Electronic Flight Bags or EFBs are simply a digital replacement for the bag holding all your maps, charts, references and in-flight tools that you’ve been carrying around for years. Instead of a 50 pound bag of paper and equipment, you have a digital device that serves up all the information you need for safe flight.
EFBs have been under development for a number of years, but the technology exploded with the launch of Apple’s wildly successful iPad. For the first time you had a lightweight, user-friendly, touch-screen device that had, and this is critical, sufficient battery life to meet the needs of a working pilot.
A number of apps have been released to leverage the power of the iPad in the cockpit. We have a lot of experience with the ForeFlight product and have recently added the new Garmin Pilot. We have looked at other very capable programs, but have settled on these two as the industry leaders….which seems odd to state a day after the release of Garmin Pilot considering ForeFlight’s substantial user base. But we have to believe with Garmin’s industry clout, and the quality of the initial release, it will be a force to be reckoned with in the iPad EFB market.
Check out our overviews of both products, then take them for a test drive! Both offer a free 30-day evaluation period, more than adequate to get comfortable with their features and functionality. Once you do, your flight planning as well as your flying will be changed forever.