(December 2011) Airguide Publications recently upgraded its Flight Guide app, aiming toward making it a real competitor against better-known charting and airport information systems for the iPad. Larry Garcia, who owns Airguide Publications with his wife, Cindy, claims the app became the first to display real-time traffic using Zaon’s PCAS XRX portable collision avoidance system, which can be purchased from Zaon for $1,495.
The Los Angeles basin was the perfect area to try out the new traffic feature. While I’ve flown extensively using TCAS with panel-installed avionics, seeing the diamond-shape traffic icons on the iPad was as cool as seeing the icons for the first time. The app displays airplanes within a six-mile radius, and with the track-up feature, the airplanes were easy to spot. From what I could tell during my flight, the location, the relative altitude and the ascent or descent arrows appeared to be accurate.
As great as the traffic feature is, where the app really shines is in the airport information section. Airguide Publications has amassed airport data for more than 50 years, and Flight Guide has nearly 5,000 airports in its database. Airport diagrams include the location and information on local businesses, including phone numbers and services provided. Flight Guide also shows a graphical representation of right-hand traffic patterns.
The airport page includes frequencies, traffic pattern altitudes, recreational information and detailed flight operational information, such as noise abatement procedures and arrival and departure procedures.
Each airport contains a menu of charts, including Flight Guide’s unique Class B, C and D maps, special airspace information and VFR planning pages, which can make life easier in busy airspace environments. These diagrams include VFR reporting points, some with a graphical representation.
Instrument charts are also available for IFR subscribers. Flight Guide uses the government-published charts, and once an instrument approach is selected, the plan view overlays onto the base chart. The overlaid plan view is useful, particularly with the georeferenced airplane icon. Flight data and flight planning are also available.
With the exception of the charts, which update every 28 days, all the information in Flight Guide updates continuously with a Wi-Fi connection.
Flight Guide’s iEFB subscriptions range from $9.95 to $19.95 per month with discounts available for annual subscriptions. Georeferencing requires an external GPS. Airguide Publications’ WAAS-capable Fly-Wi GPS unit, which is required to link the Zaon traffic unit to the app, is $299.
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