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ForeFlight upgrades terrain awareness

Enhanced weight and balance allows users to store data and visualize the center of gravity. Image courtesy of ForeFlight.

The new weight and balance tool lets users enter standard weights and saved loads, and it graphically depicts each airplane’s loaded weight and the position of its center of gravity. The new features were enabled March 22, when ForeFlight also increased subscription rates.

ForeFlight tested the new weight and balance feature for months with corporate flight departments, and the new release makes it available to individuals through an updated array of subscription tiers starting at a Basic Plus subscription that costs $120 annually.

“All customers will benefit from this new feature,” said Sam Taylor, a ForeFlight content marketing manager in Houston. “It’s better in pretty much every way than the one it replaces.”

ForeFlight customers with a premium Pro Plus subscription ($240 per year) will also be able to use cloud-based documents to integrate weight and balance calculations directly into their flight plans without duplicating steps. Customers also gain access to the Hazard Advisor at this price point.

The hazard advisor graphically illustrates high terrain and incorporates an “altitude slider” to help pilots visualize and plan routes through mountainous regions. Move the slider on the screen up and watch the shaded areas on the map change from red to yellow to green. Users will be able to tell at a glance how high they must fly to clear obstructions as well as the routes to follow.

“Pilots are accustomed to using our Hazard Advisor in flight,” Taylor said. “Now, it’s a powerful new tool for pre-flight planning as well.”

The highest subscription tier, Performance Plus ($360 per year), adds additional features including detailed aircraft performance profiles, 3D airport views, optimized autorouting, pre-departure clearance and D-ATIS, and FBO fuel orders and fuel releases, among others.

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