ForeFlight looks stronger

As smaller EFB companies exit the market, ForeFlight is quickly becoming the standard among iPad users:

“AOPA is exiting the electronic flight bag (EFB) market, and the association’s existing products, the FlyQ EFB iPad application and related FlyQ Pocket smartphone application, will transition to Seattle Avionics.

The association made the announcement July 25 after a review of member products and services that included an assessment of how AOPA members believe the association should direct resources when it comes to flight planning benefits.

Seattle Avionics, which developed the applications in partnership with AOPA, will work closely with the association to ensure a smooth transition for users.”

Aero-news.net has the story here.

Garmin Goes Synthetic for Tablets

From AOPA:

“Garmin didn’t invent GPS-derived “synthetic vision,” but adding it to the G1000 avionics suite legitimized and popularized the technology.

Similarly, Garmin wasn’t the first to offer a syn-vis on a tablet computer app, but adding it to Garmin Pilot puts the technology in front of thousands of additional pilots and raises the utility and sophistication of electronic flight bags to a new level….

First, a confession. When I first saw syn-vis on a G1000 in 2008, I regarded it as a gimmick. To me, traditional instrument six packs were perfectly adequate for instrument flight, and colorful graphics of the outside world seemed interesting but unnecessary.

That changed for me on a foggy winter day when I flew a G1000-equipped aircraft on an LDA approach into Hartford-Brainard Airport in Connecticut with rain pelting the windshield.”

Read the whole article here.

Bendix King’s EFB App Goes West

This was to be expected with the intense competition in the market. It’s interesting that the Bendix King spokesman seems to acknowledge ForeFlight is the leader. From AVweb:

“Citing a crowded aviation tablet app market, Bendix King said it will drop its myWingMan navigation app, effective immediately. The company said that customers with existing payed subscriptions will be issued a full refund and that the decision to pull its myWingMan navigation app from the Apple store was difficult, but is the “right thing to do for customers.” In an exclusive interview with AvWeb, Bendix King’s Paul Hathoway acknowledged the fierce competition from other app makers.

“It really comes down to the question of how do you displace the tens of thousands of existing ForeFlight users? Quite frankly, it’s a crowded space,” said Hathoway.”

Read the whole article here.

Angle of Attack Device Certification

Angle of Attack devices can significantly increase safety. From EAA News:

“The FAA today released a new, less-restrictive policy for installing Angle of Attack (AoA) systems in GA aircraft. The policy allows aircraft owners to install AoA systems that are manufactured and certified by ASTM standards, rather than part 23 certification, as a minor modification in type-certificated aircraft.

The policy comes as a result of a General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GA JSC) push to make AoA indicators available to aircraft owners at lower purchasing cost and fewer regulatory burdens for their installation. EAA is a longtime member of the GA JSC. While AoAs have been on the GA market for type-certificated aircraft for years, the costs and hassles associated with purchasing and installing them caused the vast majority of owners to simply use an airspeed indicator as a reserve lift reference….”

Read the rest of the story here.

GPS Jammer Fined

It has to be a big concern if it can shut down an instrument approach system. Looks like the FCC takes this seriously. From AVweb:

“A New Jersey man who didn’t want his boss following his every move has lost his job and had the book thrown at him by the FCC because the inexpensive ($68 and up) GPS jammer he carried in his truck shut down an experimental, high tech, multi-million-dollar navigation system at Newark Liberty Airport. Gary Bojczak was fined $31,875 by the FCC after admitting that he carried the device, which is readily available for sale on the Internet, so he could disable the GPS transmitter on the pickup truck he drove for [an] engineering company.”

Read the whole story here.

Cell Phone Backup

AOPA relates the story of one pilot who had an electrical failure shortly after takeoff:

“When Cody’s electrical system quit during retraction of the landing gear, he couldn’t tell whether the gear was up and locked, down, or somewhere in between. All he knew was that the sound the gear was making while coming up wasn’t right, and seemed to stop too soon. As he was pondering that, the avionics quit.

Cody decided to press on to tower-controlled Grand Junction, where someone could look over his landing gear during a fly-by. But without a working radio, he couldn’t call ahead for someone to be in position when he arrived….

Navigating with an app on his iPad while holding onto the yoke with one hand and flipping pages of a flight guide with the other, Cody searched for a phone number—any number—at the Grand Junction airport.

He found one, but he was getting “hammered” so badly by the bumps that he couldn’t make out exactly what number he was calling on his cell phone….”

Read the conclusion of the story here.

New GPS Satellite in Orbit

GPS Satellite; ccimage courtesy of cliff1066 on flickr

Here’s another interesting post on Aero-News Network. The latest and greatest GPS constellation is being deployed by Boeing.

“The Global Positioning System, which millions of people including many pilots use every day for precise navigation and timing, recently became more accurate and reliable as the fourth Boeing GPS IIF satellite began operating in the U.S. Air Force network.

Launched May 15, that satellite was handed over to the Air Force after 19 days of post-launch validation to stabilize the vehicle and activate the navigation payload, and set healthy on June 21.”

Read the whole post here.

GPS Testing Next Week

All members should know, there is going to be GPS testing in the St. Louis region next week. From the FAA:

FLIGHT ADVISORY GPS Testing
GAFC GPS 13 – 01
February 04, 2013 – February 16, 2013
St. Louis, MO
GPS testing is scheduled as follows and may result in unreliable or unavailable GPS signal.”

Read the whole notice here and be sure to check NOTAMs.

Cue the Energizer Bunny

Here’s an interesting read from Air & Space about the battery problems on the 787…

“The Boeing’s 787′s problems with onboard lithium-ion batteries led to the FAA’s decision to ground the fleet. That’s hardly surprising. But some erroneous information has found its way into public forums concerning the nature of these high-tech but somewhat touchy batteries.

To begin with, the kind of battery used on the 787 is rechargeable, which makes it different from the small lithium batteries sold in AA sizes at the hardware store. Those get used up and thrown away. The 787′s rechargeables also are different from the lead-acid batteries commonly used to provide start power for automobiles. About 20 years ago, it was common to add water to lead-acid batteries when the quantity of electrolyte, a dilution of sulfuric acid, dropped too low. Today the batteries are sealed and vented….”

Read the whole article here.