One basic rule from a prolific builder

Turbulence. A turbine-powered Lancair Legacy built by Mike Patey.

Mike Patey is a pilot and airplane builder. Since getting into flying 15 years ago, he has earned multiple ratings and accumulated over 7,000 hours and flies about 400 hours per year.

More impressive is the fact he’s built a Van’s RV-6 and RV-10, a Zenith 801, a Compair 8 Turboprop, an Epic LT, and six Lancair Legacies including Turbulence, a turboprop-powered model.

“So far, 11 builds,” said Patey. “I have averaged eight to 10 months per complete build.”

His last Legacy took just five months.

My first question. How? How have you build that many airplanes in so little time, comparatively speaking?

Turbulence. A turbine-powered Lancair Legacy built by Mike Patey.

Turbulence. A turbine-powered Lancair Legacy built by Mike Patey.

Turns out, Patey sets goals and works to achieve those goals.

“One basic rule that commands a fast and guaranteed path to finish – once I start any project, businesses, aircraft, whatever – is something must get done and executed on the project every day, no exceptions — ever!”

Large or small, at least one project task must be completed each day “before I can lay my head on the pillow,” he said.

His wife often tells him he has an obsession with unfinished projects.

“Even if all I do is go online to choose and order a part I need,” that’s five minutes of progress, he said.

“You meet the goal and what happens next is why it works,” he explains.

“Some want the red easy button,” finished Patey. “I want the goals that create the green go button.”

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comOne basic rule from a prolific builder

iPad Pro test flight – does it work for pilots?

iPad pro test flight

The iPad Pro began shipping in mid-November, promising to bring a new level of productivity to tablet users with its large 12.9″ display and fast performance. It’s an impressive tool for everyday work, from spreadsheets to graphics work, but can it work for pilots? We took it flying to see.


iPad Pro in airplane

The iPad Pro feels a lot like a scaled up iPad Air 2.

The most obvious feature of the iPad Pro is, obviously, its size. We were expecting a big tablet, but we were still surprised by its size when we first removed it from the box – at 12″ tall and almost 9″ wide, this is definitely a two-hand device. On the plus side, though, it is amazingly light (about 1.5 lbs.) and very thin (about 1/4″). If you’re familiar with the latest iPad Air 2, the iPad Pro is basically the same exact tablet, just scaled up. In that respect, the learning curve is essentially zero.

The screen is indeed impressive, at 2048 x 2732 pixels and a 264 ppi pixel density, making everyday tasks like web browsing and email replies easy. Even with this bright, high resolution screen, the iPad Pro’s battery life remains excellent: we easily got 8 hours of use from a single charge for non-aviation use, and over 6 hours of flying time (with a WiFi device connected).

Unlike the iPad Air 2, the iPad Pro is only offered in two memory options: 32GB and 128GB. For aviation use, 32GB would be plenty, so this is a good option at $799. However, if you think you might use it for more than aviation, the 128GB model is probably the best buy ($949). This would leave plenty of room for videos, photos and other apps. Given its larger size, it’s reasonable to assume you might use the iPad Pro a little harder for everyday work. Note that if you want the LTE model (cellular connection), that is only available in the 128GB configuration, for $1079.

Aviation Use

Before getting into the cockpit, we used the iPad Pro for a number of pre-flight tasks, since many pilots use their tablets for this as often (if not more often) than they do for in-flight features. Here, the large screen really shines. Checking the radar map in Garmin Pilot or reviewing a complicated instrument arrival procedure in ForeFlight is faster and easier with the big screen. We spent a lot less time panning around maps, and got a better big picture sense for weather.

One nice feature here is the split screen option, which allows you to show two apps side-by-side. There are actually two different versions of this feature in iOS 9: in slide-over mode, a second app can be displayed in the right quarter of the screen but the original app on the left is paused; in true split-screen mode, two apps can be used at the same time with all features. Every aviation app we tried can be used in slide-over mode, which is handy for quickly checking other resources. However, to use the more powerful split-screen mode, the app developer must specifically write the app that way. No aviation apps that we’ve tried support this yet. Stay tuned.

ForeFlight Maps slide over

We then took the iPad Pro flying, in a Cessna 172 and a Pilatus PC-12. Here, the main challenge quickly presented itself: mounting or securing the large tablet isn’t easy. Some companies are just beginning to announce mounts for the iPad Pro, but this seems impractical in all but the largest airplanes. A yoke mount, for example, would be unworkable in either of the two airplanes we tried. A suction cup mount could work, but it would take some serious effort to find a spot that didn’t block too much of the panel or the outside world.

Having said that, the iPad Pro did work quite well on our lap. A good kneeboard (like this one) would make it usable in a number of airplanes. Simply placing it on the floor or between the seats when not in use is another viable option. Like all iPads, a case or a rubber back of some kind is a good idea because the tablet itself is slippery.

