Paper charts still needed, but AeroNav is wrong

Does anyone dispute the need for paper charts for pilots? I hope not. Likewise, there can be no doubt about the rapid rise of digital chart usage. More and more general aviation pilots (and airlines and flight departments for that matter) are adopting “appified” navigation via [insert app here] on Apple’s iPad and a few other tablet devices. How dare anyone stand in the way of this progress. Yet that is exactly what the FAA’s AeroNav (Aeronautical Navigation Products) division is proposing.

If you are unaware, AeroNav held a meeting on December 13 “for companies interested in distributing our digital product line in the future.” The meeting had a stated goal “to collaboratively discuss options for FAA’s AeroNav Products to develop a proposal to best distribute digital products.” That goal seems right enough… yet highlights from the meeting tell a much different story. Five of the nine bullet points from AeroNav’s meeting highlights mention fees and/or revenue.

[Read more...]

Lessons learned during my iPad year

caro5

By BILL WALKER

I received an iPad for Christmas last year and put it to use straightaway in my Skyhawk.

Not knowing which aviation application to use, I tried several. I purchased ForeFlight, Flight Guide and Pilot My-Cast by Garmin, and did a 30-day trial of WingX Pro from Hilton Software. Now, nearly a year on, I use ForeFlight most often, with My-Cast a close second.

With these apps I can plan a flight, review the weather anytime, fly the plan or change it on the move using an easily readable and seamless electronic sectional — and take advantage of the cheapest fuel stops enroute. [Read more...]