ForeFlight is a truly big improvement over all those paper charts, the CFS and Canada Air Pilot. Wow a pile of paper is replaced by your iPad! But there is at least one or two gotchas for pilots using ForeFlight in Canada.
One relates to Flight Service Station (FSS) information at some Canadian airports. The screen capture above shows the Flight Service Station (FSS) information for Ottawa’s Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (CYOW). I marked the problems with red arrows. At the first arrow we see “Radio 126.7”. Wrong! Canadian pilots likely know that FSS is unlikely to reply on 126.7, rather if you want to contact a FSS in the Ottawa area call Quebec Radio on 123.15 from CYOW or 123.37 from CYND. What is worse is the next red arrow points to another “Radio 123.5”, oops ForeFlight, you are wrong again! That frequency will not get you any FSS, rather it is Rockcliffe’s (CYRO) and Les Cedars’ Unicom frequency. So far ForeFlight has batted zero on FSS!
Also, ForeFlight fails to identify the call sign of the FSS by simply calling them Radio. Pilots need to know the call sign of the FSS e.g., “Quebec Radio” in the Ottawa area.
Now look at the next two red arrows, both pointing under the heading of Other Frequencies to FSS in the USA, specifically Burlington Radio. Oops ForeFlight, Ottawa is in Canada and we use Canadian FSS! These problems area at many Canadian airports. As well Mandatory Frequency (MF) locations, such as Gatineau (CYND) and Kingson (CYGK) are also shown poorly in ForeFlight, almost guaranteeing their MF status will be missed.
My second complaint is the suggestion that ForeFlight provides CFS information. Well, yes it does, but not all CFS entries are there. Staying with Ottawa, where are the CFS pages showing Ottawa Airspace and VFR call up points? Same is true for Kingston (CYGK). There are more CFS pages for most major airports than are shown in ForeFlight.
For that matter where are the CFS pages showing FIC and ATC frequencies and remote communication outlets? Can’t get to those using ForeFlight, or at least I can’t see how. Sure they show up by accident if you know which airport to check. Try looking for London FIC frequencies. It is there if you know to look up Chapeskie Field (CLC2). Why does it not show up under London (CYXU)? The CFS has an inch of chart supplement material dealing with obstructions etc. near the back. How do I get at that information in ForeFlight? I guess I still need to buy the CFS!
Not that there aren’t things to like about ForeFlight, it’s just too misleading, incomplete and potentially unsafe in Canada.