In 2009, iFlightPlanner Co-founder and Director of Business Development Andy Matthews was working on getting his pilot’s license. On the day of a training flight with his father and an instructor, Andy’s takeoff was delayed by an FAA ramp check. The experience was frustrating. Andy and his father spent more than an hour preparing for the flight the evening before, yet they didn’t have an efficient way to show their work. The idea of creating a better flight planning tool for pilots was born.

Andy turned to his former University of Michigan roommate, John Burnside, an experienced web developer. The two of them founded iFlightPlanner and launched its website in 2010. An iOS app soon followed.

iFlightPlannBaron’s aviation weather services help iFlightPlanner users to stay safe from perilous weather events.
iFlightPlanner helps U.S. pilots build better flight plans from any device. Baron’s aviation weather services help iFlightPlanner users to stay safe from perilous weather events.

Aviation Weather Services and Flight Paths

The app and website provide a single solution for use before, during, and after a flight. Users can plan flight routes with aviation charts, access aviation weather services, close FAA flight plans, get airport and facility information, and more.

John and Andy knew aviation weather services and the resulting weather data would be a vital aspect of the quality of the iFlightPlanner products.

“It was one of the first things we looked at. Where do we obtain weather data? Not only raw data we might use behind the scenes for calculations but also visual data,” John recalled.

New App, New Goals

When the company rolled out a new app, John and Andy wanted it to display weather imagery to match what was available on the web platform — something their weather vendor couldn’t deliver. iFlightPlanner searched for a company with a comprehensive catalog of products, that would enable the display of the same weather images on web and mobile platforms and provide the flexibility to create a customized package. Baron was the vendor that provided quality aviation weather services and checked all the boxes.

“We needed a pricing model that would be affordable but allow us to scale as our growth scaled. Baron was more than willing to help shape something to do that. That was huge, having high-quality products and the personal level of support. They worked with us to create a package that makes sense for our business instead of a one-size-fits-all pricing model.”

-- John Burnside, Co-Founder of iFlightPlanner

iFlightPlanner or iFlightPlanner for AOPA current and accurate data via Baron’s aviation weather services.
Anytime users access iFlightPlanner or iFlightPlanner for AOPA from their desktop, laptop, or smartphone browser, they can be confident of seeing the most current and accurate data available – especially regarding Baron’s aviation weather services.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

iFlightPlanner and Baron have assembled packages to meet aviators’ needs best. Products integrated into their software include:

  • High-resolution Visible Satellite
  • High-resolution Infrared Satellite
  • Winds and Temperatures Aloft
  • Significant Weather Charts

Baron weather data can be displayed as a map layer on the iFlightPlanner platforms, giving pilots a visual of the weather conditions they will encounter during a flight.

“If we can paint an obvious picture for a pilot of what their flight is going to look like and what the forecasted conditions are going to be, it raises that confidence in the safe operations of the flight,” said Andy. “What we display and what Baron makes readily available is the composite (radar) image instead of just the base (radar) imagery. You lose visibility (of weather conditions) if you’re not using the composite. To paint that full picture and not leave anything up to chance is always really helpful.”

Baron products meet the specific display requirements of iFlightPlanner’s web and mobile platforms. As the company grows, it will continue to rely on Baron to provide all the aviation weather services needed to meet customer demands.

“We’re good at what we do from a technology and aviation perspective, and Baron is the best as far as we’re concerned in creating these weather products,” said Andy. “We’re never going to get into the business of creating weather products, so having a partnership like this is fantastic.”