Tag Archives: 40I

FAA reopens $500 ADS-B rebate program – key takeaways

Stratus ESG

The most frequently asked question we receive here at iPad Pilot News relates to portable vs. installed ADS-B equipment, and what type of hardware must be installed to legally fly in U.S. airspace after January 1, 2020. The topic was recently reignited with the FAA’s reinstatement of the $500 ADS-B rebate program. This is a complicated subject area, and unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all answer.

At the most basic level, your airplane must have a compliant ADS-B out transponder. This hardware must be installed and connected to an approved position source (WAAS GPS) to continue flying in airspace that currently requires a Mode C transponder after the 2020 deadline. Conversely, you’re perfectly legal to continue flying in rural parts of the country, below 10,000′ MSL and outside of Class B and C airspace without having to buy or install an ADS-B out transponder.

Stratus 3 on dashThe next key element to understand is that portable ADS-B receivers, like Stratus, Sentry or Garmin’s GDL receivers, can only be used for ADS-B In services and cannot used to meet the 2020 ADS-B Out mandate. These small devices receive the data broadcast from ADS-B ground towers and allow you to display subscription-free weather and traffic on your iPad or other mobile devices. They typically cost less than $800 and have a self-contained battery and antenna. Learn more about the various options in our ADS-B Receiver Buyer’s Guide.

To be ADS-B Out compliant you must have an FAA-approved ADS-B out transponder. ADS-B Out is a surveillance technology for tracking aircraft – it’s what ATC needs to manage traffic. It reports your aircraft’s position, velocity and altitude once per second. This transmission is received by ATC and nearby aircraft and this data makes up the equivalent of a radar display.

This ADS-B Out transmitter must be a panel-installed, certified solution (again, no portable ADS-B Out option). An approved WAAS GPS source is also required, to make sure your reported position is accurate. This GPS source may come from a connected GPS navigator or via an internal GPS chip built into the transponder. Remember, though, there is no mandate for ADS-B In equipment.

GTX 345 ADS-B Out

There are lots of good options available for ADS-B out transponders today, including the Stratus ESG, Garmin GTX 335, uAvionix skyBeaconmultiple options from L3 and FreeFlight. You’ll also see there are two types of transponders that broadcast on either the 1090 or 978 MHz spectrum, sometimes referred to as 1090ES and 978 UAT. Check out this 978 vs. 1090 article for more information to learn which one is best for your airplane and type of flying.

While ADS-B out transponder prices have come down since the first models hit the market several years ago, you’re still looking at an average price of $3,000 plus installation. The good news though is that the FAA is stepping up again and helping to reduce some of the expense, by relaunching the $500 ADS-B transponder rebate program.

This second phase runs through October 11, 2019, and is available to U.S.-registered, fixed-wing, single-engine piston aircraft first registered before January 1, 2016. Your selected transponder must have received an ADS-B Technical Standard Order (TSO) authorization and meet ADS-B Out rule requirements. Here’s how to take advantage of the program:

Step 1

Select equipment for purchase.
Ensure your aircraft registration information is up-to-date in the FAA Aircraft Registry.
Discuss the plans with a certified installer to ensure it will work correctly.
Once an appointment is scheduled to install the avionics, you are ready to reserve your rebate.

Step 2

When within 90 days of avionics installation, reserve your rebate.
Receive your Rebate Reservation Code.

Step 3

Install the TSO-certified ADS-B avionics on your eligible aircraft.

Step 4

Fly per program rules within 60 days of installation to validate equipment performance.
Receive incentive code.

Step 5

Within 60 days of the installation date, use your Rebate Reservation Code and Incentive Code to claim your rebate.

For a more thorough review, check out this recording from of our recent webinar covering all the details on equipping for 2020:

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Source: Ipad appsFAA reopens 0 ADS-B rebate program – key takeaways

Garmin begins to integrate Fltplan.com features

Fltplan Garmin page
Fltplan.com flights can now be displayed in Garmin Pilot.

