Monday, January 11, 2016

Quick Tips: Planning

Alan W, the Beech Aero Club Newsletter editor asked if I could contribute some ForeFlight tips for the club publication. I figured what the heck, I'll put something together and it will help me become even more familiar with the Software. Besides, if one person learns something new and flys's a win.

I have been a faithful ForeFlight user since day one. I tried the free trial of other software but I always felt FF was the easiest and has the best customer service if you have an issue.  It's really hard to put a price on good customer service.

I thought I would try something simple that serves both VFR and IFR pilots. Entering your departure and arrival airports and utilizing the ROUTE tab on the flight plan screen seemed like a good place to start.

Foreflight Tips 

While reading many of the flying forums, I always seem to be drawn to the ForeFlight and GPS  “how do I do this” scenarios.  Alan asked me to share a few of those tips in our newsletter so here goes.
Most folks like to type in their route and fly.  ForeFlight offers so much more for our flight planning.  Yes, most of the information I like to read about is geared more toward IFR flight but these tips will make your VFR flight safer and provide a better knowledge of routes, terrain and airports.
When flight planning I like to have an overview of the terrain, especially on a new to me flight/route.  Let’s take a look at a flight from Ocean City, MD to Wilkes-Barre, PA. 

Highlighting the menu button (top left)the flight plan is blank and ready for your input. I’m going to enter KOXB KAVP.

Next, select ROUTES on the menu. Choices are AIRWAY or ATC CLEARED. Often I select airway unless something really provides a shortcut and it’s in my operating range and not previously cleared for a commercial flight in Class A. Selecting EZIZI V29 LVZ, the route is plotted and seems pretty straight forward.

Next, I like to check elevations. On the left side of the flight plan is a button for altitude, currently my button is at 6000.  Click on that button and your ‘altitude advisor’ pops up. Our lucky day, tailwinds across the board! It’s a gorgeous day so I’m going to enjoy the scenery at 3000’.


On the bottom of your flight plan menu is the PROFILE button. Let’s click on that and see what the route has in store for us. As you can see our flight at 3000’ will only provide us with a 400’ clearance in the area surrounding KAVP.

Another quick check while on this screen is to point your finger at a random spot along the route.  I selected a point close to the WHITT intersection and the terrain map highlighted that point with a lat/lon white line while displaying the corresponding clearance on the right side of the screen.Tap the screen once again to clear the point you selected.

With the winds looking great I would increase my altitude for this flight 6500’ and still enjoy the view and tailwinds while providing ample ground clearance.

A simple quick tip for taking advantage of ForeFlights flight planning and adding a safety factor to your flight. Not sure what next month holds in store or if BAC wants another post.  For now I have a few more tips tucked away for my blog, maybe I'll make it a regular segment.

Fly Safe!!

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