July 31, 2012
By Ian J. Twombly
Among the gaggle of new options for subscription-free weather introduced this year at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., is FreeFlight’s Xplorer.
Xplorer receives all of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast’s (ADS-B’s) weather signal (called flight information services-broadcast, or FIS-B) and transmits it to the iPad for weather on either FreeFlight’s native application (less than $1) or on WingX, and soon other applications. Xplorer differs from most boxes in that it’s installed in the airplane. This negates the need to worry about power and placement, but of course increases the cost.
FreeFlight is hoping that the security of installation, as well as the upgrade path to ADS-B Out will make it competitive. Since most aircraft will require an ADS-B Out signal by 2020, and that signal is required to see ADS-B In traffic on the iPad, a cheaper upgrade path may be a good option for some owners. How much that upgrade will be is yet to be determined.
Xplorer sells for $585, and will be available starting next month.
Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
New draft airman certification standards are available for review on the FAA’s website. In addition to releasing the draft standards, the FAA also announced that it would be deleting questions from the private pilot airplane knowledge test, effective Feb. 9.
Do you operate at airports or heliports that have LED systems? If so, AOPA, the FAA, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, and multiple professional pilot organizations want to hear from you.
The Environmental Protection Agency has denied the most recent petition from environmental groups that asked the agency to reconsider a 2012 decision not to immediately pursue an endangerment finding for leaded avgas.
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