Student pilot’s guide to cross-country flight planning with an iPad

1 min read

There is a wide range of opinions on how student pilots should use iPads during flight training. On one extreme, some teach that students should only use paper sectional charts and perform all calculations by hand through the checkride, barring the iPad from the training environment. Another camp follows the opposite logic, allowing students to use all the automated flight planning tools right from the start, bypassing instruction on the core techniques like preparing a navlog and flying a cross-country trip with pilotage and dead reckoning.

As with most things, the practical answer falls somewhere in the middle. It’s important to learn how courses are plotted, and groundspeed is estimated by using a plotter and E6B, but it’s equally important to learn how to take advantage of modern tools like the iPad, which can add another degree of safety and situational awareness when used properly.

In this video, we’ll show how the iPad and ForeFlight can be worked into the cross-country planning process as a digital chart viewer and navigation resource while still flying the trip using pilotage and dead reckoning techniques.