In the air, we found the large screen to be quite helpful. Approach plates, in particular, look great and require no zooming:

iPad Pro with plate in cockpit

The iPad Pro is also ideally suited for split screen views, like synthetic vision and moving map side-by-side. Most of the major apps offer something like this, including ForeFlight, Garmin Pilot and WingX. The picture below shows how close this setup is to a full glass panel:

iPad Pro landscape with SV in cockpit

Garmin Pilot offers a number of split-screen options, which we found to be an excellent use of the iPad Pro’s screen real estate:

Garmin pilot iPad Pro split screen

App Support

The good news is that basically every app that works on other iPads will work on the iPad Pro too. However, apps must be tweaked slightly to take full advantage of the larger screen; without this, the app looks slightly “zoomed” and not as crisp. ForeFlight has been updated to run in an optimized way on the iPad Pro, and looks great. We tested Garmin Pilot and Fltplan Go in addition to ForeFlight, and while both work just fine, they have not yet been optimized. We would expect that change in the next few weeks.

Fltplan app iPad pro

 Final Thoughts

So does the iPad Pro work for aviation? Yes, it most certainly does and we expect some pilots to fall in love with its large screen for charts. However, it’s hardly a slam dunk. In many airplanes, especially ones with a traditional yoke, there may not be room for a tablet this large. If you like yoke mounting, the iPad Pro is also not a good option. We can offer an endorsement, but with some important caveats.

Our advice is the same its been for a while now – buy the iPad screen size that fits your flying. The iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro (the latest generation on offer) all offer the same basic features and performance. The difference is mostly screen size. If you’re flying a Gulfstream, an iPad Pro would be a terrific addition. In a Cub? The Mini is probably the right choice.

Source: Ipad appsiPad Pro test flight – does it work for pilots?

Nominations sought for Flight Instructor Hall of Fame

NAFI Hall of Fame logo

The National Association of Flight Instructors is looking for nominations for the 2016 selection to the National Flight Instructor Hall of Fame.

NAFI Hall of Fame logoNAFI sponsors the National Flight Instructor Hall of Fame to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to aviation education and flight instruction. It highlights the important role flight instructors play as a foundation for the safety of the entire national air transportation system, NAFI officials noted.

This year’s inductees will be honored at the NAFI member dinner at SUN ‘n FUN in Lakeland, Florida, on April 6, 2016.

Candidates will be judged by an independent selection panel on superior performance in the field of aviation education, as well as contributions to and accomplishments in aviation, including:

  • Enhancement of aviation safety;
  • Development of effective/innovative teaching techniques;
  • Advancement of professional standards;
  • Development of significant technical support;
  • Achievement of professional excellence;
  • Creation of innovative instructional materials;
  • Partnership on projects with the FAA and/or industry;
  • Being a role model for and a mentor to other aviation educators.

NAFI membership is not a requirement to be selected as an inductee, nor is it a requirement to nominate an individual. You may also nominate yourself.

How to Nominate

To nominate, click here to download the application, then submit the completed package to NAFI headquarters either via email to, or by postal mail: National Association of Flight Instructors, 3101 East Milham Ave., Portage Mich., 49002.

Nominations will be accepted until Jan. 15, 2015.

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comNominations sought for Flight Instructor Hall of Fame

New survey confirms value of business aviation

A new Harris Poll survey commissioned by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has confirmed that business aviation is utilized mainly by small and medium-size companies that typically fly turboprops or small jets to maximize employee efficiency and productivity while providing travel schedule flexibility.

The poll, released at last week’s NBAA Convention in Las Vegas, also confirmed that a broad mix of employees – not primarily top executives – fly on business aircraft, which usually travel to community airports that usually have little or no scheduled airline service.

This most recent snapshot of business aviation — titled “The Real World of Business Aviation: A 2015 Survey of Companies Using General Aviation Aircraft” — was based on surveys of 323 pilots and aviation managers of turbine-powered business aircraft, as well as 132 business aircraft passengers, conducted by Harris Poll from late October through early November.

Like two similar Harris surveys conducted in 1997 and 2009, the results of the 2015 study show that:

  • Most companies using business aviation are small companies;
  • Most companies using business aviation have only one airplane;
  • More than half of the turbine-powered business airplanes flying today are turboprops or smaller jets;
  • Many business aircraft are largely flown to towns with little or no airline service;
  • A primary driver of business aircraft use is scheduling flexibility;
  • Business aviation missions often involve multiple destinations;
  • Companies use both business aircraft and the airlines as appropriate;
  • Top management is on board business aircraft less than half the time;
  • Employees use their time on company aircraft to be highly effective and productive;
  • Many business airplanes are used to fly humanitarian missions; and
  • An increasing number of companies are using business aircraft to fly internationally

The Real World of Business Aviation is part of a suite of tools, developed under the No Plan No Gain joint advocacy campaign, for use by NBAA members and other industry advocates when educating policymakers and the general public about the value of business aviation to citizens, companies and communities.

Review the survey here.


Source: http://generalaviationnews.comNew survey confirms value of business aviation

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