Personal flying can be an enjoyable hobby, there were roughly 224,475 active general aircraft in the U.S. in 2011 alone. With the latest electronic flight-aids and navigation system, it can be compelling to use aviation apps for personal flight use.
While these applications can be extremely effective and widely usable, they offer more than what many pilots use them for. Garmin’s Pilot app, which just recently released an update to the app, includes features that many pilots are unaware of.
iPad Pilot News lays out five of Garmin’s Pilot app’s useful, although often unused, features in detail. Three of these features are listed below.
Ice and aviation go together like ham and peanut butter, i.e. they don’t. While in the app, pilots can check the severity and probability of ice during scheduled flight time. The severity of ice refers to how fast ice might build on your aircraft whereas probability indicates the possibility of any form of an icing threat in a particular area.
Personal Weather Minimums
One of the features on the Garmin Pilot app is the ability to set your own personal pilot weather minimums. The app will alert you if the ceiling height, visibility, or wind speed exceed the personal limits that you inputted. This feature needs to be enabled, but once it is you can set minimums for VFR, IFR, and Winds. These are recorded at your designated departure and destination airport(s) that were logged in your flight plan. If the conditions exceed the minimums that you set, then the app will send you an alert indicating that the conditions are outside your preset minimums.
For IFR pilots, finding an alternate airport during flight planning can be somewhat challenging. With the alternate airport selection Guide in the Garmin Pilot app, this task becomes relatively easier. If the route that you programmed into the app requires an alternate destination airport due to the forecast ceiling or visibility, then the app will give you the option to select a new one.
The Garmin Pilot app can be extremely useful to IFR pilots and general aviation pilots, especially with these features that flew under the radar. However, it’s still important to have regular aircraft maintenance, which includes fan trim balance testing, vibration analysis, and monitoring sky condition tolerance.
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