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Living next to the airport

Citation Jet Aug 14, 2013

By JAMES J. PIEKLO

You know the type. They move next to a railroad track or an airport then immediately start complaining about the noise.

I happen to live directly under the flight path of Ocean City Municipal Airport (26N) in New Jersey, and I don’t mind the noise in the least. Our in-house VHF radio is tuned not only to the Ocean City Unicom, but also to our near-by “large” airport, Atlantic City International Airport (KACY).

Even since I can remember I wanted to fly. To this day I remember a doctor telling me that my eyes would never allow that happen.

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It is hard for a 6 year old to have his life-long ambition squelched. But that discouragement did not stop my interest in aviation and I became an avid model builder at least.

As luck would have it, I embarked on a career that in some respects is not very much different from aviation, the marine industry. I frequently would fanaticize I was flying a plane while steering a boat in the ocean or on the Intracoastal Waterway.

So, when we had the opportunity to purchase our home, the fact that it was lined up with the Ocean City runways actually was a bit of a selling point, although the water views also played a major role!

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Summer weekends are especially busy at Ocean City, as it is a shore resort community. I can spend hours on the deck with the radio tuned to our local frequency and binoculars close at hand to hear the planes departing and arriving.

For the most part 26N attracts small single and twin engine planes, although a frequent summer visitor is a Citation jet, which on landing probably is quieter than most of the single engine prop models coming in.

Citation Jet Aug 14, 2013

Occasionally we will have a helicopter drop by and last summer the highlight was a B-25 in town for our local air expo. I say highlight because it made two low passes over the house and I was able to get a few nice shots of the bird with its gear down.

B-25 Aug 14, 2013 #2

Many a summer evening is spent out our deck watching the Dolphin helicopters from the Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City as they practice their intercept techniques. Boy, that looks like fun!

One of the items on my to-do list is to take a trip on a Waco biplane that gives rides during the summer months. I don’t know if I would go for the aerobatic ride, but the fact that the plane usually goes right over our home would provide an opportunity for some super aerial shots of the domicile.

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So, there you have it pilots. The next time you land or take off from 26N, chances are there will be this guy down on the ground listening to your radio communications and/or watching you through the binoculars, all the while wishing he was up there with you.

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comLiving next to the airport

AirDog Drones to Film UK Watersports Competition

It’s not often/ever that autonomous drones take the lead in filming sporting events, but that’s exactly what’s going to happen tomorrow in Berkshire, England. Plastic Playground, a watersports competition running from the 11th to the 17th of July, will be filmed from above by a fleet of AirDog drones, as the Latvian company seeks to […]

The post AirDog Drones to Film UK Watersports Competition appeared first on DRONELIFE.

Source: Quadcopter/Drone newsAirDog Drones to Film UK Watersports Competition

The student pilot’s guide to getting started with an iPad

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Editor’s note: This post is a guest editorial by J.C. Mayerle, a recently certified Recreational Pilot. He offers valuable insight on key things student pilots should consider when using an iPad as a student pilot.

sportys2016Welcome to flight training!

This is your beginner’s guide to learning to fly with an iPad as your primary source of aviation data and charts. You’ve come to the right spot if you’re a student pilot who has decided to get started with the the iPad, which in my opinion is the best modern advancement in aviation since the autopilot. There are a plethora of options for your iPad, some inexpensive and some require you to eat Ramen for a couple months. As a student pilot however, you need just enough to aid your training without adding additional complications or distractions.

I recently completed the first phase of my training by earning my Recreational Pilot’s license. It’s an amazing feeling of accomplishment and pride to complete your flight training goal. Along the way you’ll learn a lot about what you need and don’t need. Before you go flying with an iPad for the first time, here are some suggestions on what you should do first and be prepared for.

Which iPad should I buy?

Starting off, the question I hear most is “Which iPad should I buy?” Well here’s what you should consider.

New vs. used iPad

three-ipad-models2Electronics have only so many years before the hardware inside them can’t keep up with the demand that new apps require. Eventually they’ll run slow, and that’s an unfortunate fact of life. For that reason I recommend buying a new iPad and getting a good 3 to 5 years out of it rather than just get by with a used one that will only last 1 or 2 years.

