I started using FltPlan.com several years ago when I started flying bigger faster equipment. I wish someone would have told me about it when I had started flying IFR. FltPlan.com is a web based tool that I use every time I file an IFR flight plan and sometimes just for helping me plan my VFR flights, if they are over 100 miles. FltPlan.com isn’t the sexiest website on the internet today, they don’t employ a bunch of nice graphics or photos of supersonic jets, but it is an incredibly powerful tool.
The biggest reason for using FltPlan.com every time I file an IFR flight plan is because I’m lazy when it comes to planning. I really don’t want to pull out a paper chart and study it for hours to see what route I should take. I go online, login, give it my departure and arrival airports and voila, there are all tons of flight plans already in the system. They give you user planned routes, recent ATC routes and other ATC routes between the two points you’ve chosen. Not only do they give you routes but they also give you the date of the flight plan and the aircraft that filed it. I go to the list, look for an aircraft in a similar category and then check to see what ATC is handing out. Chances are if I try to figure out my own route out of busy Southern California airspace, approach is going to give me what works for them anyway. Why buck the system? If several of the last planes to fly my desired route got the same flight plan from ATC, I file it and that’s almost always what I get.
Not only is FltPlan.com a great tool for filing flight plans but it’s a great tool for weather. They have integrated the wind information into the flight plan so when you choose an altitude for your flight, they will provide alternate available altitudes averaging the winds and fuel burn for the aircraft you’re flying. Using this tool really saves time on planning best cruising altitude factoring in winds and fuel burn. I’ve found it to be a very valuable tool for planning.
FltPlan.com Mobile App
After filing the flight plan I can then go to the FltPlan.com app on my Ipad and download the filed flight plan and the weather and notams for my route of flight. I can choose to save this information for offline viewing and I’m set with the majority of my pre flight planning. There are a ton of available tools on the mobile app but the only one I really use is Navlogs & WX. There is a weight and balance widget but I use a different app for W&B. There is a logbook widget but I use Logten Pro. The conclusion is, FltPlan.com if used for nothing else, is a great tool for just filing flight plans. To top it off, it’s free just create a login and setup your airplanes.