When Garmin bought Fltplan.com and the companion Fltplan Go apps, it seemed like a complementary pairing – one company has strength in mobile apps and panel avionics, the other has strength in online tools and handling services. At NBAA this week, Garmin announced the first step on its road to integrating the pieces, and as you would expect they are pursuing the most popular features first.

The most significant new feature, available in Garmin Pilot version 9.5, allows you to create a flight plan online at Fltplan.com and then see it in the app. This is basic but really powerful. Many pilots (especially in turbine airplanes) are fiercely loyal to Fltplan.com’s online planning tools but fly with a cockpit full of Garmin avionics; now the wall between the two has been knocked down.

First go to the Garmin Pilot app, tap the Menu button at the top left, then choose Settings. Then enter your Fltplan.com login credentials on the FltPlan.com settings page (the eigth option on the left). Finally, go to the Trip Planning tab and you’ll see any upcoming flights and all flights from the previous 48 hours.

You’ll notice a FltPlan.com icon underneath the route on the left side, indicating it was created online and not in the app. That’s important, because if you want to update the flight plan you’ll need to do it online at FltPlan.com and that requires an internet connection. We’d suggest you use this tool for preflight planning at home or at the FBO.

Once you’re ready to fly, tap the Activate button at the top right of the Trip Planning page and the route will be loaded onto the Map page. You can also load the route into Garmin avionics if the airplane has a FlightStream wireless link installed. So a typical flow might be: plan online at FltPlan.com, load into Garmin Pilot and activate the route, then send to the panel via FlightStream.

One other nice feature is the addition of FltPlan.com’s navlog to the app. This is another one of the site’s most popular features, since it packs almost all the essential information onto one easy-to-read page. From the Trip Planning page, tap NavLog and you’ll see the familiar layout. This can be viewed in full screen or shared via email, text and AirDrop.

The menu also includes a dedicated FltPlan.com option now. This is essentially a web browser built into the app, so you’ll need an internet connection for it to work. However, it’s a fast way to access all your flight plans and make any changes without leaving Garmin Pilot.

We expect to see more integration between Garmin Pilot and FltPlan.com in the near future. For now, version 9.5 of Garmin Pilot is available in the App Store.

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Source: Ipad appsGarmin begins to integrate Fltplan.com features

FAA Announces $40.9 Million for New Tower at GSO

Washington, DCThe U.S. Department of Transportations Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investing $40.9 million in infrastructure for Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) in Greensboro, NC. The Agency is building a new, 180-foot-tall Air Traffic Control Tower.

The new control tower will accommodate up to eight positions for air traffic controllers in a 550- square-foot tower cab. A 15,650 square-foot base building will anchor the new tower. It will house the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) with up to 10 radar positions for air traffic controllers. It will be equipped with state-of-the-art automation and communications systems. The base building also will include administrative offices and a training classroom. Construction will begin in early 2019, and the FAA expects to commission the facility in early 2022.

The new tower will allow air traffic controllers to manage flights safely and efficiently at North Carolinas third busiest airport. Greensboro Tower controlled 84,600 flights, and the TRACON handled 155,000 radar operations in the 12 months ending on Sept. 1, 2018.

The FAA awarded the construction contract to Archer Western Construction, LLC, of Chicago, IL. The new facility will replace the existing 90-foot-tall tower that has been in operation since 1974.

Source: FAAFAA Announces .9 Million for New Tower at GSO

App update roundup: Aerovie, FlyQ, FltPlan Go and iFly

The aviation app updates continue to roll out as we move into the fall flying season, with many adding support for the Stratus 3 ADS-B receiver and new feature enhancements. Here’s a quick roundup of what’s new in your favorite aviation app.

Aerovie

The biggest news from Aerovie is the addition of support for Stratus 3 ADS-B receiver. This allows you to use the popular portable accessory to view subscription-free traffic and weather in the app.

The update also addresses compatibility issues with older devices and iOS 12.

