Category Archives: News from the web

News from various sources around the web.

You Can Fly — it’s more than a slogan

Just shy of a year ago I launched on a new endeavor. It was an exciting task. It was unique. It was a bit daunting, too.

In all the world there was only one other person doing what I was doing on a full-time basis, and she was nearly 3,000 miles away. Kay Sundaram took the territory known as Southern California, while I staked my claim to a massive sandbar commonly referred to as Florida. Our job was to begin the process of turning around the dwindling numbers of pilots and aviation enthusiasts in the good old U.S.A.

We are the Ambassadors. Our position was designed by the good people at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) to provide a go-to person for general aviators and wanna-be general aviators who are hoping to find a better way.

Whether they are trying to get back into the cockpit after a long absence, or to cut the cost of flying down to size, we have been charged with the amazingly exciting responsibility of providing the tools to make it happen. In effect, we are consultants our clients don’t pay. The bill is already covered.

And just to be clear on this one most important point: The Ambassadors and the associated You Can Fly program are not funded from AOPA membership dues. Our work is funded by an astoundingly generous, anonymous donor whose goal is in line with our own. We’re trying to make a difference.

Now, nearly a year after starting out on this quest, I can say with great pride that Kay and I are indeed making a difference. We have found success. Big, bushel baskets of success, as a matter of fact.

We’ve been able to validate the theory and make impressive inroads. But that’s not complete success, mind you. Two people aren’t going to change the landscape entirely in a single year. But there are certainly a considerable number of people flying this year that weren’t flying last year.

And there is a growing acceptance — even excitement — over the potential that flying clubs offer Jane and Joe Pilot. Maybe most important of all, there is now a proven method of increasing the number of active pilots.

If you’re looking out the FBO window this fine morning, sipping a cup of less than gourmet coffee, as a persistent low layer of frozen stratus keep you on the ground, perhaps it will warm your heart to know things are finally moving in the right direction. For the first time ever, there are a handful of people completely devoted to the task of providing opportunity, insight, guidance, and real hope to those who want to fly, or fly more often. It’s working.

Now you’ll notice I originally said there were two people doing what I do. And that’s true. Or at least it was true.

Kay Sundaram and I were tasked with blazing a trail, but we weren’t out on the wide open prairie all by our lonesome. There is a whole team of professionals working behind the scenes at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, to make our work day more productive and our ability to truly help others more effective.

Whether we’re engaged in putting on a Rusty Pilot seminar, or wrangling together a group of folks who are thinking about the benefits of creating a flying club, or even if we’re motoring around in a bright yellow and black Reimagined Cessna 152, providing tangible proof that affordable flying does exist – we’ve got a tag-team of creative geniuses behind us that can help even a tap dancing chimpanzee like myself perform like a polished professional.

Reimagined 152

Reimagined 152

It’s been said that success breeds success. That’s certainly true of this endeavor. Kay and I have been joined on a part-time basis by Sean Collins, a fine, upstanding resident of Maine who is taking the tools of the You Can Fly initiative to the people of New England. In the coming weeks our team will be joined by Pat Brown of Texas, who will expand the program’s territory to include a substantial portion of the Lone Star State.

I like this trend.

So, what have we gotten for our efforts to this point? Nine new flying clubs are a good start. Each one represents not only a cluster of pilots who can now fly more inexpensively and enjoy greater social satisfaction for their time spent at the airport, but also an entity that can grow and strengthen the opportunities for others to participate.

We’ve been fortunate enough to meet a spectacular number of Rusty Pilots who are finding their way back to the cockpit after years, sometimes decades away from the general aviation environment. Well over 1,000 men and women are now active, current pilots thanks to the efforts of the You Can Fly initiative, and the partnering FBOs, flight schools, flying clubs, and others who work with us to make sure these folks get through the ground portion of their flight review, and into the pilot’s seat in order to complete the flight portion.

