Garmin upgrades iOS flight planning, Android layout

Garmin LMFS flight planning2

Garmin recently released its last update of 2015, adding some minor updates to flight planning in the iOS app and a more major change to the Android app. Here’s what to look for.

iOS Updates

First, Garmin has moved its default flight planning service to Lockheed Martin Flight Service instead of DUATS. Many other apps have gone in this direction over the past year, as LMFS offers a modern platform that makes flight plan filing much faster and more reliable. Garmin Pilot users will get an email confirmation when a flight plan is filed, and it’s immediately accessible by Air Traffic Control – not always the case with DUATS filing.

This change also enables filing in the ICAO format, a more complicated flight plan form, but one that is increasingly becoming the standard. There are no settings to change for LMFS filing and it requires no new credentials, so it’s a fairly invisible change for pilots.

Another upgrade in the area of flight planning is the app’s new Trip Planning page. Pilots can now input a new flight plan, then quickly create a NavLog and get a formal Briefing from Flight Service by tapping the options at the bottom of the page.

Garmin Pilot iOS trip planning

Android Updates

Garmin Pilot has long offered what we consider to be the best all around aviation app for Android, with a good mix of powerful features, an easy-to-use interface and solid support. Lately, the app seems to be a little stagnant – it did not see the same number of updates as the iOS app, and it still lacks synthetic vision.

But the most recent update is a good sign, as Garmin has delivered a pretty significant upgrade to the user interface. A new slide-over menu is fast and easy to use, with frequently used tools like the stopwatch, screen lock and brightness settings quickly accessible. This is a small change but a big time-saver in flight. The split screen layout has also been upgraded, with a nice tab-style interface for selecting the bottom half of the screen (widgets, charts, traffic or terrain, for example).

Garmin Pilot Android menu

Version 5.0 for Android also includes some other usability upgrades:

  • Automatic Chart Binders for approach plates, based on your active flight plan
  • More powerful scratch pad section, with option for multiple pages
  • A “night mode” for SafeTaxi diagrams, to preserve night vision
  • The ability to control Garmin’s new VIRB XE video camera from the app

Garmin Pilot for iOS is available in the iTunes App Store, and Garmin Pilot for Android is available in the Google Play Store.

Source: Ipad appsGarmin upgrades iOS flight planning, Android layout

Blame game? BSF chief calls crashed aircraft 'airworthy' after paying tribute to aircrash victims

Only two days back this aircraft did a good duty and a day back it had carried back officers from Bhuj (from the DG/IG meeting),” BSF Director General D K Pathak told reporters. “There was no problem in the aircraft and it was completely airworthy.
Source: bingBlame game? BSF chief calls crashed aircraft 'airworthy' after paying tribute to aircrash victims

Delhi plane crash: DG BSF says there was no problem with the aircraft, families of martyrs lie grief torn

New Delhi,December 23: Director General of the Border Security Forces(BSF),DK pathak said on Wednesday that the Super King Ranchi-bound aircraft which crashed yesterday had no sign of any technical or mechanical failure and was fit to be airworthy.
Source: bingDelhi plane crash: DG BSF says there was no problem with the aircraft, families of martyrs lie grief torn

Picture of the day: Candy canes and airplanes

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More than 1,000 children of all ages were on hand to greet Santa as he flew into the Salina Regional Airport in Kansas, for his annual welcome party, Candy Canes and Airplanes.

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K-State Polytechnic student organizations, SeaPort Airlines, The Salina Airport Authority and the Kansas National Guard acted as Santa’s helpers, providing crafts and aircraft tours for all those attending the event.santa at salina

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comPicture of the day: Candy canes and airplanes

One airplane can make all the difference

Tyson Trentham (left), Michael Jenkins (center) and Airic Perez (right) are all smiles as they receive an early Christmas present, the newest addition to the Lakeland Aero Club’s fleet.”

When I was first getting involved in aviation, the cost was a daunting dilemma for me. That’s probably a common memory we share, you and me.