Download Aerovie on the App Store

FltPlan Go

In addition to adding support for Stratus 3 over the summer (read more about that here), FltPlan Go also added a few helpful features. First, you can now open and close VFR flight plans right from the app. This is accessed from a new button in the map settings:

There are also new CRAFT and ATIS templates in the scratchpad to assist with in-flight note taking:

Download FltPlan Go on the App Store

FlyQ

Along with the other apps mentioned here, FlyQ also added support for Stratus 3 in a recent update. The other big news in the app is the addition of Seattle Avionics’ new Slingshot database capability. This allows pilots flying with BendixKing xVue Touch to bring an iPad with FlyQ into the cockpit and update the system’s aviation databases, eliminating the hassle of updating SD cards manually.

What else is new in FlyQ:

  • Animated radar
  • Substantially faster performance
  • 2X better battery life / lower device heat
  • ADS-B traffic tail numbers and detailed target info

Download FlyQ EFB on the App Store

iFly

iFly debuted a major release with version 10.3, adding lots of new capabilities. Most notably this adds a new sketch mode and runway advisor.

Sketch Mode gives pilots the flexibility of drawing and highlighting on maps, dedicated sketch sheets, plates and diagrams. The feature allows pilots to discard paper and pencil and use the tablet for quick notes, jotting down clearances, highlighting map areas or points of interest, drawing out planned taxi routes and anything else you can think of.

Another key feature is the new Runway Advisor. With the Runway Advisor feature, you have the ability to, at-a-glance, see the recommended runway based on winds. Runway Advisor calculates and displays the downwind and crosswind component for each runway, color-coded to help the pilot make a quick decision.

What else is new in iFly 10.3:

  • Integrated with Dynon SkyView: ADSB, AHRS, Flight Plan Sharing
  • Added “Bearing Final” instrument
  • Improved Flight Plan form layout, including cumulative values
  • Added “Fuel Stop” setting per landing, to control resetting fuel counter
  • Added AOA (Angle of Attack) gauge, for supported devices (such as the Levil Broadcasting Outer Module (BOM))
  • Added “Require Fly Over” setting per waypoint
  • 2D map now rotate with EFIS view in TrackUp mode

Download iFly GPS on the App Store

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Source: Ipad appsApp update roundup: Aerovie, FlyQ, FltPlan Go and iFly

How to use the weight and balance features in ForeFlight

The weight and balance utility in ForeFlight takes the guesswork out of airplane loading.
The weight and balance utility in ForeFlight takes the guesswork out of airplane loading.

While most pilots know ForeFlight as a weather, chart and navigation program, the app also contains a collection of powerful preflight features. In addition to helping with route selection, filing flight plans and preflight weather briefings, ForeFlight can also assist with aircraft loading and weight & balance calculations (ForeFlight Basic Plus or Pro Plus subscription required).

This helpful tool allows you to quickly analyze last minute loading changes and will alert you if any parameters are outside your airplane’s envelope. Like everything else in the ForeFlight app, this feature is pilot-friendly and simple to use. To help you get going we’ll show you how to use this feature to create a custom aircraft profile and work through a typical weight & balance calculation.

Add a new aircraft profile

You’ll first need to enter the basic data for your airplane before you can fully take advantage of the weight and balance feature. Fortunately ForeFlight takes care of most of the work here since it can pull the majority of the info needed directly from the FAA Type Certificate Data Sheet and Service Bulletin records for many airplane types.

To get started, go to the More section of ForeFlight and select the Weight & Balance option from the list. Next tap the “+” button in the top right corner and enter your airplane’s registration number — don’t forget the “N” prefix if it’s registered in the US.

ForeFlight WB N# entry

If ForeFlight has your airplane type on record, you’ll be asked to confirm a couple options unique to your airplane, like if you have extended fuel tanks or prefer normal or utility category for loading limits. In the example below you’d need to tap the option to select Normal Category (as opposed to Utility Category), which is how most pilots would typically operate the airplane. 

ForeFlight WB category selection

Then to complete the setup you’ll need enter the empty weight and moment unique to your airplane, and ForeFlight will take care of the rest. After acknowledging a few caution and advisory notices you’ll be taken to the main calculation screen, where you’ll see detailed information about loading limits and configurations, including the familiar CG graph. We recommend that you grab your POH at this point and verify the info on the left side of the screen, including station arms, weight limits and forward and aft CG limits just to make sure ForeFlight got it all correct.