The numbers are good, but this is just a start. Eleven months in we’re not just recording successes, we’re also following up on opportunities we didn’t even know existed a year ago – and the people we’re interacting with are finding resources and assistance they didn’t know was available to them. We’re developing symbiotic relationships that continue to expand our reach and strengthen our resolve with each passing day.

The tide is turning. I can’t even begin to tell you how pleased I am to have the pleasure of playing a role in that process.

In 2016 I hope you’ll consider jumping on this wagon train and being a part of what we’re doing — whether you want to host a Rusty Pilot presentation, offer flight training to Rusty Pilots or entry level students, or perhaps you’d like to become one of the growing number of people who are exploring the possibility of joining or founding a flying club. Whatever your wish, I think we’ve built a pretty impressive team of players who are ready and willing to help you reach your goal.

You Can Fly: It’s not just a slogan — it’s a literal statement. You Can Fly less expensively and with more satisfaction than ever before. Yes, you really can.

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comYou Can Fly — it’s more than a slogan

New ADS-B receivers announced

Bad Elf Dual ADS-B

There is no shortage of portable ADS-B receivers currently available for iPad pilots, and the market is about to get a little more crowded with the announcement of 3 new portable receivers from two well-known iPad GPS accessory manufacturers. Both Dual Electronics and Bad Elf announced last week that they are developing new portable ADS-B weather and traffic receivers that will be compatible with a wide selection of iPad apps.

The new Bad Elf ADS-B receiver will be available Summer 2016.

The new Bad Elf ADS-B receivers will be available Summer 2016.

Bad Elf ADS-B

Most pilots today are familiar with the Bad Elf line of portable GPS receivers, which enable full navigation and moving map capabilities within aviation apps. The company announced last week that they are expanding into the portable ADS-B market as well, with plans to develop two new models.

Bad Elf’s goal is to make ADS-B receivers more affordable, aiming to sell their entry-level model at an initial price of $299. A second version is also planned with AHRS (to display aircraft attitude), which will start at $449.

What makes Bad Elf’s approach unique is that they are going the Kickstarter crowdfunding route, a method not often seen in the aviation industry. This allows pilots to pledge anywhere from $10 to $5,000 to support the product development.

In return for this early investment, you will be one of the first to receive a receiver when they hit the market. This is also the only way to secure the lower prices of $299 for the base model and $449 for the model with AHRS, which will eventually go up when they officially go on sale.

Bad Elf plans to have the two new portable ADS-B receivers available for sale in the Summer of 2016, and will be compatible with apps like FltPlan.com, WingX Pro, JeppFD and FlyQ. Learn more about the Kickstarter campaign here: Bad Elf ADS-B receivers.

The Dual XGPS190 includes a dual-band traffic receiver a AHRS for attitude information.

The Dual XGPS190 includes a dual-band traffic receiver and AHRS for attitude information.

Dual XGPS190

Like Bad Elf, Dual made its name in the iPad accessory business by offering a selection of portable GPS receivers for mobile devices. Dual was one of the first companies to offer a reliable wireless GPS around the same time the iPad debuted and was a big hit among pilots. They entered the ADS-B market about 4 years ago with the Dual XGPS170, an affordable weather, traffic and GPS receiver that works with a wide variety of iPad apps.

Their newest model, the XGPS190 ADS-B receiver, expands on the capabilities of the XGPS170 by adding a dual-band traffic receiver, allowing the device to receive traffic location from aircraft that have either a 978 or 1090 MHz ADS-B out transponder (the XGPS170 only receives traffic on the 978 MHz band).

The XGPS190 also incorporates an AHRS sensor in the device, allowing you to display pitch and bank information – or optional synthetic vision – in compatible apps. The XGPS190 will retail for $849 and will be available by the end of December. Check out more information on the receiver here: Dual XGPS190 ADS-B Receiver.

Source: Ipad appsNew ADS-B receivers announced