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Currently I am a student pilot in Spain (Barcelona) and I am 2 days away from my solo. I wanted to ask if there is any good application that will help me on VFR navigation since I'm allowed to go to all Barcelona in my solo, but I am afraid if I get lost I see my self weak in VFR flights and specially to locate my position so any good app in the iPhone device that will help me in navigation because I want to visit the whole Barcelona and not just staying at places that I know because I will get bored for sure.

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    $\begingroup$ If you get lost then I can guarantee you will immediately stop being bored :-) Seriously, this is a question for your flight instructor. He should only allow you to fly in conditions that you're properly trained and competent in, and if you are weak in navigation then you should fix that first with him. An app by itself won't help you navigate any better unless you know how to use it. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Mar 16 '16 at 18:40
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    $\begingroup$ If you can't be safe without an app, then you are not ready to do what you are planning to do. You should tell this to your instructor. Your first solo is not a time to go sight seeing, and if you think your first solo will be boring, then you should think about why you want to fly. $\endgroup$ – Simon Mar 16 '16 at 18:42
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    $\begingroup$ "I want to visit the whole Barcelona" - Don't be this guy $\endgroup$ – Dan Hulme Mar 16 '16 at 18:58
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    $\begingroup$ There is a difference between flying solo and your first solo. Which are you asking about? Your first solo should ONLY be circuits. If your instructor tells you different, then ask why. If you are asking about solo flying before you qualify, you should be only be doing flights you have planned 100%. Do not use an app, or start random sight seeing until at least you have passed your exam. Learn to fly with a map, a watch and a compass first. Then think about GPS and apps. "Plan the fly" and "fly the plan". Too many dead pilots didn't listen to advice. Please don't be one of them. $\endgroup$ – Simon Mar 16 '16 at 19:10
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure I understand the downvote here. This question is based on what a pilot is planning to do. While the title question is too broad, he narrows it down in the body. His plan, as stated, may be a bad one, but that doesn't make the question bad. $\endgroup$ – CGCampbell Mar 17 '16 at 14:10
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No, there is no "app" you should be seeking at this stage of your training to do what you're asking about.

First, if you have questions about what you'll be doing while you're flying solo and how you'll be navigating, you should be discussing this with your instructor, not on an internet message board.

Second, whatever tools you'll use in flight need to be ones that you've used under supervision of an instructor, so that you understand how to use them, and what their limitations are. Student solo flying is NOT the time to go exploring technology and apps you've not used before, in addition to the full-time tasks of maintaining aircraft control, aviating, navigating, and communicating. Too many dead pilots got focused on some technological toy and, without realizing it, lost situational awareness and/or control of their aircraft.

Third, before you are navigating anywhere solo, you need to be able to (and demonstrate to your instructor that you can) navigate successfully with the tools you have -- a map, compass, stopwatch, and the pre-flight planning you've done. If you don't feel up to that task (which has been all of us early on in our training -- nobody is born with a built-in INS), work on those skills with an instructor. Navigation apps are fine, but they supplement, rather than substitute for, your own skills when it comes to VFR navigation.

Fourth, the fact that you would come here to pose such a question, rather than to your instructor, is troublesome: you want an app that can enable you to go off on adventures sightseeing all of Barcelona, but you aren't discussing these plans with your instructor... perhaps he might not approve of all that you're planning? Perhaps, maybe, you should limit your expectations of how much adventuring & exploring you'll undertake initially, and have a more complete discussion with your instructor of what you are, and are not, expected to do when, or if, you are signed off to solo. (As stated in comments, the initial solo is typically pattern work only, rather than navigation.)

Flying is about far more than aircraft control; it is a matter of judgement as well, and the difference between sound judgement and the lack of same can make the difference between a successful or a catastrophic outcome of a flight, at least as much as the difference between great and mediocre "stick & rudder" skills.

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Please don't do something that you are not used to do at your first solo. First solo is always something you are waiting for, may be from the first day of your flying. So,I hope, it will not be that boring. It is not a good idea at all to depend upon a app when you are flying your 1st VFR solo. Please take enough preparation considering the terrain around your flying areas/routes. Search in Google map/earth to be very specific. Take enough preparation on the use of radio aids and diversion procedures. Be confident about emergencies. And, enjoy your solo. Good luck!!! Have a safe flight.

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  • $\begingroup$ yep you are totaly right i agree with you but what i mean is for my others solo not the first one of course, i will prepare everything as you sais of course! just i tought that it will be always good to use a backup to track my progress and make sure i'm in the right path this why i asked for a navigation app maybe some of the Private Pilot are using them to choose the best one. Thank you :) $\endgroup$ – walid naceri Mar 16 '16 at 19:39
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    $\begingroup$ Google Maps is not a flight planning tool. To check the terrain clearances and controlled airspaces you need to use the map issued by your country's civil aviation authority. This will probably be a paper map in early navigation flights. $\endgroup$ – Dan Hulme Mar 16 '16 at 21:20
  • $\begingroup$ Yes Google map is not a flight planning tool.. but u should understand that in charts only the obstacles are maked with height.. you can check those in google to have visual understanding.. Thats what I did mean @ Dan Hulme $\endgroup$ – Mirajul.Pias Mar 16 '16 at 21:26
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In a solo, you shouldn't be doing anything you haven't already done with an instructor onboard, but without his assistance. If you haven't navigated the trip you plan to fly solo yet without your instructor doing the navigation for you, then you aren't ready to solo.

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