Verify WB profile

If ForeFlight does not have your airplane’s specs in its database after entering your N#, you’ll be prompted with a series of questions to manually set up your airplane’s configuration. These will ask you to specify the seating configuration, fuel tanks, baggage areas, oxygen tanks, de-ice fluid capacity and more.

FFM WB manual setup

After entering the empty weight and moment for your airplane, you’ll then be presented with the main calculation page, but there’s still more setup work to do. On the left side of the screen you’ll need to enter the arm for each station in the airplane and the various weight limits.

FFM manual setup

The final step is to enter the forward and aft CG limits, which you can retrieve from the POH. If you need to enter more than four points for your airplane, press the Edit button in the lower left of the screen, and select the green button next to the label New Forward (or Aft) Point.

FFM WB manual CG setup

Calculating weight and balance

Now that your airplane is set up and the stations and limits are verified, you only need to enter a few additional pieces of data to compute your loading. In the bottom left you’ll see that you’re currently in the “Setup” mode. Tap the “Load” button here, which will switch the configuration of the left side of the screen and allow you to enter the variable weights for your flight. Simply tap each Pilot, Passenger and Baggage line and enter the weights.

FFM WB loading

You’ll notice the Fuel entry form contains a few additional fields, allowing you to specify starting fuel, and then the amount you estimate to burn during taxi and in flight, which is used to compute landing weight and CG. You can enter either the fuel volume or weight here, and ForeFlight will automatically compute the corresponding value based on your specified fuel density.

FFM Fuel loading

Next tap the edit button in the lower left of the screen if you want to add additional items to your flight. You may find it helpful to add the actual names and weights of the people you fly with most often since you can toggle them on or off quickly with the blue checkmark button before each flight. We also found it useful to add the common supplies we carry along on most flights, like the tow bar, extra oil and cleaning supplies. Then you can quickly toggle them on or off based on the requirements of each flight.

ForeFlight provides instant feedback as you enter your data. If things are looking good and within limits, you’ll see a green banner notification at the top with the message “Aircraft load is within limits”. And conversely when out of limits the app will display a red banner with a label indicating whether it’s weight or CG causing the issue. This instant analysis makes it easy to quickly adjust the loading to help keep everything within limits.

ForeFlight WB final loading

In the center of the screen you’ll see the familiar CG graph with each point plotted on the chart — green means good, and red means out of limits. When you’re out of limits in a particular configuration, a Notices section will appear just under the graph that will explain what is causing the problem.

FFM WB notices

Last you’ll see a numerical view of each weight and CG broken down by phase of flight, with out of limit values highlighted in red. Press the Audit Mode button at the bottom of this list to see even more details about each calculation, including weight, arm and moment for each station.

FFM WB numbers

When finished setting up your profile and computing a loading calculation, you can easily print or email this data. Press the “Send-to” button in the upper right of the screen, which will display options to with Print or Email your calculations. The email option will send the recipient a PDF containing a loading summary, complete with all the details and CG graph. It will also contain a link that allows that person to load and save your aircraft profile into their ForeFlight app if installed. This is the only way for now that you can transfer profiles between your own devices too.

FFM WB email

For more information on the weight and balance tool, check out ForeFlight’s supplemental guide: Weight and Balance in ForeFlight Mobile.

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Source: Ipad appsHow to use the weight and balance features in ForeFlight

FAA's Hurricane Michael Update

The Federal Aviation Administration closely monitors forecasted hurricanes and severe weather events and prepares FAA facilities and equipment to withstand storm damage. We prepare and protect air traffic control facilities along the projected storm path so we can quickly resume operations after the hurricane passes. Enabling flights to resume quickly is critical to support disaster relief efforts.

Commercial Travelers
Because of Hurricane Michael, airlines are likely to cancel many flights in the direct path of the storm and the surrounding areas. Flights that are not cancelled may be delayed. Once Hurricane Michael makes ground fall, airports may be listed as open but flooding on local roadways may limit access to airports for passengers, as well as the employees who work for the airlines or at the airport. As a result, every aspect of your trip to the airport, including parking, checking in, getting through security and boarding may take longer than usual.