Availability was an issue, too. Most general aviation pilots have probably had a similar experience. We show up at the airport with a dream of learning to fly, only to find a very limited selection of aircraft, at prices that seem a bit steep.

It doesn’t have to be that way. We can change the game if we choose to.

If you’re an aircraft owner, and by that I mean if you are in possession of an aircraft of any kind, in any state of being, located anywhere in the world, I hope this idea will take root with you.

Given what I know now, if just a small fraction of us were to take up the cause, something wonderful would happen. Truly, it would.

The Lakeland Aero Club facilitates the most successful flight training program I’ve seen in quite some time. Founded with the assistance of some notable, forward-thinking aviation enthusiasts, the club exists in order to provide the high school students of the Central Florida Aerospace Academy an opportunity to maintain and fly aircraft. They earn their pilot certificates along the way.

More than 45 teenagers have become private pilots thanks to the overall program. Some have flown all the way from central Florida to Oshkosh and back. Not as passengers, as pilots. A handful have made that trip more than once.

Disco 150 4

This is an outstanding program that could only be made better if they had an additional airplane or two. They currently operate a T-craft and a Super Cub. Both are in excellent shape and well maintained by the students. Yet the world has changed since those classics were common trainers, and earning a private pilot certificate requires the performance of basic instrument maneuvers using instruments that just aren’t in the panels of those beautiful machines.

The problem came to my attention when the adult leadership at the Lakeland Aero Club, and their counterparts at SUN ‘n FUN began to lament their plight. They weren’t complaining. Rather, they were brainstorming and networking the problem.

Their Christmas wish list included a tricycle gear trainer the club members could use for flight training and time building. Impressive performance isn’t what they value most. Their primary concern was to find a reliable machine that is inexpensive to operate. The question is, where would it come from?

Interestingly enough, I own a 1963 C-150C that spent the bulk of 2015 sitting in a hangar, waiting for someone to come out and fly. She did the same in 2014, and 2013, and for several years prior to that.

An idea began to hatch in my head. I ran it past the folks in Lakeland and before long we had a plan.

On Wednesday, Dec. 16 I pulled the Disco 150 into the sunlight, fired it up, and took a short hop from my home base to the airplane’s new hangar in Lakeland. The flight took no more than 15 minutes.

When I arrived, ground control gave me taxi instructions to SUN ‘n FUN, where I expected to slip the airplane into Hangar A and then catch a ride home. What I didn’t expect was a welcoming committee of students and CFIs who were anxious to meet the new addition to their fleet.

High school students Michael Jenkins, Tyson Trentham, and Airic Perez stood at the ready to move the airplane into its new hangar. Their adult advisors, Al Herum and Mike Zidziunas, prepared to slap Lakeland Aero Club stickers on the airplane, branding it as one of their own before the engine even had a chance to cool.

Tyson Trentham (left), Michael Jenkins (center) and Airic Perez (right) are all smiles as they receive an early Christmas present, the newest addition to the Lakeland Aero Club’s fleet.”

Tyson Trentham (left), Michael Jenkins (center) and Airic Perez (right) are all smiles as they receive an early Christmas present, the newest addition to the Lakeland Aero Club’s fleet.

The whole experience left me feeling a little emotional, to be honest. It’s not often we pick up the gauntlet and do something substantive to move an important program along. At long last, I had, and it felt good.

As a CFI I’ve signed off my fair share of new pilot applicants. I’m happy to say that every one of those applicants was successful, too.

Mike Zidziunas (a.k.a. Mike Z.) wastes no time in branding the new acquisition as a club aircraft.

Mike Zidziunas (a.k.a. Mike Z.) wastes no time in branding the new acquisition as a club aircraft.

But now I’ve had the opportunity to do something even better. I’ve leased out an airplane at a very modest rate to an organization that will be using it to give young men and women a chance to completely change the course of their lives.

The challenge I faced as a prospective pilot will not be derailing the hopes and dreams of these kids. They’ve got an option I never had. An option you probably never had, either. But an option that so many of us could make available if we chose to.

