Aviators: how do you lookup navaids' A/FD pages in ForeFlight?
December 19, 2013 11:01 AM   Subscribe

ForeFlight is a great replacement for paper charts and the A/FD -- except when it comes to non-airports in the A/FD. How do you find information about a navaid that is not on an airport?

There is a lot of essential information about navaids in the A/FD -- not just service volumes, but also unusable sectors where the signal must not be used for navigation. Searching for the VOR name on the "Airports" section in ForeFlight does not find anything. Various internet searches have been fruitless. (I asked a couple of CFIs and they didn't know either.)

Example: the Manteca VOR (ECA) is under the entry for the Tracy airport. If I knew that, I could look it up; but I would naively expect it to be under Stockton, which is a larger airport and closer to boot.
posted by phliar to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
Oops, ECA is also mentioned on the Stockton airport page, so I guess navaids are also covered in nearby airports' entries (or perhaps if an approach at the airport uses the navaid?). But is there any way to find the entry for the navaid itself? I imagine there are VORs in sparsely populated areas that do not have an airport nearby.
posted by phliar at 11:10 AM on December 19, 2013

Have you tried emailing customer support at ForeFlight? They've been very responsive when I needed their assistance.

I don't have my iPad on me right now but I'll check it when I get home and see what I can figure out. Did you try tap-and-hold on the navaid on the map to bring up the info menu for what's under your finger?
posted by backseatpilot at 11:30 AM on December 19, 2013

I second both points of backseatpilot. Foreflight support normally gets back to me within an hour.

It's quite possible that the information is not available through Foreflight. FWIW, in my experience the AF/D information on usable sectors isn't very reliable. None of my pilot friends would bother looking it up other than as an exercise for their flight instructor or examiner, though I guess if you're going IFR without a GPS it would be a good idea.
posted by exogenous at 12:22 PM on December 19, 2013

Tap-and-hold brings up a list of nearby waypoints and navaids, and lets you add it to your current route, but nothing more. I'll try ForeFlight customer support.

In real life of course it's GPS all the way, but I'm getting ready for my commercial checkride -- I don't care about the reliability of the unusable sectors information etc., just how to find it! I think I'll be spending the big bucks on a paper A/FD (O the humanity!) for the checkride.
posted by phliar at 4:54 PM on December 19, 2013

Again FWIW, but that didn't even remotely come up on my commercial checkride. You sound like you're very prepared. Good luck!
posted by exogenous at 8:01 PM on December 19, 2013

You may want to consider downloading PDFs of the A/FDs like this one. I think GoodReader is the best PDF reader and it has direct download and Dropbox sync to make it easy to get documents. There may be a way to sideload it into Foreflight itself too.

I'd definitely bring a paper A/FD on the checkride.
posted by Nelson at 2:28 AM on December 20, 2013

Foreflight customer support did get back to me, and said there is no way to get "the" entry for an off-airport navaid. All nearby airports' entries will have the complete data for a navaid -- that's my story for the the checkride.

I'm going to mark this closed. Thanks all!
posted by phliar at 3:31 PM on January 18, 2014

(And, of course, paper A/FD and charts.)
posted by phliar at 3:32 PM on January 18, 2014

Another thing hard (or impossible?) to find in Foreflight came up in this post on the AOPA forum (membership required). Basically, there is something called the "Air Devil" departure out of KLOU that is in the AF/D but apparently not in Foreflight. Link to ATC tower letter on the departure. Departure procedure on page 399 of this copy of the AF/D.

I'm sure a few other airports have such oddities. I mentioned it to Foreflight support and they said "I will pass it along to the developers and we will keep it in mind as we plan for the future."
posted by exogenous at 11:56 AM on January 22, 2014

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