Internal memory

16GB is the smallest size available currently. Some day that will have to change because it’s already just too small. 64GB is a safe place; the last thing you want to be doing when flight planning is deleting files off your iPad so you can make room to download more sectional charts. Don’t limit yourself, get a 64GB or higher.

Cellular data vs. WiFi only

Having the ability to use cell data instead of WiFi only on your iPad is a luxury that I was able to live without. Shocking I know, but in a pinch if you absolutely need data on the iPad and you’re not in WiFi you could use the cellular hotspot on your iPhone to connect the iPad. It’s easy, handy and saves you about $130 plus monthly fees on the cost of your iPad.

Size matters: Mini, 9.7” or 12.9” iPad Pro

Personally I fly with a Mini iPad 4 and wouldn’t have it any other way. But I’ve also talked to just as many pilots who swear by the 9.7” version. It’s really a personal preference and depends on the size of the cockpit in your training airplane and flight control configuration.  There are several more variables to cover on this one, so I’d suggest you check out this article on The best iPad for Pilots for some additional insight to help you decide.

Staying legal

Next let’s talk about EFBs, which is short for Electronic Flight Bags. The first thing that you should know is that having an EFB with current digital charts is a legal replacement for paper charts in the cockpit. An EFB is the iPad or Android tablet you’re navigating with and has an EFB app installed with the current, up-to-date FAA charts required for the flight. So to reiterate that very important jargon, if you have your iPad up-to-date with the most recent charts needed then legally you’re not required to have any paper charts with you. Hallelujah, it’s a wonderful thing when the government recognizes the century of which we live in, isn’t it?

There’s one catch I’ve learned, though. Not having any paper charts in your flight bag will give the nearest 60 year old pilot chest pains; and we don’t want that. They’ve got great stories and we like hearing those. So I recommend spending the couple bucks on your local sectional and having it with you just in case. Bonus points for a Chart Supplement (formerly known as the A/FD).

For a compressive review of the legalities related to the iPad, check out the iPad Legal Briefing for pilots.

Choose an EFB app

Garmin Pilot split screenNext you’ll need an EFB app to download and display the FAA charts. There are many options available for pilots and choosing one can be a daunting task. When it comes to apps, my favorite is ForeFlight. I find it’s the easiest to use and most intuitive at displaying the important information. Garmin Pilot is my runner up, and it’s a close second. Garmin’s app is designed to feel familiar to pilots who are used to flying with some form of Garmin panel-mount GPS or G1000. Since I was unfamiliar with this line of avionics, the Garmin app didn’t appeal to me. I think that the layout was optimized to transition pilots comfortably from GPS to iPad, so if that sounds like you, start with Garmin Pilot.

Choosing the app you like best is more easily done than read. Both of these apps and others offer 30 day free trial periods so you can fly with it and decide for yourself. I highly recommend doing that. You’ll notice that most of these apps offer both a basic version, and then a more-capable “Pro” version. Starting out you can’t go wrong with buying the less expensive version, and then upgrade down the road when you’re able to take advantage of some of the more advanced features.

While you’re testing out these apps you need to make sure you’re familiar enough with them to confidently use them in flight. Ask your buddies for tips, watch some YouTube videos, or visit the apps section of iPad Pilot News for the latest news about aviation apps.

iPad accessories

GPS receiver

dualipadgpsOn to GPS. Now that you’ve got an iPad and a favorite EFB app, you should buy yourself an iPad GPS to display your position on the charts during flight. Some of you might be considering the cellular version of the iPads has a built in GPS. This article explains all about it. Personally, I use an external GPS. My little hundred dollar Dual GPS connects to my iPad via bluetooth and has yet to fail me on the job. If you’re just getting started flight training then you really don’t need an expensive GPS. For more information about iPad GPS, check out this article on choosing the right GPS.

ADS-B receiver

The next step up from a dedicated GPS is a portable ADS-B receiver, which will allow you to view free datalink weather (radar imagery, METARs, TAFs and more) in your favorite app while in flight. ADS-B is really the only cost-effective way to get weather on an iPad in the airplane, since you won’t have internet access up at altitude. These can range anywhere from $500 up to $900, and also provide traffic, GPS position and a backup attitude display, in addition to inflight weather.

