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You think planning a VFR flight is quite a challenge? You're quite right; to do it properly requires a lot of work and thought - nothing easy about that. But luckily, we can help you make it easier! Below we'll explain how we think our EasyVFR app can do that for you. If you need more in-depth information on working with EasyVFR, please check out the Tutorials & Videos section!
EasyVFR is available for Windows 7 & 8, iOS and Android and can be purchased for the platform of your choice. With our Frequent Flyer Membership (FFM) subscription you can even use it on ALL platforms and make it talk to PocketFMS Desktop as well.
EasyVFR combines the power of your device's built-in GPS receiver and the PocketFMS AeroDatabase to continuously show your position and the airspaces in your vicinity - and warns you if you get too close. Reliable airspace information is available at the tap of a finger, while the dashboard constantly provides you with valuable GPS flight information.
EasyVFR can adjust flawlessly on all screen sizes, resolutions and orientations. Via a user-selectable “magnification level”, users can set up font- and object sizes to their liking. This means no more fiddling with small buttons and difficult to read text in the cockpit; your attention should never deviate from flying. An example of an iPad Mini configured for two types of operations:
|iPad Mini on low magnification||iPad Mini on higher magnification.|
EasyVFR uses PocketFMS AeroData, widely considered being the most complete available. Many systems only use AIP data, and so miss out on many details like glider fields, heliports, ultralight strips and various other aerial activity areas. Obstacle data is maintained in unprecedented detail. Try to find this AeroData detail in any other product.
Approach plates as found in the AIP are included. In fact, pretty much all of the AIP is included! The majority of VFR plates are even georeferenced, meaning that EasyVFR will place the plate over the Moving Map - you can now follow the pattern with machine precision! The plates will automatically get updated.
|Setting up a flight plan has never been easier. Simply tap & hold on the departure location, select the airfield and click Depart.|
|Do the same for the destination, and click Arrive.|
|No more stress with rubberbanding in rough air conditions! Although EasyVFR allows rubberbanding of flight plan legs we wanted to end the irritation of accidentally releasing the rubber band at the wrong location due to some bump in the air. To solve this, EasyVFR can do smart Auto-Insert.|
|Simply tap & hold on the location where you want to rubberband to. Pick one of the items nearby the location you clicked, or select the pin to select the exact tapped location and then choose [Insert Auto].|
|Done flight planning?
You can file your ATC flight plan from within EasyVFR with just a few clicks via our cooperation with Rocket Route - no charge at all if you have a Frequent Flyer Membership (FFM) with us!
More details on flight planning with EasyVFR are in the Tutorials & Videos section.
Simply open the FlightPlan Tab (FP) by tapping on it. There, for each leg in your FlightPlan an item “Airspaces Crossed” is listed. BTW, the items you want to see for each leg are configurable using [Choose layout].
A detailed list of the exact airspaces can be seen by simply tapping on the green “Airspaces crossed” text. You can even have EasyVFR automatically avoid certain airspaces!
Click the button to the left of the airspace description to highlight that airspace on the map.
Another way of viewing the airspaces crossed is using the Vertical Profile View (VPV). Note that the obstacles are displayed to scale so you instantly see if they pose a threat!
Winds aloft data for various altitudes tell the effect of flight plan times instantly.
EasyVFR makes it extremely easy to plan trips from A to B and have it take into account:
|Staying clear of airfield circuit areas|
|Staying clear of any unwanted airspace.|
Planning a long route has never been easier! Simply create a new FlightPlan with your departure and arrival airfield set. Tap the [Auto Routing] button, tell EasyVFR the limitations and allow it to do its job. It takes only minutes what normally could take hours of preparation.
If you're interested, here's more information on Auto Routing.
EasyVFR allows to produce and print NavLogs, Enroute Airspace briefings with frequencies, Weather briefings and NOTAM briefings using the [Docs & NavLogs] button on the FlightPlan Tab. Using the unique EasyPrint feature, the application enables the user to print all these documents on any printer available! Whether you're at home, at the flight club or stranded at a remote grass strip with only a simple computer & printer connected to the internet, the paperwork can be printed. Although 100% glass cockpits are becoming more and more common, smart pilots still want the paperwork printed if only just in case the Ramp Check Officer isn't as modern as expected – or as a safety backup, of course.
EasyVFR has a very advanced yet easy to use Weather Information System (WIS). Using automatic decoding of METARs and TAFs into (NATO) color codes it is very easy to determine VFR conditions along the route at various times. It is very convenient to play with forecast times to see if weather improves or deteriorates during the day, or to see if you can save the day by simply planning a weather pause halfway down your trip to allow the adverse WX to clear. Together with our advanced European Weather Data (EurWX) a wealth of weather reporting and forecast information is at your fingertips.