As always, check with airlines about the status of your flight before you leave for the airport. Major carriers provide flight status updates on their website:

Please continue to check the status of your flight with your airline, not the FAA. You can also check the status of some major airports in the storm path by visitingFly.FAA.gov, which is updated regularly. You can also checkcurrent travel advisoriesprovided by most U.S. airlines.

Air Traffic Control
FAA control towers in hurricane-prone areas are designed and built to sustain hurricane force winds. Each control tower has a maximum wind sustainability. When the winds approach that level, controllers evacuate the tower cabs. They may remain in the building on duty in a secure lower level, and are ready to go back to work as soon as the storm passes.

We also protect communications equipment and navigational aids to the greatest extent possible. As the storm approaches, we disable airport surveillance radar antennas to allow them to spin freely, minimizing potential wind damage. This limits damage to the antenna motors and allows radar coverage to resume quickly after the storm passes.

Drone Users
The FAA warns drone operators that they will be subject to significant fines that may exceed $20,000 and civil penalties if they interfere with emergency response operations. Flying a drone without authorization in or near the disaster area may violate federal, state, or local laws and ordinances, even if aTemporary Flight Restriction(TFR) is not in place. Allow first responders to save lives and property without interference.

General Aviation Pilots
Standard check lists are even more important in and around severe weather. Be aware of weather conditions throughout the entire route of your planned flight. A pilots failure to recognize deteriorating weather conditions continues to cause or contribute to accidents.

What DHS and FEMA are Doing

What the U.S. Government is Doing

Source: FAAFAA's Hurricane Michael Update

Hurricane Michael: Information for Drone Operators

TheFederal Aviation Administration(FAA) is warning drone owners and operators that they will be subject to significant fines that may exceed $20,000 if they interfere with emergency response operations in the areas affected by Hurricane Michael.

Many aircraft that are conducting life-saving missions and other critical response and recovery efforts are likely to be flying at low altitudes over areas affected by the storm. Flying a drone without authorization in or near the disaster area may unintentionally disrupt rescue operations and violate federal, state, or local laws and ordinances, even if aTemporary Flight Restriction(TFR) is not in place. Allow first responders to save lives and property without interference.

Government agencies with anFAA Certificate of Authorization(COA) or flying underPart 107, as well as private sector Part 107 drone operators who want to support response and recovery operations, are strongly encouraged to coordinate their activities with the local incident commander responsible for the area in which they want to operate.

If drone operators need to fly in controlled airspace or a disaster TFR to support the response and recovery, operatorsmustcontact the FAAs System Operations Support Center (SOSC) by emailing9-ATOR-HQ-SOSC@faa.govtheinformationthey need to authorize access to the airspace. Coordination with the SOSC may also include a requirement that a drone operator obtain support from the appropriate incident commander.

Heres the information the FAA may require:

  • the unmanned aircraft type
  • a PDF copy of a current FAA COA
  • the pilots Part 107 certificate number
  • details about the proposed flight (date, time, location, altitude, direction and distance to the nearest airport, and latitude/longitude)
  • nature of the event (fire, law enforcement, local/national disaster, missing person) and the pilots qualification information.

Source: FAAHurricane Michael: Information for Drone Operators

iPad screen protectors – which one is best for pilots?

Screen glare is a persistent problem for pilots flying with the iPad. The latest iPad Pro models incorporate an anti-reflective coating that is an improvement over the earlier models, but it still can be difficult to view in sunlight or when covered with fingerprint smudges. While smart mounting strategies can reduce it (we’ve been able to make the iPad screen usable in even bubble canopy airplanes), there’s no way to completely eliminate glare. After all, the iPad is a giant sheet of glass. Is there anything pilots can do?

For years, different companies have offered anti-glare screen protectors to help with this problem. We’ve tested dozens of them and most are, frankly, worthless. A good screen protector should pass four tests with us:

  • It is easy to install, without hundreds of little air bubbles.
  • It protects the screen from scratches and smudges.
  • It does not negatively affect the touch-screen interface.
  • It reduces screen glare without dimming the screen.

