top by your favorite general aviation airport and you are likely to find pilots in a spirited discussion, defending the merits of low-wing versus high-wing airplanes, or north-up versus track-up on a moving-map display. It didn’t take long after the Wright brothers’ first flight for pilots to form strong opinions in aviation, and today you won’t find a more hotly debated topic than which iPad app is best for pilots: ForeFlight Mobile or Garmin Pilot. Aviation-app developers have come and gone since the iPad was released in 2010, and there are just a handful of single-solution apps used by pilots today, with ForeFlight and Garmin Pilot at the top of that list. The mission of both apps has also grown from electronic chart display to full flight planning and substituting as an integrated avionics system — and now they can do more than many certified avionics products. When you break it down, though, the real question you should be asking is which app is best for you. Both apps have all the features and capabilities to feel right at home in the cockpit of a student pilot learning to fly, while simultaneously meeting the needs of professional pilots flying turbine airplanes. They’ve also grown to offer international chart and trip support thanks to partnerships with Jeppesen and Eurocontrol.
Trip planning Airport/FBO data, preflight weather briefing, aircraft performance profiles, electronic nav log, Flight Service weather briefing, weather imagery, ICAO flight-plan support
Charts FAA VFR sectionals and TACs, IFR high- and low-altitude en route charts, terminal procedures, worldwide Jeppesen VFR/IFR en route and terminal procedures
In-flight navigation Digital flight instruments, synthetic vision, GPS-driven moving maps with geo-referenced charts and terrain awareness
Connectivity ADS-B weather, SiriusXM satellite weather and entertainment, integration with Garmin panel-mount avionics
Digital assistant Weight and balance, logbook, aircraft checklists, track logging and scratchpad