Garmin Flight-planning App Winging Its Way to the IPhone

The iPhone is my co-pilot? Maybe not exactly, but a forthcoming app should provide important aviation weather data, flight planning, and flight filing services for private pilots. Digital Cyclone, a subsidiary of GPS navigation company Garmin, plans to bring Pilot My-Cast to the App Store in September. The app will work on the iPhone and iPod touch for U.S. and Canadian-based subscribers.

Pilot My-Cast receives aviation information directly from providers such as the National Weather Service and the Federal Aviation Administration. The main focus of Pilot My-Cast is on aviation weather. Pilots will be able to see a map displaying current and predicted weather (based on METARs and TAFs) in pictorial format. In addition, pilots can watch satellite weather loops, check winds aloft reports, see lighting strike data, and browse a number of aviation data items, such as SIGMETs, AIRMETs, PIREPs, and NOTAMs.

Pilots will be able to create flight plans using Pilot My-Cast, and submit them to the aviation system (via DUATs) with a few taps. Pilot My-Cast will recall that last-used flight plan, so if you often fly the same route, submitting future trips will be simplified.

Pilot My-Cast includes the full contents of AOPA's Airport Directory, with information on over 5,300 airports. The iPhone version of the application will also include airport diagrams, as well as information on more than 7,000 providers of aviation services at the listed airports.

Digital Cyclone didn't disclose pricing in Monday's announcement. But on other mobile platforms, such as BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices, Pilot My-Cast costs $10 per month.

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