Congress considers shielding FAA from shutdowns

The 35-day partial government shutdown affected thousands of federal workers across the United States, but none likely bore the brunt of its impact more than the aviation industry. Seventeen thousand FAA employees were furloughed while more than 14,000 air traffic controllers went without pay. The disruption has led lawmakers to introduce new legislation aimed at ensuring the FAA remains operational in the event of another government shutdown.

Source: aopaCongress considers shielding FAA from shutdowns

Lightspeed releases new FlightLink headset companion app

Everything is connected these days, from home automation and security systems to cars and video cameras, allowing you to monitor and control these devices remotely with a mobile app on an iPhone or iPad. Connected systems are becoming more and more common in aviation too, providing the ability to transfer flight plans, GPS, weather and more between your iPad and the avionics in the instrument panel.

This technology has also made its way into aviation headsets, and Lightspeed’s FlightLink app allows you to wirelessly record in-flight audio, take notes and customize headset settings. The latest version adds several new features and an improved interface that is optimized for all the latest iPhone and iPad models. Here’s how it works.

Getting started with FlightLink

The FlightLink app is completely free and is compatible with all Lightspeed headsets manufactured since 2012, including the Zulu 2 and 3, Sierra, Tango, and PFX. Before getting started, you’ll want to open up your headset’s battery cover, remove the batteries and turn on switch #6, which enables FlightLink compatibility.

Next, power on the headset and pair it wirelessly to your iPad or iPhone using Bluetooth.

Recording Audio and Notes

After connecting your Lightspeed headset to the app, you now have the ability to wirelessly record all activity over the intercom, including inbound and outbound transmissions, and in-cabin conversation. Simply press the large silver Record button located on the left side of the screen, and the app will begin recording audio. Once the recording starts, you’ll see a waveform display on the left side of the screen showing the last 2 minutes of audio recording. You can tap anywhere in this range and instantly play back that audio, which is perfect for those times you need to double check a clearance.

While you can only do an instant replay of the last two minutes of recorded audio, there are no limits to the total amount of audio you can record. This makes it especially useful in the flight training environment, as it allows you to create a permanent archive of all flight communications for postflight briefing and training. After stopping a recording, the Library section of the app allows you to replay it, edit the name and share the audio file. It includes all the standard sharing methods, including email and AirDrop, and also allows you to save the M4A audio file to the iOS Files app.

The FlightLink app also includes an interactive notepad, allowing you to take notes alongside the audio recording. You can use your finger, stylus, or the advanced features of the Apple Pencil 2, like the double-tap gesture to switch between writing modes.

FlightLink supports all the iOS multitasking modes too, including split-screen and slideover views, allowing you to use the app alongside your favorite EFB app.

Advanced PFX Controls

The FlightLink app brings additional functionality when paired with the Lightspeed PFX app, including a variety of personal preference features:

  • Customize audio settings for different aircraft or users
  • Fine tune audio response for maximum voice clarity and music fidelity
  • Use the Voice Clarity option to boost frequencies common in human speech without impacting the quality of music from auxiliary devices
  • View remaining battery life with the battery level indicator
  • Enable/disable audible low battery alert
  • Choose Auto Shutoff delay intervals
  • Save custom settings in up to three personal profiles

The FlightLink app is available free as a free download in the app store. Learn more about Lightspeed’s advanced headsets here.

The post Lightspeed releases new FlightLink headset companion app appeared first on iPad Pilot News.

Source: Ipad appsLightspeed releases new FlightLink headset companion app

Relaunched Aviation W&B Calculator app now available for iOS and Android

Aviation W&B app

Aviation W&B app
Aviation W&B works on iPad and iPhone.

Weight and balance is a chore for most pilots – important, but time consuming and a little tedious. That’s why for decades pilots have created their own spreadsheets to make these calculations a little faster, and why some of the first apps to hit the App Store a decade ago tried to simplify the weight and balance process.

One of the best apps early on was Aviation W&B Calculator. It featured an intuitive layout and a solid library of aircraft profiles when we reviewed it back in 2012. Unfortunately, the app was fairly out of date by 2017 and it was eventually removed from the App Store. Since then, founder Roy Kronenfeld has rebuilt the app from the ground up with a new look and more modern codebase.

The new look is clean and easy to use, with an opening screen showing the option to build your own aircraft template or to browse the app’s library of over 270 aircraft. This is a major help, and one of the reasons we like the app more than your typical spreadsheet approach. There are plenty of options for customizing a template, including units (lbs vs. gal, lbs. vs. kg) and custom stations.

Aviation WB
The app works particularly well on iPhone.

Once you’ve created a template, calculating different loading scenarios is fast and easy. Just enter the pilot, co-pilot, and passenger weights, then any fuel and baggage. The app will show the full table with weight/arm/moment calculations, plus a graphical loading chart at the top.

The other big upgrade is that Aviation W&B Calculator is now available for Android (version 4.1 and up) in addition to iOS. While ForeFlight offers an impressive weight and balance tool of its own, that does require a $99.99/year subscription and is not available on Android. For pilots flying with other apps, or for those who prefer a simple and standalone app, we can recommend Aviation W&B Calculator as a solid option.

Aviation W&B Calculator is available as a free download in the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store, which allows for two months of trial use. A basic yearly subscription is $4.99 and a pro yearly subscription is $9.99.

The post Relaunched Aviation W&B Calculator app now available for iOS and Android appeared first on iPad Pilot News.

Source: Ipad appsRelaunched Aviation W&B Calculator app now available for iOS and Android

You’re invited: Honor aviation’s best at the Bob Hoover Trophy reception

Honor the late R. A. “Bob” Hoover and celebrate those in the aviation industry who are carrying on his legacy during the 2019 AOPA R. A. “Bob” Hoover Trophy Reception at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport’s historic terminal in Washington, D.C., on March 20.

Source: aopaYou’re invited: Honor aviation’s best at the Bob Hoover Trophy reception

Industry asks agencies to ante up for pilot and technician training

The ever-present pilot shortage continues to weigh on the minds of airlines, maintenance companies, flight schools, and the entire aerospace industry. Compounding the shortage are the facts that air travel is increasing, pilots are aging, skilled technicians are needed, and Generation Z seems to be preoccupied with online games.

Source: aopaIndustry asks agencies to ante up for pilot and technician training

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