Picture This: Fly Your Pattern in PreFlight Planning

Flight planners found on the Internet all have their own special niche. Some are designed to cater to the jet-set, and others are just a little more than scanned sectional or en route charts with weather information superimposed upon them. The best of them are anything but free (and I'm not complaining, because a well-designed flight planning system is a joy to work with). FlyThePattern.com aspires to give the pilot one more option: a one-stop resource for basic airport information, fuel prices, weather (piped in from AOPA's powerful weather planning platform) and something other flight planners don't have; videos of the view of the terrain in the landing pattern.

Now, as a flat-lander, most airports I land at are pretty easy to pick out of the surrounding scenery and afford plenty of clear area for flying the pattern. But when I travel away from the relative security of what I know, I find that having a picture of my destination airport in my preflight arsenal is invaluable. It didn't take long to convince me that a video of the landing pattern was even better.

FlyThePattern.com is a membership-based web site and, yes, there are ads. But the information is free in exchange for your sign-up. Want to know more? Visit www.FlyThePattern.com.

Contributing Editor Amy Laboda is a freelance writer and editor of Aviation for Women magazine. She's an ATP-rated pilot and instrument and multi-engine Flight Instructor with a passion for teaching and flying in light aircraft. Her steady rides these days are a 18-year old Kitfox IV and a fresh Van's RV-10.

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