Ten essential websites for pilots

  1. Homebriefing. www.homebriefing.com. This English-language site from AustroControl lets you file flightplans online and get confirmation, slot status etc. via your mobile phone. It’s simple to use and costs 36 euros. I tend to file a flight plan via Homebriefing and then fax a courtesy copy to my departure airport and let them know it’s already been filed.
  2. Avbrief. www.avbrief.com. A comprehensive online weather briefing service for GA pilots. There is a basic free service but it’s worth getting the full service to get a one-stop shop for weather and notams. It costs £59.22 a year.
  3. Avbrief (for mobile phones). www.avbrief.com/pda/opmet.html. This is a free TAF/METAR lookup service that you can use on any phone with a web browser. It’s very, very quick and easy to use. Perfect for a quick check of the weather before departure or keeping an eye on the weather during a lunch break.
  4. YouTube. www.youtube.com. It’s not just for watching stupid comedy videos. There are loads of free, helpful flying videos such as this one from UND Aerospace showing how to fly Eights On Pylons. I found YouTube easier and cheaper than the King School CPL Flight Test DVD.
  5. The UK Aeronautical Information Service. www.ais.org.uk. This provides approach plates and airfield information for nearly all the airports in the UK. Free. I still use Jeppesen but this is a very useful resource for the occasional IMC pilot for example. I haven’t tried them myself, but you can buy individual airport plates from gCAP for 54p each on an as-needed basis.
  6. List of overseas AIS sites. http://www.sia.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/asp/ais.asp?idl=uk. Provides links to pretty much every national AIS which in turn should provide approach plates and aeronautical information. Of course, the format varies from country to country (which is why I use Jeppesen). But you can’t beat the price.
  7. CAA. List of CAA publications. You can download the latest LASORS guide, CAP 413 Radiotelepony Manual, CAP 694 UK Flight Planning Guide and all the GASIL safety booklets. Free. Get them quick before the CAA starts charging for this service too.
  8. azworldairports.com. http://azworldairports.com. This free site provides basic airport information and contact details for thousands of airports around the world. I find it very useful if I want to get the website or handling agent for a foreign airport.
  9. Les aéroports français. www.aeroport.fr. Very helpful for tracking down information about French airports, such as opening hours and customs facilities. Of course, they’ll be at lunch when you get there.
  10. Sunrise and sunset calculator. goFLYING [Update 16.9.12 Site closed]. Very handy and easy to use.

One Response to Ten essential websites for pilots

  1. Angela June 11, 2008 at 20:11 #

    Seen YAWS? No you couldn't have as you recommend avbrief!

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