Norma Evans braved cool, breezy conditions in Lawrence, Kansas, on Oct. 11 to climb into the cockpit of a 1942 Boeing Stearman biplane. In so doing, she became the oldest person to take flight with the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation.
Rockwell Collins announced at the National Business Aviation Association’s annual convention in Orlando, Florida, on Oct. 15 that it is now offering Aireon space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) flight tracking to its business aviation customers. The flight tracking solution, a first for the company, resulted from the integration of Rockwell Collins’ ARINCDirect solution and FlightAware’s terrestrial ADS-B network.
When Hurricane Michael brought its Category 4 destructive force to bear on the Florida panhandle on Oct. 10, flattening a coastal town and inflicting cataclysmic damage elsewhere, quick work by pilots and other Floridians helped lessen the area’s immediate misery.
When Garmin bought Fltplan.com and the companion Fltplan Go apps, it seemed like a complementary pairing – one company has strength in mobile apps and panel avionics, the other has strength in online tools and handling services. At NBAA this week, Garmin announced the first step on its road to integrating the pieces, and as you would expect they are pursuing the most popular features first.
The most significant new feature, available in Garmin Pilot version 9.5, allows you to create a flight plan online at Fltplan.com and then see it in the app. This is basic but really powerful. Many pilots (especially in turbine airplanes) are fiercely loyal to Fltplan.com’s online planning tools but fly with a cockpit full of Garmin avionics; now the wall between the two has been knocked down.
First go to the Garmin Pilot app, tap the Menu button at the top left, then choose Settings. Then enter your Fltplan.com login credentials on the FltPlan.com settings page (the eigth option on the left). Finally, go to the Trip Planning tab and you’ll see any upcoming flights and all flights from the previous 48 hours.
You’ll notice a FltPlan.com icon underneath the route on the left side, indicating it was created online and not in the app. That’s important, because if you want to update the flight plan you’ll need to do it online at FltPlan.com and that requires an internet connection. We’d suggest you use this tool for preflight planning at home or at the FBO.
Once you’re ready to fly, tap the Activate button at the top right of the Trip Planning page and the route will be loaded onto the Map page. You can also load the route into Garmin avionics if the airplane has a FlightStream wireless link installed. So a typical flow might be: plan online at FltPlan.com, load into Garmin Pilot and activate the route, then send to the panel via FlightStream.
One other nice feature is the addition of FltPlan.com’s navlog to the app. This is another one of the site’s most popular features, since it packs almost all the essential information onto one easy-to-read page. From the Trip Planning page, tap NavLog and you’ll see the familiar layout. This can be viewed in full screen or shared via email, text and AirDrop.
The menu also includes a dedicated FltPlan.com option now. This is essentially a web browser built into the app, so you’ll need an internet connection for it to work. However, it’s a fast way to access all your flight plans and make any changes without leaving Garmin Pilot.
We expect to see more integration between Garmin Pilot and FltPlan.com in the near future. For now, version 9.5 of Garmin Pilot is available in the App Store.
Web-based flight planning platform iFlightPlanner announced a redesigned interface allowing users to plan detailed multi-leg flights from connected devices, and a partnership with an aviation solutions provider.
Washington, DCThe U.S. Department of Transportations Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investing $40.9 million in infrastructure for Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) in Greensboro, NC. The Agency is building a new, 180-foot-tall Air Traffic Control Tower.
The new control tower will accommodate up to eight positions for air traffic controllers in a 550- square-foot tower cab. A 15,650 square-foot base building will anchor the new tower. It will house the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) with up to 10 radar positions for air traffic controllers. It will be equipped with state-of-the-art automation and communications systems. The base building also will include administrative offices and a training classroom. Construction will begin in early 2019, and the FAA expects to commission the facility in early 2022.
The new tower will allow air traffic controllers to manage flights safely and efficiently at North Carolinas third busiest airport. Greensboro Tower controlled 84,600 flights, and the TRACON handled 155,000 radar operations in the 12 months ending on Sept. 1, 2018.
The FAA awarded the construction contract to Archer Western Construction, LLC, of Chicago, IL. The new facility will replace the existing 90-foot-tall tower that has been in operation since 1974.
Piper Aircraft reported some of its best aircraft sales figures since 2008 in the 2018 third quarter, noting expansion in its trainer and M-Class product lines and forecasting continued strong trainer sales driving positive fourth-quarter results.
The aviation app updates continue to roll out as we move into the fall flying season, with many adding support for the Stratus 3 ADS-B receiver and new feature enhancements. Here’s a quick roundup of what’s new in your favorite aviation app.
The biggest news from Aerovie is the addition of support for Stratus 3 ADS-B receiver. This allows you to use the popular portable accessory to view subscription-free traffic and weather in the app.
The update also addresses compatibility issues with older devices and iOS 12.
In addition to adding support for Stratus 3 over the summer (read more about that here), FltPlan Go also added a few helpful features. First, you can now open and close VFR flight plans right from the app. This is accessed from a new button in the map settings:
There are also new CRAFT and ATIS templates in the scratchpad to assist with in-flight note taking:
Along with the other apps mentioned here, FlyQ also added support for Stratus 3 in a recent update. The other big news in the app is the addition of Seattle Avionics’ new Slingshot database capability. This allows pilots flying with BendixKing xVue Touch to bring an iPad with FlyQ into the cockpit and update the system’s aviation databases, eliminating the hassle of updating SD cards manually.
What else is new in FlyQ:
Substantially faster performance
2X better battery life / lower device heat
ADS-B traffic tail numbers and detailed target info
iFly debuted a major release with version 10.3, adding lots of new capabilities. Most notably this adds a new sketch mode and runway advisor.
Sketch Mode gives pilots the flexibility of drawing and highlighting on maps, dedicated sketch sheets, plates and diagrams. The feature allows pilots to discard paper and pencil and use the tablet for quick notes, jotting down clearances, highlighting map areas or points of interest, drawing out planned taxi routes and anything else you can think of.
Another key feature is the new Runway Advisor. With the Runway Advisor feature, you have the ability to, at-a-glance, see the recommended runway based on winds. Runway Advisor calculates and displays the downwind and crosswind component for each runway, color-coded to help the pilot make a quick decision.
What else is new in iFly 10.3:
Integrated with Dynon SkyView: ADSB, AHRS, Flight Plan Sharing
Added “Bearing Final” instrument
Improved Flight Plan form layout, including cumulative values
Added “Fuel Stop” setting per landing, to control resetting fuel counter