Tag Archives: 40I

New enclosed flight facility for drones debuts

SALINA, Kansas — Kansas State University Salina and industry partner Westar Energy are increasing education about remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) — also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones — with the creation of a new flight facility.

The UAS Pavilion on K-State Salina’s campus is one of the largest enclosed unmanned flight facilities in the nation, according to university officials. Measuring 300-feet-long by 200-feet-wide and 50-feet-tall, the structure will enable staff and students in K-State Salina’s unmanned aircraft systems program to conduct flight training and research within steps of their lab space.


Since the program’s inception in 2009, all RPA flight activities have had to operate offsite because of the campus’s proximity to the Salina Regional Airport. According to FAA rules, unmanned aircraft cannot fly within five miles of an airport. The new structure ensures students and staff can avoid time and logistical challenges by flying onsite, officials noted.

The pavilion was built in September with the assistance of Westar Energy, Topeka, which has been an industry partner with K-State Salina for a few years. The electric utility company and the unmanned aircraft systems program have been collaborating on research and training related to the development of RPA technology in and for the electric power energy sector, primarily consisting of infrastructure inspection.

“The flight pavilion enables us to train employees in safer, more efficient ways to serve our customers, and helps prepare students with the emerging skills they will need in the workforce,” said Jason Klenklen, supervisor of transmission maintenance for Westar Energy.

Along with the 25 wooden poles donated and installed by Westar Energy, the facility features custom fabricated netting panels on all sides and across the top. With the structure being contained but not completely closed off to outdoor elements, the facility does not block GPS signals on unmanned aircraft and allows flight missions to be conducted in various weather conditions.

“This facility enables us to offer student training, literally in our own backyard, in an open environment that ensures safe operations with no interference to other campus activities, including manned aircraft operations,” said Kurt Carraway, K-State Salina’s interim UAS program manager.

K-State Salina is the second university in the nation to offer a bachelor’s degree in UAS, which began in 2011. Since then, the program has nearly doubled its enrollment every year. The initial degree focused on flight and operations, and in fall 2015, the campus added a second bachelor’s degree in UAS design and integration. K-State Salina was the first entity in the United States to be awarded statewide access for unmanned flight operations by the FAA and is a member of the FAA Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comNew enclosed flight facility for drones debuts

Deadline approaching to apply for WAI scholarships

Two deadlines are approaching for those interested in applying for a Women in Aviation (WAI) scholarship for 2016. To apply, you must be a WAI member as of Nov. 2, 2015. Scholarship applications must be postmarked no later than Nov. 16, 2015.

“This year we are offering 111 different scholarships totaling $600,000,” says WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. “These scholarships are not just for college students; they are for people at every phase of their aviation lives.”

Scholarships are offered not only for scholastic assistance, but for flight training, including a large number of type ratings, and financial assistance for pilots who just want to fly for fun. Scholarships are offered for students, mechanics, engineers, ag pilots, flight instructors, engineers and a range of other diverse occupations.

A description of all 111 scholarships, an application and tips for creating a successful application can be found at wai.org.

Scholarships for 2016 will be awarded during WAI’s 27th Annual International Women in Aviation Conference, slated for March 10-12, 2016, in Nashville.

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comDeadline approaching to apply for WAI scholarships

Celebrate Veteran’s Day with Bob Hoover

FTFE_Poster_Bob Hoover_ V12 s

“Flying the Feathered Edge: The Bob Hoover Project” will be at the center of a national Veteran’s Day event.

The film, which shares the story of one of the nation’s most revered veterans, aviator Bob Hoover, will be shown in all 50 states on Nov. 11. Tickets are available currently through the Bob Hoover Project website and movie theater host, Tugg until Nov. 1 but are expected to sell out, according to the event’s organizers.

FTFE_Poster_Bob Hoover_ V12 sDuring the film Bob Hoover shares some of his World War II experience, including the time he was shot down off the coast of southern France and taken prisoner only to escape 16 months later by stealing a German Fw 190 and flying to safety.

Hoover’s personal stories are shared along with conversations with actor and pilot Harrison Ford and airshow legend Sean D. Tucker. Bob Hoover reflects on his remarkable career as an Air Force fighter pilot, experimental test pilot, and airshow pilot in the film.

The film also includes appearances by Neil Armstrong, Clay Lacy, Dick and Burt Rutan, Carroll Shelby and other experts in the aerospace field.

The national Veteran’s Day campaign is one of many opportunities that filmmaker Kim Furst has participated in over the past year in an effort to highlight Hoover’s remarkable career and inspire a new generation of aviators.

“Bob Hoover’s legacy has inspired me personally and my hope is that in sharing his story we will see a new generation of aviators emerge,” said Furst.

Tickets can be found at Tugg.com

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comCelebrate Veteran’s Day with Bob Hoover

Read top aviation news in Apple’s News app

Apple News

Apple News allows you to filter articles based on the topics and channels you're most interested in.

Apple News allows you to filter articles based on the topics and channels you’re most interested in.

Last month we covered some of the great new features and enhancements delivered in Apple’s iOS 9 update for iPhone and iPad. Unlike previous updates, this one went through without any hiccups and the adoption rate is already over 60%.

As a bonus, iOS 9 also installed a new app on your iPad/iPhone called News, which collects all the stories on topics you’re interested in from thousands of sources and organizes them in one location for easy reading.

Apple News makes for a great aviation news reader that you can customize based on your specific interests. For example you can add the topic “Cessna” to your favorites, and the app will show you all the news from the day related to Cessna airplanes. Or search for “Flight Training” and you’ll get articles related to that subject. After you save a variety of topics and channels to your favorites list, the app will mix up the articles in the main “For You” section each day based on your interests.