After countless flight trials over the years, our favorite by a long shot is MyGoFlight’s ArmorGlas.

To help illustrate its effectiveness, we installed the protector on a new iPad 9.7″ (a model without the newer antireflective coating), with the screen brightness on maximum, and took it into the cockpit of a Cessna 172 on a sunny fall day – a really difficult lighting situation.

What you see below is a comparison of the iPad with no screen protector compared to the ArmorGlas. It’s hard to show in the picture exactly what it looks like in the cockpit, but you get a good idea of each one’s performance.

Here’s how it stacked up on our four criteria:

  • ArmorGlas is actually a thin sheet of tempered glass, so it’s rigid. That means it’s fast and easy to install – no bubbles to press out and no thin film flying around in the wind.
  • The ArmorGlas is thicker than less expensive films, so it provides better protection. We even took a box cutter to it and couldn’t scratch the iPad screen.
  • Somewhat counterintuitively, the ArmorGlas left the iPad screen more responsive than thinner films. There was almost no difference between it and the naked iPad screen.
  • While not a miracle cure, we felt the ArmorGlas did reduce screen glare noticeably. Under our extreme test conditions, the screen still needed to be tilted just a bit to be able to read it clearly, but this was better than no protector and less washed out than the thinner films.

At $49.99, ArmorGlas is not cheap, but it’s comparable to other high-end screen protectors from companies like Zagg – you get what you pay for. It’s our top pick for pilots searching for an iPad screen protector that will last. ArmorGlas is available for the iPad 9.7″/iPad/iPad Air, iPad Pro 10.5″, iPad Pro 12.9″, iPad Mini 4, iPad Mini 1-3 and the original iPad 2-4.

 

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Source: Ipad appsiPad screen protectors – which one is best for pilots?

iOS Update Green Light program: iOS 12.0.1

Apple released the first update to the new iOS 12 operating system this week, addressing several bugs and improving Bluetooth reliability. Here are the official release notes for iOS 12.0.1 from Apple:

– Fixes an issue where some iPhone XS devices did not immediately charge when connected to a Lightning cable
– Resolves an issue that could cause iPhone XS devices to rejoin a Wi-Fi network at 2.4GHz instead of 5GHz
– Restores the original position of the “.?123” key on the iPad keyboard
– Fixes an issue where subtitles may not appear in some video apps
– Addresses an issue where Bluetooth could become unavailable
– For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

As with any iOS release, we recommend holding off on updating until your app or accessory developer has had time to fully test compatibility with the new software.

View the previous iOS 12.0 green light status here.

Important note for ForeFlight users:

ForeFlight has discovered a compatibility issue between ForeFlight and iOS 12 affecting the iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6, and older devices. These devices may experience persistent app crashes while running ForeFlight on iOS 12.

ForeFlight has notified Apple of this issue and our team is working on finding and implementing a fix, but for now we recommend that all customers “hold short” on updating to iOS 12 on any iPad Minis, iPad Airs, iPhone 6, and older devices used in flight. We will notify you as soon as a fix is available.

Newer devices are not impacted by this issue and are clear to update to iOS 12. These include any iPad Pro, iPad 5th generation and above, and iPhone 6S and above.

 

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Source: Ipad appsiOS Update Green Light program: iOS 12.0.1

FAA Reauthorization Bill Establishes New Conditions for Recreational Use of Drones

On October 5, 2018, the President signed theFAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. The Act establishes new conditions for recreational use of drones and immediately repeals the Special Rule for Model Aircraft.

  • Fly for hobby or recreation only
  • Register your model aircraft
  • Fly within visual line-of-sight
  • Follow community-based safety guidelines and fly within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization
  • Fly a drone under 55 lbs. unless certified by a community-based organization
  • Never fly near other aircraft
  • Never fly near emergency response efforts

The agency is evaluating the impacts of this change in the law and how implementation will proceed. The Reauthorization Act cannot be fully implemented immediately, please continue to follow all current policies and guidance with respect to recreational use of drones:

Updated direction and guidance will be provided as the FAA implements this new legislation.

Source: FAAFAA Reauthorization Bill Establishes New Conditions for Recreational Use of Drones