December 4, 2008
The next generation of flight planning is here with the official launch of the AOPA Internet Flight Planner (AIFP).
The new flight planning tool concluded beta testing on Dec. 2, after receiving member input for more than one month. Testers have been amazed by the new flight planner’s capabilities.
Because AIFP is Internet-based, it will work on Macs as well as PCs and Linux-based systems, and it can be accessed from any computer, anywhere in the world with Internet access. It will replace AOPA’s Real-Time Flight Planner, which will retire from service on Jan. 16, 2009.
AOPA and the software engineers at Jeppesen teamed to develop AIFP, which still uses Jeppesen’s industry-leading database and flight-planning algorithms. The application itself, however, was created at AOPA headquarters by the association’s talented staff of Web developers. Because it was designed in-house, AOPA can react more quickly when members suggest upgrades or when new technologies are developed, ensuring that AIFP continues to deliver the best and most useful flight planning features around.
“We want feedback from our members about this program,” said AOPA Vice President of ePublishing Chris O’Callaghan. “We have developed this program in-house, so we can respond quickly to your recommendations, and our members can expect incremental improvements to the program on an ongoing basis.”
Other enhancements include: full integration with the AOPA Online Airport Directory, including airport and fuel price information; pre-loaded performance data for many of general aviation’s most popular aircraft; weather downloaded automatically as soon as the “Plan This Route” button is clicked; and a “Route” tool that allows a pilot to more easily alter the flight plan, including optimizing altitude for winds.
Members who have used Real Time Flight Planner during the past six months will find their pilot and aircraft information has already been migrated to AIFP.
As always, unlimited use of the new flight planner is part of the $39 annual dues paid by AOPA members.
The Flying Physicians Association (FPA) has become the latest group to lend support to third-class medical reform and urge government officials to speed up their review of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). The NPRM would expand the number of pilots who could fly without needing to obtain a third-class medical certificate, a standard that has been successfully used by sport pilots for a decade.
California pilot Christopher Braun has created a revamped version of the cleco plier that is said to be lighter and more ergonomic.
There is no shortage of pilots in eastern Washington, but there does seem to be a scarcity of clubs in that part of the country.
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