Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Smart App's.

Pilots are members of a fairly small community.  Locally we have a diverse group pilots who are involved in keeping aviation alive and well in Pennsylvania's Canyon Country.  We are fortunate to have airline pilots, private pilots, sport pilots and ultralight pilots in our area.  We also have an active CFI who recently invested in an aircraft to do flight instruction at N38.  We also have A&P's, A&P I/A's and CFI's who are current but not actively instructing.  All of these folks are willing to share their experience and knowlege anyone, if asked. 

The use of technology with local aviators is almost as diverse as the pilot community.  Some of our local pilots and student pilots take advantage of technological adavancements and some have not yet even joined the email generation.  In either case safety is the bottom line.  A pilot who is disciplined enough to keep his or her skill set up to date by digging through volumes of paper is no less safe that a pilot who takes advantage of the modern applications.

Regardless of which side of the technology divide a pilot or student is on, one cannot deny the ease and accesability of the modern tools and toys that are available via the smart phones and tablet applications.  Below listed are just a few applications that you can use in flight, in preperation for flight or studying for a pilots certificate.  Even if ultralight flight is what you do, you need to be a safe pilot and many of these tools are good stuff that can help make you a safer pilot.

This is a resource that everyone uses from time to time.  Drop this ap. on you iPhone or iPad for an instant reference tool.  Part 103 ultralight guys need this as much or if not more than GA guys! 

Spin-a-Wind is a handy application to quickly calculate your crosswind component based on the wind speed and direction and given heading.  You can set personal wind warnings and maximum settings based on your comfort level and POH for your airplane.  This is a pretty cool app.  Ultralighers, GA pilots or Light Sport pilot?  This is an application for everyone.

Have you decided to study for a rating?  Private, Instument, Glider?  This is a great tool to help you simulate a test, study or quiz environment.  The graphic suppliment may be a bit weak in the test mode compared to an actual Lasergrade test but this is a pretty good practice tool.  If you want to take a great practice test, try http://www.mywrittenexam.com/  You can download graphics for the supplimental or you can buy the actual supplimental used by Lasergrade online. 

 The dreaded "whiz wheel" the E6B!!  For those guys who have the carboard spin doctor E6B and  know how to work the damn thing,  bless you!  For those of us who did not, we use an electronic version that makes us feel good and want to throw that blankety blank cardboard thing into the wood stove.  There are lots of electronic handheld E6B's available as well as dozens of online apps.

WingXPro is just one of the in flight tools that is available to to all pilots.  There are just way too many uses for this application to expalin here but if you have an iPhone or iPad the moving map alone is worth the money.  The AFD and associated tools tools are great too.   You can do away with paper charts as current sectional are updated on a regular basis.

Foreflight is another popular pre and inflight tool.  If you have a mobile phone or tablet that you use in-flight, these Foreflight or Wing X Pro are powerful tools.

Do you need to get current or get ready for your bi-annual flight review?  Your smart phone or tablet of choice has tools available to help you prepare.  iTunes is loaded with aviation applications.  If you dont have an iTunes account you may want to consider it.  Electronic study tools are a great way to keep current and safe.

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