Wing Tips

Flight planning, whether for a short hop or a long haul can be gleaned from many sources. I always like talking to a briefer. It used to be they knew the ins and outs of the area. Now you just get what they’re interpreting off the computer. Anyway a warm, fuzzy voice can help dissect the wx issues.

Currently there are a number of flight planning products, for free, out on the web. I took on two programs just to see how easy, and supportive they can be. The two were Flightaware and navmonster.

FLIGHTAWARE:
This program seems to be geared more for the pro or IFR flight. You have to create a login profile before you start getting any info. That took a lot of rooting around, trying to remember all the details of my plane. Then before they would give me wx and flight routing they took for granted this flight would be filed. I don’t often file. The routing was also geared to standard routes without any field trips to places of interest or avoiding high
terrain. I suppose once you get familiar with this product, you can sail through all the hoops and ladders to get your info. Not a product I would go back to.

NAVMONSTER:
This is a great site. It’s easy, fast, you don’t have to have a NAV profile. Just type in departure point, destination and away you go. Their maps are great for wx, winds, and they have a radar loop. A chart with the winds aloft at different altitudes helps with altitude planning. There also is a listing of fuel prices in the vicinity of your route if you need a potty break and to pick up more fuel. A nice feature is the Tripkit which gives you everything plus the shopping list. It took no time for my brain to wrap around this one.



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