Released Oct 18, 2009
Seller: Heikki Julkunen
(C) 2008-2009 Heikki Julkunen
Price (as of 10/20/2009): $9.99
Rated 4+ as of 10/20/2009 on iTunes Store
Most general aviation pilots know how expensive true aviation-grade portable GPS systems can be. Garmin and Lowerance systems cost upwards of $2,000 for a decent one, even the seemingly awesome Bendix-King AV8OR costs around $700+. In my mind, those are ridiculous prices for the amount of functionality those devices provide. After experimenting with my Mio Personal Navigation Device for aviation use with some success, I was hopeful to find something just as useful on my iPhone. I’m very happy and excited to report about the SkyCharts app…truly a great little gem on the iPhone!
Granted, it’s no fully integrated electronic flight bag (EFB), but it does exactly what it claims to do… it puts your GPS position directly on top of the paper sectionals/charts you’ve grown to know and love. The first versions of the app did ONLY that, but the latest version added some flight planning capabilities as well.
One VERY important feature of this app is that you can cache the various charts to use while you don’t have a data/cellular signal. In other words, you can use this while flying (even though you aren’t supposed to – like any app). Furthermore, it now has a database of all U.S. airports, nav points, and fixes – all of which can be selected and routed direct-to. For each airport, it also will cache and display approach plates and airport diagrams. Overall, very useful stuff! The flight-planning is currently only 1 point direct-to lines, but future versions may include multiple waypoints. The development of this app has been moving quickly, so I wouldn’t be surprised if those features are included in the near future.
Overall, for $10 ($9.99 technically), it’s WELL worth the cost! I’ve used this MANY times in the air already, and think it’s a superb app. I HIGHLY recommend it! Check it out on iTunes here!