See the weather conditions along your route instantaneously.
Adjust forecast time up to 72 hours in 1 hour steps ahead to see the weather effect on your route. On the map, the NATO color codings are painted as circles. Cloud base forecasts are drawn and significant weather like fog, rain, mist, snow etc are visualized.Interested to find out more on working with EasyVFR's WX system?
This might sound familiar: You're planning a trip for the upcoming weekend, and part of the preparation is reading the NOTAMs for your route. Normally that would mean reading through page after page after page of NOTAMs to see if there is anything important to know. The mind-killing thing is you have to do it all over again on the day of departure! You have to go through the same stack of NOTAMs time and again to see if maybe some new NOTAM was inserted that you need to know about. Not necessary anymore with EasyVFR!
EasyVFR allows you to plan a route upfront and during that preparation it shows all related NOTAMs as text as well as graphically. The NOTAM information is taken directly from EuroControl via a secure server-to-server connection.
Would you like to know more about working with EasyVFR's NOTAM system?
The smart bit: each NOTAM listed has a [Less] button. When clicked, the NOTAM changes to a single-line entry only so the list becomes much less cluttered. But there is more: often as much as 95% of the NOTAMs are not relevant to your trip at any time, so when you click [Less] not only does the NOTAM text collapse to one line only, during 5 seconds that same button changes to [Hide]. When you click this [Hide] button then this entire NOTAM is permanently hidden from the list! The number in the caption of the "Reset hidden NOTAMs" button will increase by one:
From then on that NOTAM won't be shown again, unless you click on the [xxx NOTAMs] Reset Hidden NOTAMs button.
So when you have worked through the stack of NOTAM pages at the beginning of the week while preparing for this weekend flight, on the actual day of flying you will only see *new* NOTAMs created from the date you worked through this EasyVFR NOTAM list. Rather than reading the whole NOTAM list again, it's only a few new NOTAMs to read on the day of departure. Because EasyVFR will conveniently display NOTAMs that were created the last 24 hours on top of the list and in a different color, the chance of missing an important NOTAM is greatly reduced.
Thanks to the EasyPrint feature, you can conveniently print this NOTAM briefing. The previously hidden NOTAMs are printed on a separate area so a complete NOTAM briefing is always available.
Planning through and flying in high terrain can be a tasking exercise; EasyVFR gives some unique tools to make life easier dealing with terrain questions. First the standard PocketFMS Basemaps are not only hypsometric (meaning different terrain elevations get different colors) but are also using shaded relief, so it's much easier to recognize the terrain structure.
EasyVFR can even automatically avoid terrain higher than the elevation you specify!
As a second tool during planning, EasyVFR uses relative terrain coloring. During flight, relative terrain coloring paints the map red if the clearance between your flight altitude and the terrain is 500ft or less, and yellow if the clearance is less than 1000ft.
The same trick can be used during planning: when not in flying mode, using the GPS altitude calibration button sets the simulated terrain elevation. For example, if the GPS altitude calibration button is set to 3500ft, it is very easy to find low-terrain passes during planning. When the app switches to flying mode, the simulated altitude will be removed and actual GPS altitude is used to depict relative terrain. During planning, the Auto Routing feature can be used to automatically re-route a FlightPlan to avoid terrain higher than a preset given elevation.
The most significant advantage of the relative terrain coloring compared to the Vertical Profile View (VPV) is that it becomes instantly clear if there are low-terrain escape routes to the left or ride side of your flight path.
Vertical Profile View tells us there's high terrain ahead - Is there an escape?! Yes, there is! Thanks to relative terrain there is no stress, just steer a little to the left and we're safe.
Last but not least, the relative terrain coloring also works in the 3D look-ahead mode.
The default EasyVFR Basemaps are charts that are highly detailed representations of vector based features. Besides these free Basemaps there are also digitized raster charts available from various National Governmental sources. EasyVFR can be equipped with amongst others the following charts:
|Austria Visual 500 (DFS)|
|Denmark Visual 500 (DFS)|
|France OACI (IGN)|
|Germany ICAO (DFS)|
|Swiss ICAO (SkyGuide)|
|Swiss Visual 500 (DFS)|
|West Poland Visual 500 (DFS)|
Expected soon are USA sectionals.
The PocketFMS team can also render any specialized raster or vector based chart data into a format usable by EasyVFR. For special projects requiring specialized or dedicated Basemaps please contact the PocketFMS Foundation. Here's an example of a special project rendered Basemap.