And best of all, iPad Pilot News has a dedicated channel in the Apple News app for convenient reading. A quick search will display the channel, or you can access it directly by clicking on this link from your iOS device: iPad Pilot News.

If you’re a Flipboard user (another news aggregator app), you can find us there as well.




Source: Ipad appsRead top aviation news in Apple’s News app

Master Logbook case introduced

MasterLogbook Case 2

While the earning and recording of flight hours and maintenance history is important, keeping them safe and secure is invaluable. The new Master Logbook Case from ASA protects and stores those irreplaceable records.

MasterLogbook Case 2The main compartment will hold logbooks up to 6-1/2 inches x 11 inches. A second interior pocket provides a place to hold documents or aeronautical charts, while four clear vinyl pockets allow storage of pilot certificates, medical certificates, credit cards and other smaller paper or plastic items.

An elastic loop on the inside will hold a pen or slim flashlight. The hook and loop closure system keeps contents secure and a contrasting blue inner lining makes it easy to find items inside, ASA officials note.

Master Logbook case 1Price: $22.95.

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comMaster Logbook case introduced

ForeFlight traffic tips – how to get the most out of ADS-B traffic

ForeFlight traffic tips v2

When connected to a Stratus ADS-B receiver, ForeFlight Mobile offers an easy-to-use traffic display. While ADS-B traffic is not a complete picture of other aircraft (or even close to it), many pilots still appreciate any additional information. But are you using this feature to its fullest?

In previous articles, we’ve covered the theory behind ADS-B traffic and how it works. Here, we’ll offer seven practical tips for actually using the service in ForeFlight, including some advanced settings to consider.

1. Turn on the traffic layer. This seems obvious, but the most common reason why traffic doesn’t display on your iPad is because it wasn’t turned on. Traffic is a layer in ForeFlight, just like radar or METARs. To enable traffic, tap the drop-down menu at the top left of the Maps page and select Traffic – note that this menu option is only available when connected to Stratus, so if you don’t see it sitting at home that is normal. You can display this layer alongside radar, obstacles and METARs, so it’s not an either-or scenario.

traffic layer

2. Turn on the traffic filter. When you first fly with ADS-B traffic, it’s fun to see all the traffic that’s out there. In our flying, we’ve picked up ADS-B traffic that’s over 175 miles away. While that’s interesting, it’s of little use when it comes to avoiding a mid-air. In fact, too much traffic can be completely overwhelming. If you’ve ever flown past a busy flight school or an airline hub (where most of the airplanes have ADS-B Out), you’ve seen how confusing the screen can look. Here’s an example (flying past Embry-Riddle in Florida):

ERAU traffic

The way to eliminate this confusing (and potentially dangerous) situation is to use ForeFlight’s built-in traffic filter. Tap the gear button on the Maps page and you’ll see a drop-down menu. Turn “Hide Distant Traffic” on, and the app will only show those airplanes that are within +/- 3500 feet vertically and 15nm. This is a much more useful setting for everyday operations:

2015-10-22 14.11.57

3. Zoom in for TrafficTrend: ForeFlight displays additional information as you zoom in on a traffic target, going from a simple traffic symbol to a detailed data block that resembles an ATC radar display. When you zoom in on another airplane, you will see the relative altitude (-297 in the screenshot below means the traffic is 29,700 ft below your altitude), climb or descent trend (if it’s greater than 500 ft/min), tail number (if it’s an ADS-B Out aircraft) and projected track. This TrafficTrend vector shows what direction the airplane is moving, and the longer the vector, the faster it’s moving. So if you want a more detailed picture of what nearby traffic is doing, zoom in:


4. Tap for more info. For even more information, you can always tap on an individual airplane for complete information. This works just like tapping on an airport, displaying a pop-up window with relative position, heading, speed and whether the aircraft was detected with 978 or 1090MHz.

10 - ForeFlight - Chart Radar Traffic

5. Use it on the ground for runway incursions. ADS-B traffic isn’t just for flying. At larger airports, especially when there’s a lot of airline traffic, it can be pretty handy during taxi and takeoff too. A great way to use this tip is to display the airport diagram on the Maps page (using the Plates on Maps feature), then zoom way in on the airport. In the example below (at DFW), you can get a good picture of where other airplanes are taxiing and also when a runway is in use. Brown airplanes are stationary, and blue airplanes are in motion. This should never take the place of a good outside scan with your eyes, but as a final check it’s handy to make sure no other airplanes are on short final:

DFW traffic zoom

6. Turn on visual alerts. This is a relatively new feature, but is a nice addition. Go to the More tab, then Settings. Scroll down to the Traffic section and turn on Visual Alerts. When this is enabled and your aircraft is moving faster than 40 knots, ForeFlight will issue a pop-up alert (just like a Runway Advisor alert) anytime another aircraft is within 1nm and +/- 1200 ft. This alert shows up no matter what page you’re on in ForeFlight, and includes clock positions for the traffic. It’s a great feature, but keep in mind that ForeFlight only knows your GPS altitude so the relative altitude is not that precise. As always, use this feature as an additional tool, not a replacement for a good visual scan. If your airplane is equipped with ADS-B Out, you can even receive audio alerts.

Stratus traffic pop up

7. Monitor the Stratus Status menu. Like almost everything with Stratus, the Stratus Status menu (accessible from the gear symbol on the Maps page) contains a lot of information about ADS-B Traffic. In particular, it shows how recently you’ve received traffic data, so you know how current your map is. It also breaks down 978MHz traffic (received air-to-air), 1090MHz traffic (air-to-air targets that are mostly airliners) and TIS-B traffic (rebroadcast from ground stations). This can give you a sense of whether you’re receiving traffic from a ground station or only from air-to-air.

Stratus traffic status

Source: Ipad appsForeFlight traffic tips – how to get the most out of ADS-B traffic

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