New ForeFlight video tips

FF video tips 3

One of the reasons ForeFlight has maintained its position as the most popular app in aviation is its commitment to new features. That’s great for pilots, but it does require some study to keep up to date. To help pilots get the most of ForeFlight and learn how to use these new features, Sporty’s offers a complete ForeFlight training course. The course is available in two formats, either as a dedicated iPad app or streaming online course.

Here are a few essential ForeFlight video tips, pulled from the Flying with ForeFlight course:

Track Logging

Procedure Advisor

Downloading Charts

Source: Ipad appsNew ForeFlight video tips

New Garmin VIRB camera app available

Garmin Virb v2

The new Garmin VIRB XE improves on the original VIRB elite with a smaller form-factor and records at higher resolution.

The new Garmin VIRB XE improves on the original VIRB elite with a smaller form-factor and records at higher resolution.

For many pilots, a small action-camera is considered required equipment when flying, providing the opportunity to capture stunning HD footage of the sights and sounds from the cockpit. While GoPro was the first on the scene and is probably the most well-known camera among consumers, Garmin is right in the mix offering small action cameras with even more capabilities.

Every small camera on the market captures high-quality HD video, but the Garmin VIRB™ distinguishes itself from the competition by also capturing GPS and sensor-derived flight performance data along with the video. This allows you to view additional metrics like groundspeed, altitude, heading, G-forces and GPS ground track along with video.

Garmin recently released a second-generation camera named the Garmin VIRB XE, building on the success of the original Garmin VIRB Elite. This model was designed with a much smaller form factor and can record video at higher resolutions (up to 1440p) and in slow motion. What really makes cameras like the Garmin VIRB useful is that you can control them from your iPhone or iPad with an app, eliminating the need to fumble with the small buttons and menus on the camera. The app also serves as a wireless viewfinder, allowing you to use the large screen of your iPad to aid in finding the ideal mounting location and to help frame your shot.

The Garmin VIRB app recently received a major overhaul coinciding with the debut of the new VIRB XE camera, adding lots of new features and capabilities when used with the new XE model.

The VIRB app now allows you to view a video preview while recording.

The VIRB app now allows you to view a video preview while recording.

Remote Control

The core capability of the Garmin VIRB app is its ability to serve as a remote control and viewfinder for your camera. After downloading the app, you’ll connect your iPhone or iPad to the VIRB using Wi-Fi (each camera creates its own Wi-Fi network). Then when you open the app, you’ll see what the camera sees with a live viewfinder.

The big improvement in the new app is that it now allows you to view the preview while the camera is recording, which is very helpful in flight. We also noticed that the app accurately shows you a preview based on the field-of-view (FOV) setting you have selected, e.g. wide or ultra-zoom. In the past, it always displayed the wide-angle view, making it difficult to frame shots when shooting with the ultra-zoom (narrow) FOV setting.

You can control the video recording settings from the app as well. It takes just a few taps to change settings like video resolution, frame rate or up/down orientation, along with advanced settings like white balance, ISO and exposure. The app allows you to start/stop video recording and can control up to 8-cameras simultaneously when your VIRBs are in Multi-Cam mode.

You can add instrument overlays  to your video right from app and export the edited video to your iPad.

You can add instrument overlays to your video right from app and export the edited video to your iPad.


In addition to being able to fully control your VIRB cameras in flight, the new app allows you to preview and edit your videos when back on the ground from your iPad or iPhone. The Media Library function will display thumbnails of the photos and videos recorded on your VIRB XE.  You can also tap any of them to preview at full size. The videos will also play right from the camera on your iPad’s screen, so you don’t have to spend time copying them from the camera first – a big time-saver.

You can now trim or edit the videos within the app, and add Garmin’s signature flight data overlays on the video just like when using the VIRB Edit software on a PC or Mac. There also are options to add music or change the playback speed of the video. When finished editing, the app will export the video at full resolution and provide options to share or save to your iPad’s Photos app.

Other Enhancements

The Garmin VIRB app includes a variety of additional enhancements in the recent update including:

  • Delete photos and videos from your VIRB camera remotely
  • New G-Metrix instrument overlays for marine and boating data
  • Displays list connected sensors (it can also receive data from G3X Flight Touch Display or FlightStream 110/210)
  • Share multiple photos at a time

It’s important to remember that while the new version of the app works with both the existing Garmin VIRB Elite and new Garmin VIRB XE, several of the new feature like video preview while recording and media library/editing only work with the new XE model.

Just like with the VIRB Elite, the VIRB XE also includes an aviation bundle with important accessories like the prop distortion filter, audio cable for recording ATC, and suction cup mount, making it an excellent camera for in-flight use.

The Garmin VIRB app is available as a free download in the app store.

Source: Ipad appsNew Garmin VIRB camera app available

Tips for flying with the iPad at night

Night iPad tips

As we get closer to winter there’s a better chance that you’ll be doing a little more night flying as the days get shorter and the sun sets earlier in the evening. If you haven’t flown much at night throughout the summer it’s a good time to get out and practice some night landings and and think about the operational differences from day flying.

Before we had the iPad, we relied on flashlights and other gadgets to light up the cockpit and view charts in the dark. While you’ll still need a flashlight for preflight and as a backup lighting source (we really like this one by the way), the days of holding a mini-maglite in your mouth and shining it down on a paper sectional are gone thanks to the iPad’s backlit screen.