If you’re on a budget it’s ok to stick with just a basic GPS when getting started, but you’ll probably want one of these ADS-B receivers eventually, especially when going on longer cross-countries or working on an instrument rating. Here’s a good article giving an in-depth overview of portable ADS-B receivers.

iPad mounting

Kneeboard iPad air writing smallWhere do you plan to keep the iPad when you’re flying? Mounting options for the iPad essentially break down to two groups–mount it on the plane or mount it on your leg. Your first time flying with the iPad will be a little less organized. It does take practice to make the iPad do what you want when you want it. But as a student pilot, flying the plane is your first priority. Suction cup mounts and yoke mounts are a great option to place the iPad right in your view. But is could be too easy to stare at the iPad for 30 seconds and now who’s flying the airplane?

A good kneeboard puts the ipad at your fingertips without being in your scan. Just remember that altitude, airspeed and heading are most important to you and try not to bury your head in the iPad during flight. Once you’re used to it, having an iPad will greatly speed up the time looking at charts so you can focus on flying more. Try out a kneeboard and I’m betting you’ll be hooked. Here’s a good iPad mounting guide to get you started.

Backup power

So you’re building your flight bag with gear for the iPad and you’ve got a GPS, kneeboard and your EFB app. Here’s a few other things you should consider. Backup power is great for both the iPad and GPS. Either a cigarette lighter adapter that puts out 2.4 amps on both USB hubs or an external battery will do the trick. My favorite battery is the Professional Power Backup Battery. This thing is a power house. 4 USB ports and enough juice to charge your iPad multiple times before it’s out of battery. You can’t go wrong. More tips on powering the iPad can be found here.

Additional resources

Also consider some flight training apps for home study when away from the airport. Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course is optimized for the iPad, and you can try out the app free here. It contains hours of in-flight video training, along with interactive written test prep. If you’re just learning ForeFlight, there’s an app designed to teach you exactly how to get started flight planning on it. It’s called Flying with ForeFlight and it’s available on the App Store.

Lastly I want to point out an excellent article that all student pilots should read, which discusses how the iPad can be integrated into the flight training process: Should you use an iPad during flight training?

By starting with these pointers, I’m confident that you’ll have an easier time adjusting to flying with the iPad. The are many benefits to flying with an EFB instead of old paper charts, but first on my list is that young pilots are more comfortable using electronics and can greatly benefit from the technological advances. Spend some time reading over the articles here on iPad Pilot News and talk with other pilots, and I’m confident you’ll feel comfortable developing your own plan for getting started with an iPad in the airplane.

Source: Ipad appsThe student pilot’s guide to getting started with an iPad

Senate Approves FAA Reauthorization Bill

Now Goes To President Obama For Signature, Funds Agency For Just Over A Year U.S. Senate has given final approval to the “FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016.” The legislation extends the FAA’s funding and aviation taxes at current levels through September 30, 2017. The legislation includes provisions addressing the challenges of integrating unmanned aerial vehicles into the national airspace, bolstering airport security, and streamlining the third-class medical process for general aviation pilots.
Source: aero newsSenate Approves FAA Reauthorization Bill

Senate Approves Third-Class Medical Reform (Updated)

Third-class medical reform is on its way to becoming law after the Senate voted this afternoon to approve the measure as part of a short-term funding bill for the FAA. The legislation, which won House approval on Monday, is expected to be be signed by President Obama before the FAA’s current authorization expires on Friday.
Source: avwebSenate Approves Third-Class Medical Reform (Updated)

FAA Eases Safety Gear Approvals

Following on its successful effort to encourage the use of angle-of-attack indicators in general aviation aircraft by simplifying the approval procedure, the FAA says it will expand its expedited process to include more safety gear. The policy will reduce costs and streamline installation for “non-required safety-enhancing equipment” (NORSEE) in the GA fleet, the FAA said. Examples of NORSEE equipment include traffic advisory systems, terrain awareness and warning systems, attitude indicators, fire-extinguishing systems, and autopilot or stability augmentation systems.
Source: avwebFAA Eases Safety Gear Approvals

Study: Drone Vaccine Deliveries Save Lives

While the anti-science, anti-vaxxer crowd continues to shoot up media attention with dose after dose of misguided information, low-income nations with actual medical problems face real-world problems when it comes to obtaining vaccines. Vaccines delivered by ground vehicles to people in need can often spoil before arriving due to supply-chain bottlenecks and other inefficiencies, depriving […]

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Source: Quadcopter/Drone newsStudy: Drone Vaccine Deliveries Save Lives