When I think of a successful product, it’s often interesting to take time and research how the product was developed. With a lot of upgrades coming to Garmin Pilot recently, it’s quite interesting how it evolved. Many of you may know that Garmin Pilot started out as Pilot My-Cast in 2002, at a time when phone applications were looming on the horizon. Recognizing the impact weather has on day-to-day flight operations and seeing a need for pre-flight weather briefing on the go, the first application to display weather information over a route of flight was born. Further adding to the credibility of Garmin Pilot, those behind the development are not just software engineers, but meteorologists and pilots.
So how does Garmin Pilot’s rich history relate to its recent upgrades? Garmin Pilot 4.4 for iOS has taken the display of weather to the next level and now offers multi-layer map support. This feature enables pilots to overlay multiple weather products on top of their flight plan. Pilots can now gain an even better understanding of how the weather will impact their route of flight!
Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR’s) are now easier to identify, too. Using a color-coded display on Garmin Pilot, active TFR’s are displayed in red, future TFR’s will be yellow, and those in blue designate a stadium-specific TFR. Furthermore, the full text version of each TFR is now available, giving pilots the ability to fully-understand each restriction during and prior to it being active.
To assist our customers who are filing flight plans into and out of Washington D.C. airspace, Garmin Pilot now offers the ability to file into SFRA (Special Flight Rules Area) airspace. Within the ‘Trip Planning’ page, select ‘Type’ as it relates to the type of flight plan. Three types of flight plans will be available: VFR, IFR, and SFRA. Provide the appropriate entry or exit point within the SFRA flight plan and Garmin Pilot will do the rest!
Some helpful in-fight features have also been added in the upper-right hand corner of the main Garmin Pilot screen. Touch the ‘Tools’ icon to lock and adjust screen brightness, add an alert based on time or location, or utilize a stop watch. An alert such as ‘Switch fuel tanks’ every 30 minutes for example, will ensure nothing is overlooked while in flight. The stopwatch conveniently appears at the top center of the screen, allowing pilots to see elapsed time during a missed approach or hold without cluttering the display.
As Garmin Pilot continues to take flying to the next level, it’s no surprise those behind the development are software engineers, meteorologists, and pilots. When a product is used by its own developers in the cockpit, our customers can rest assured that Garmin Pilot will continue to be feature-rich for many years to come!