ForeFlight adds runway hotspots, timer, street addresses to version 12.5

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After a blockbuster app update last month, ForeFlight’s June release is smaller in scale but still includes some nice additions. Here’s a review.

Count up/down timer

This is a little thing, but a helpful feature we’ve used in Garmin Pilot for some time and we’re glad to see it here. ForeFlight’s implementation is simple but intuitive, with an ever-present timer at the bottom of the More tab (now a slide-over view after last month’s update). You can set it to count up, which is great for timing total flight time or approaches. Tap it once to start the timer and notice the up arrow indicating which mode it’s in. Tap it again to stop and tap it a third time to reset it to zero.

To use this as a count down timer—ideal for reminding yourself to switch fuel tanks or timing a holding pattern—tap the up arrow and it will flip around. You can tap the time to set the start time in hours, minutes, and seconds. You can also choose to set a repeat and a repeat count. This would be useful for a fuel tank reminder; if you were timing an approach you might choose to leave repeat off.

The advantage is that this timer view can be brought up no matter what part of ForeFlight you’re using. When the count down timer expires, you’ll get a pop-up alert (on any page) and an audio alert (if connected to a headset). If your iPad screen is off, you’ll see a traditional iOS notification box.

The timer feature works on iPad and iPhone, and is available for all subscription levels.

Runway hotspots

Runway incursions have been a hot topic with the FAA for years, and it’s one of the biggest safety improvements with the iPad. The ability to see your position on a detailed taxiway diagram, and then draw your taxi clearance, can reduce misunderstandings and stress.

Now ForeFlight includes orange shaded hotspots to alert pilots of potentially tricky intersections. From the Maps page, just turn on the Aeronautical map layer and then zoom into an airport. You’ll see the airport diagram appear with orange highlights and HS1, HS2, etc. A good option is to draw your taxi clearance on the map, then note any hotspots your route crosses. Pay particular attention to these areas, which are typically runway crossings or complicated taxiway intersections.

Hotspots are available for hundreds of airport in the US—certainly larger Class C/B airports, but not exclusively—plus some larger international airports.

Navigate to street addresses

This new feature is aimed at helicopter air ambulance operators and law enforcement pilots, but it’s fun for everyday pilots too. Ever wanted to find that landmark for a photo shoot? Now you can search in ForeFlight, just as you would for an airport or waypoint.

First make sure you have a Performance plan, as this feature is not available with Basic and Plus plans. Then, go to Downloads and make sure you select Street Addresses on from the United States downloads page. This will store the database for offline access, based on the states you have selected for coverage areas.

To navigate to an address, go to the Maps page and use the search box at the top right to enter your destination. You can enter this just as you would on an address search online: address number, street name, city, state, and zip code. ForeFlight will search based on the address alone, sorted by locations close to your current location.

Tap on a search result (under PLACES) to highlight the address. This will point to the location on the map (use the Aerial map layer to confirm it’s the right location), display the lat/lon coordinates, and offer the option to navigate direct to or add it to your current route.

Once you’ve added it to your route, it will act just like any other waypoint and appear in the FPL window:

ForeFlight version 12.5 includes some other, smaller updates, including support for editable PDFs in the Documents page, and a new layout for weather stations that aren’t located on an airport. It’s a free update in the App Store.

1 COMMENT

  1. What I am missing is the possibility to disable the new timer function. My aircraft does have two fix mounted timer, I don’t need another one in FF eating space. Down right there, it is also prone to be hit by accident. I further use an iPhone with small screen as backup and the timer is far too big on that one.

    So, please FF, if you read this, make a button to disable the ‘feature’.

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