you include more content for helicopter operations please? Not everyone is a plank wing driver. Thanks.

  3. David VandeWater
    David VandeWater says:

    Another iPhone/iPad app worth consideration is “ILS”. Info can be found at The database contains 30,000 approaches worldwide, which can help you avoid landing at the wrong airport or wrong runway. The “create new approach” feature will allow the user to enter the Lat/Lon, elevation, and heading for approaches to your favorite grass strips, gravel bars, and other surfaces for those with floats or skis. I believe this one goes for $5.

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