The pilot and his family arrive on the tarmac, excited for a quick trip to see extended family. Everyone settles in. His wife and kids make their way to the cabin while he enters the cockpit. He verifies the flight plan he previously filed and confirms weather along the way.
All checks — everything is set for flight.
Once at altitude, the pilot uses the onboard connectivity to double-check his ForeFlight app, which he uses as backup for weather and planning. He had completed an initial download on the ground, but inflight Wi-Fi boosts ForeFlight's map, weather, and flight planning features and provides new data as soon as it's issued.
The pilot notes a change trend in Redmond's weather forecast.
Mid-flight something goes awry with the integrated weather data on the cockpit displays. The pilot suspects a hardware issue. Back to ForeFlight via Wi-Fi, which provides seamless redundancy.
The pilot and his wife learn via text that a family member has been rushed to the hospital in Eugene, OR. Eugene is 126 miles from Redmond and on the other side of a snowy pass. If they land in Redmond, they�ll face a delay of hours or days, depending on the conditions of the pass and their energy for the drive.
The pilot contacts air traffic control, describes the need to deviate from the filed flight plan, and files a new one for EUG. At the same time, he brings up FltPlan Go to double-check fuel and range numbers, and re-evaluate weight and balance.
His wife has gone online and reserved a car in Eugene. They also found an unusually good last-minute deal on a hotel, using their favorite booking site.
Remembering the rapid rate of change in Oregon weather, the pilot accesses the ATIS on his iPad, even though he is still outside radio range of EUG. This provides information about active runways and directions, allows him a favorable position in the pattern, and saves time and fuel.
Touchdown in the gentle Willamette Valley rain. A storm is on its way in from the north, but it hasn�t arrived yet.
Despite the system failure, changing weather, and the need for a diversion, the aircraft lands at EUG almost as promptly as if Eugene had been its original destination. With onboard Wi-Fi, the pilot has resolved several surprises and the connectivity technology has proven itself once again.
Most importantly: A car is waiting for him and his family, and light traffic means the hospital is just 17 minutes away.
(They checked that, too.)