If you own an airplane that you don’t fly much, or that you don’t fly at all, or maybe an airplane that’s not even airworthy, there are organizations that could benefit from it, if you’re willing.

If, like me, you’re not in a position to simply donate the airplane, you can lease it at a rate that keeps you from going to the poorhouse, while allowing those who can’t yet afford an airplane to get into the game, fly at a steeply reduced cost, and begin the process of welcoming the next generation of new aviation enthusiasts into General Aviation.

It’s simply amazing what the power of having access to one airplane can do to a fledgling program, or to expand the potential of a successful one.

This Christmas I gave myself a gift that I’ll cherish for a good long time. Every time I see the Disco 150 fly overhead, or on display at an event, or in a photo with a teenager who just completed a successful check-ride, I’ll get to experience that sense of satisfaction all over again.

Merry Christmas, y’all — all year long.

 

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comOne airplane can make all the difference

What’s new in WingX Pro

What's new wingx

December tends to be an extra busy month in the app store as developers scramble to ship out their final release for the year. We’ve seen just about every EFB developer release a new version in the past few weeks, and WingX Pro is no exception. There have actually been 2 updates to the app recently, which focus on moving map enhancements, support for additional ADS-B receivers and bug fixes. Let’s take a look at the highlights here.

Sectional Overlay Support

WingX Pro now allows you to add supplemental VFR charts as a separate layer on top of Sectional Charts. Options include Terminal Area Charts (TACs), Helicopter Routes, Helicopter Gulf Coast, Grand Canyon GA and Grand Canyon Tour charts. These can be toggled on or off in the VFR Sectional options menu, which is accessed from the View button at the bottom of the moving map screen.

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IFR Enroute terrain underlay

Another new feature allows you to display terrain as an “underlay” beneath IFR enroute charts. This adds some basic color shading to the IFR enroute charts, replacing the default solid white background. This allows you to more easily identify coastlines when flying near the ocean when relying on these charts for IFR navigation.

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Dual XGPS190 support

The latest version of the app supports the new Dual XGPS 190 ADS-B receiver. This upgraded model from Dual builds on the features of the XGPS 170 and adds a dual-band traffic receiver (both 978 and 1090 MHz), along with an integrated Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS).

The addition of the 1090 MHz band allows the app/receiver combo to show the location of other aircraft with a 1090 MHz ADS-B out transponder, which is useful when flying near busy airline airports or up in the flight levels. The integrated AHRS in the Dual XGPS 190 provides the attitude and synthetic vision display with realistic pitch and bank information in WingX Pro.

Miscellaneous improvements

WingX Pro7 version 8.6.2 includes several other improvements as well:

  • Includes NORAD intercept procedures
  • Timer enhancements: Added Reset button to count up timer
  • ADS-B traffic filtering options
  • Enhancements to moving map for optimized terrain rendering

You can check out WingX Pro7 here in the app store.

Source: Ipad appsWhat’s new in WingX Pro

Pictures of the day: Iowa photo contest

Kids in Aviation First Place Tesha Huffaker

Every year, the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation holds an Aviation Photography Contest. Winning photos from the 2015 Iowa Aviation Photography Contest have been posted to the Iowa DOT’s Office of Aviation website, with a few included below:

Classic Aircraft First Place Jeanie Jordan

Classic Aircraft, First Place, Jeanie Jordan

Flight Training, first place Heidi McGuire

Flight Training, First Place, Heidi McGuire

Fly-Ins and Airshows First PLace Matt Lundberg

Fly-Ins and Airshows, First Place, Matt Lundberg

General Aviation, Third Place, Tesha Huffaker

Kids in Aviation First Place Tesha Huffaker

Kids in Aviation, First Place, Tesha Huffaker

Most Creative First Place Tesha Huffaker

Most Creative, First Place, Tesha Huffaker

According to Iowa aviation officials, “the contest is a fun activity that documents aviation activity occurring in Iowa.”

