Unleashing the Potential of ForeFlight: A Closer Look at Weather Features

Unleashing the Potential of ForeFlight: A Closer Look at Weather Features

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I recently attended a seminar where the speaker, an airline captain, spent well over an hour going over many of the weather features that are on ForeFlight (FF), that many of us don’t use, enough. I know I don’t.


Yes, there are other navigation apps, including WingX, Garmin Pilot and FlyQ efb. Have I left any out? But I am guessing that FF might be the most popular. I don’t know. I have been a student of weather for decades, but I have to admit, I am not very familiar with some of the weather features that are found on FF, simply because I don’t use them often enough. We are all creatures of habit, and I use certain features more than others. It depends on circumstances, and what information I might need at the time. So, it turned out to be quite interesting as he reviewed these features. Unfortunately, I did not take many pictures of what he was covering, so I’ll just have to go from memory.


He also pointed out that, depending on which version of FF you have, and there are several versions, you may or may not have certain features.  He started out by pointing out that there are now three versions of FF. There’s Basic Plus, Pro Plus, which has more features, and there is Performance Plus, the high-end version and which has the most features. The most popular version is Performance Plus. And he reminded us that all CFI’s who are members of either SAFE or NAFI, the two industry resource groups for CFI’s, get a discount on their subscription. Since I’m a member of SAFE, I can tell you that SAFE members get a 33% discount. The website is https://foreflight.com


FF has now become ‘the standard’ efb for many corporate, charter and airline operators, and they have integrated FF into their operation. And FF is only available on the iOS devices; iPad and iPhone, not android devices.


So, a brief rundown, and there is a ton of information and material on how to use the app. The designers keep adding features to improve it! FF is a superb flight planning tool, with its weather and flight-planning capability. And if you also get the Sentry from Sporty’s, which is an ADS-B-In receiver, you will get weather and traffic updates while in flight. I have the Sentry for my Cessna 150 and it works great!


FF offers all kinds of weather information; Prog charts, graphical aviation forecasts, winds aloft, advisories, icing, turbulence, satellite images, doppler radar, and more. If you are a weather geek like I am, there is a ton of information to digest.


The fight planning feature is also superb. You type in; the airport identifiers, then either VOR’s, GPS VFR waypoints or lat./long, into the ‘edit’ box on the flight plan, and it displays your route. The edit box is very customizable, by aircraft. You can add SIDS and STARS if you fly those. And the approach to be flown. About 2 years ago, or maybe 3, after being asked by many, many, pilots, world-wide, when will you add Jepps to FF?, FF management and Boeing/Jepp finally came to an agreement, and it was announced that you can get Jepp Charts on your FF. I have since upgraded to Jepp on my iPad. I’ve been using Jepps since I got my instrument rating back in 1979. Yep, I’ve been using Jepps that long. I prefer them to NOS charts. Just the way it is. 


For any of you who have FF and want to learn more about its many features, there are resources; there is a Pilot’s Guide to FF Mobile, and there is a Legends Guide. Both are found in the ‘documents’ section of the app, which you can access on the bottom menu, and download from a catalog. Also, there are many video tutorials available on YouTube, of course.


So, this has just been a ‘brief’ overview of ForeFlight and some of its many features. Thanks to my colleague who did an excellent job of presenting this seminar, for the rest of us. It has become an invaluable flight planning tool, and I literally don’t fly without it, anymore. Oh, and I still do carry some paper charts, for backup, if need be. Never know when they might come in handy.


Fly safely,