But just because the iPad solves part of the night lighting equation doesn’t mean you can just hop in the airplane and start using it the same way you do during the day. Here are some things to consider the next time you go flying at night with your iPad.

1. Dim the iPad screen—before heading out to the dark cockpit, make a point to set the iPad’s screen brightness control to lowest possible setting, that way the screen won’t come on at full brightness when you turn it on for the first time in the airplane and ruin your night vision. To adjust this bring up the iPad’s Control Center by sliding your finger up from the bottom of the screen and use the brightness slider located on the right side of the control.

iPad Screen Brightness

2. Set Auto-Brightness to OFF—after setting the screen brightness to the lowest value, go into the main iPad settings and turn the Auto-Brightness setting off. This is located in Settings>Display and Brightness>Auto-Brightness. This will ensure the iPad doesn’t inadvertently get brighter on its own in response to ambient lighting changes in the cockpit.

screen auto-brightness

3. In-app screen dimming—in our experiences even the lowest screen brightness setting can still be too bright once your eyes adjust to low light at night, especially when viewing the congested yellow areas of a sectional or a bright white instrument approach chart. Fortunately most apps provide a setting that allows you to dim the screen even more to a level that’s easier on the eyes:

  • ForeFlight -> On the Maps screen, tap the Settings button (gear shape) at the top of the screen, and adjust the slider labeled Screen Brightness. Just make sure that when you open ForeFlight again the next day to bring this setting back up again for normal viewing.
  • Garmin Pilot -> While there isn’t a screen-dimming feature built in to Garmin Pilot, there is a dedicated function called Night Mode. This mode is activated from the Menu button at the top right of the Maps view. This will switch the VFR/IFR data-driven map screens to a darker color scheme and cut down on the amount of light emitted from the iPad.
  • Wing-X Pro -> This app includes several options to assist with night flying and the iPad. First at the top right of the home screen you’ll find a moon-shaped button that activates night mode and changes the app to a darker color scheme. Next when on the Moving Map page you’ll see a light bulb button at the top right with several night-enhancement settings, including in-app screen dimming, nighttime charts, white-on-black charts (useful when viewing approach charts or airport diagrams) and finally a toggle for even more screen dimming if needed.

2015-10-14 11.51.24

4. Triple-click invert colors—this tip is one of our long-time favorites and works on any app. This allows you to quickly press the home button at the bottom of the iPad three times to invert the colors of the screen, displaying approach charts or airport diagrams with white ink on a black background. You must enable this feature though before it will work. To do this, go to Settings>General>Accessibility>Accessibility Shortcut>Invert Colors.

triple click invert

5. ADS-B Receiver Status Light Dimming—just like you dim the annunciator lights on your instrument panel at night, you’ll want to consider doing the same thing on your ADS-B receiver. For those flying with the Stratus ADS-B receiver, this is accomplished directly from the ForeFlight app. Tap the Settings button at the top of the map page (gear button), scroll to the bottom of the window and select Stratus, and then scroll down again about midway until you see a slider for LED Brightness–setting this to a lower setting will decrease the brightness of the status lights on the front of the Stratus.

Stratus LED brightness

6. iPad Mounting—securing your iPad at night takes on even more importance in a dark cabin, as trying to find it after it slips off your lap or falls off the seat will be a challenge at night. You can find several iPad kneeboards for under $20, or use a more secure yoke or window mounting option to make sure it stays in place in all conditions. Read more here on our Guide to iPad Mounting.

7. Power backup—one of the positives that comes from night iPad flying is that the lower screen brightness leads to better battery life. But just as your aircraft’s electrical system takes on additional importance during night flying, so does your iPad’s battery. It’s just as important to consider “what-if” scenarios and bring a long some way to provide extra power if the need arises. The easiest way is to bring along a cigarette lighter USB charger if you have that port in your airplane, and if that’s not an option consider a battery backup. If a flight pops up at the last minute and you don’t have access to these items, consider a second iPad, iPhone or a few paper charts as suitable backups too.

8. Expand your iPad’s capabilities—while the primary use of your iPad at night will most likely be to display charts, consider other ways to take advantage of the iPad’s backlit screen for night flying. Ditch the paper checklist and the flashlight needed to view it in favor of an iPad checklist app. And instead of writing clearances or other notes with pen and paper, take advantage of your app’s built in scratchpad.

AircraftChecklist iPad 2

9. Use The iPad as a flashlight—while the iPad doesn’t have a dedicated camera flash like the iPhone to use as a flashlight, consider using the screen itself as a source of light when needed in the cockpit. When first arriving in the cabin you can turn it on at a low-brightness setting to provide some diffused ambient lighting to help get things set up. Or consider displaying a white approach chart, turn the brightness up and direct it at the panel if the instrument panel lighting were to go out.

Source: Ipad appsTips for flying with the iPad at night

Red Stewart Airfield, 40I

40I airfield
40I airfield

The Red Stewart field is a family friendly grass strip with a picnic table and small children’s playground. The people here are very friendly and unlike most small or county airports there open to new people coming and having a look. I have noticed that quite a few county and all the commercial airports there is a big fear of new or unknown people having a look around and especially taking photos. I don’t know if it is a fear of the FAA , homeland security or being the next government target.

I am uploading a gallery of some photos we were able to get on an outing at this field.

jumpers1sunset4day at the field

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