Winning entrants receive a custom framed certificate and their photos are featured on the web and used for efforts that promote aviation in Iowa.

Rules for the 2016 contest are already online, as well as the introduction of a video contest for next year.

Entrants will be able to enter up to three videos with an Iowa connection. Videos can be five seconds to five minutes in length and should be submitted as YouTube links.

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comPictures of the day: Iowa photo contest

Fighting off boredom

1947 Stinson 108 at 2015 Antique Airfield Association fly-in.

Chuck and Shannon Avon attended the 2015 Blakesburg Fly-In. When Chuck came across Sparky Barnes Sargent’s story on the fly-in on the General Aviation News website, he called me to buy a copy of the print edition with that story. His Stinson 108 was in the “sunset” photo at the end of the online story. Sadly, we didn’t have space in the print edition for the photo he was interested in.

All was not lost though. Chuck proceeded to tell me about the Stinson 108 in the photo, how they found it, rebuilt and flew it to Blakesburg for the fly-in.

“The story begins with getting laid off for the winter,” started Chuck. They wanted a project to keep them from boredom. Both he and his wife Shannon are pilots and both like old planes. “We already had a two-place 1940 Taylorcraft so a four-place made sense to us,” continued Chuck. “We also wanted a taildragger, so the 108 Stinsons were on the top of the list.” 

N8713K showed up on Trade-A-Plane. After a few calls a tentative price was agreed on. On Jan. 17, 2014, Chuck and a friend, Roeland De Koning, headed to Chillicothe, Ohio, to pick up the airplane and trailer it home.

“On the way up we hit a snowstorm, but still made it by noon on the 17th,” he recalled. “After seeing the airplane we re-negotiated the price.”

Cold temperatures made disassembly tough. But the pair arrived safely back home to Hohenwald, Tenn., around 2:30 am on Jan. 19.

“Once we got the Stinson unloaded and put in the garage, we started the year-long project of bringing it back to a flying airplane,” said Chuck. “One year to the day of bringing it home, N8713K taxied under her own power for the first time in over 23 years. She flew again for the first time the following weekend.”

“Everything, except the engine, needed something done to it,” said Chuck. “The 150-hp Franklin has just 230-something hours on it. We have put about 35 hours on it, including the trip to AAA in Blakesburg Iowa.”

In fact, the engine used just 1/2 quart of oil in 1,100 miles on the AAA fly-in excursion.

DISCOVERY AND DISASSEMBLY

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What the Stinson looked like in its Ohio hangar home in January 2014.

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Disassembly.

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Chuck Avon (left) and Roeland De Koning with the 1947 Stinson 108 on the trailer and ready for the snowy drive home.

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Mouse nests filled one of the wings.

CLEANING AND PREP WORK

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Four coats of paint were stripped.

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Fuselage was cleaned and painted.

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Fuselage was cleaned and painted. Instrument panel coming together.

INTERIOR AND PARTS

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Interior panels received new upholstery.

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Primed parts.

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Freshly covered seats re-installed.

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Metal parts were moved into the living room so fuselage covering could start.

PAINT

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The Stinson 108 fuselage at primer stage.

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Fuselage base coat complete.

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A pop of color on the fuselage.

WINGS

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Cold weather dictated the wings be covered in the house.

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Chuck and Shannon used Stewart Systems. “With no bad smell, we were able to work on the covering process in the house.”

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Wings are back in the shop taking final paint and stripes.

REASSEMBLY

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All parts together at the airport, awaiting re-assembly.

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On Jan. 17, 2015, the Stinson 108 moved under its own power for the first time since February 1995.

SUCCESS

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At the Antique Aircraft Association Fly-In Sept. 2-7, 2015.

Chuck was quick to point out the Stinson 108 isn’t a showplane.

“We are leaving for Arizona in February in the Stinson,” he said.

It’s a flyer. And safe to say, boredom has yet to set in.

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comFighting off boredom

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