For operators of commercial aircraft, including airlines and business jet charter or fractional-share operations, gaining regulator approval for use of iPad tablet computers as Class 2 electronic flight bags (EFBs) can take time and effort. There is a simpler way to complete this process and that is working with a company that has figured out what needs to be done to satisfy the regulators and also meet aeronautical quality standards.
Navtech launched its iCharts electronic flight bag (EFB) solution for iOS devices today at the Arinc EFB Users Forum in Memphis, Tenn. iCharts is Navtech’s next generation of charting products that allows pilots to view aeronautical charts using an iPad or iPad mini. Further, it plans to release eCharts, a Windows version of its electronic chart software, at the end of next month. Both of these chart products are part of Navtech’s suite of charting solutions designed to replace paper aeronautical charts.
Pilots who want to practice using FltPlan’s new FltPlanGo moving-map and charts app can do so using Laminar Research’s X-Plane flight-simulator program. FltPlanGo running on Apple iPads can show simulated own-ship position, and pilots can fly X-Plane while using FltPlanGo just as they would in a real aircraft. “It’s important for pilots who don’t fly often or those who have been away from flying to practice workflows and procedures,” said Sarah Wilson, principal/director of new technologies at FltPlan.
The FAA issued Jeppesen a letter of operational suitability that allows the Apple iPad mini to be used in cockpits at commercial operators when the device is paired with Jeppesen’s electronic flight bag (EFB) solutions. This letter covers both the iPad mini with and without the Retina display. The FAA process was conducted to provide assurance for pilots and aviation operators that Jeppesen data, when displayed on the 7.9-inch iPad mini screen, is acceptable for use.
The Squadron’s new iFrat flight risk assessment tool for the iPad uses a color-coded risk scale and breaks down flights into five elements: planning, environment, assets, communications and event. Pilots record an assessment of each element, based on their flight experience and knowledge; iFrat then generates a simple pictorial report exportable via email. New FAA rules require helicopter EMS pilots to conduct a risk assessment before each flight.
MyGoFlight and the IMC Club have jointly launched the EFB Challenge, a knowledge contest intended to study and advance the use of low-cost tablets, such as the iPad, as electronic flight bag s(EFB). Interested pilot contestants can enter local contests and winners will advance to regional events. Regional finalists will compete nationally during EAA AirVenture 2015 in Oshkosh, Wis., in late July.
Sporty’s Pilot Shop (N-100, N-101) highlighted its recently unveiled Partner Programs along with new products and services at its annual Sun ’n’ Fun press conference here in Lakeland, Fla. Sporty’s trio of Partner Programs provide discounts and rebates to flight instructors, flying clubs and FBOs for their orders from Sporty’s, paid quarterly. “One [flying] club just got a check for $200,” said Michael Wolf, president of the pilot supplies provider.
Hilton Software is demonstrating the latest addition to the features of its moving-map app at its Sun ’n’ Fun booth (No. D-081/082), integration of the Pebble smart watch with WingX Pro7. The watch connects to an iPad or iPhone running WingX Pro7 and displays navigation information and battery level indications and provides vibrating notifications. Pebble integration is available with the latest version of WingX Pro7, version 8.0, which also includes the ability to add SIDs, Stars and instrument approach procedures to flights plans and display user documents in a split screen.
A major release of iFlightPlanner’s iPad app—Version 2.0–adds many new features to the flight planning and moving-map app, including virtual GPS capability to display simulated own-ship position on FSX and X-Plane flight simulators and an integrated flight recorder. The iFlightPlanner app synchronizes with the company’s flight-planning website, including the mobile version, so flight plans created on the website can easily be synchronized with the user’s iPad.
We owe the FAA a debt of gratitude for the most excellent job the agency has done to provide data to aid our flying. It is amazing that for a relatively small cost pilots have access to a wealth of navigation information. Much of it—VFR charting especially—is gorgeous, pretty enough to hang on a wall or use as wrapping paper after the expiration date.