August 19, 2013
By Ian J. Twombly
With winter nearly around the corner, it's time to begin planning for cold temperatures. That means engine preheating solutions. FST Regal introduced a remote switchbox last year that enables users to turn on and off their engine preheater with simply a phone call or by interacting with a free smartphone application. Now the device comes with two new features.
A smartphone is the easiest way to operate the switchbox, and now Android users will have the option to do so with a new application. The free software can turn on and off either of the switchbox's two outlets. So you can turn on the preheater a few hours before coming to the hangar, and the coffee pot a few minutes prior.
This feature, as well as the standard phone interface, works through a cellphone card installed in the box. That card needs to be updated in order for the remote features to continue working. Trying to explain this process to an AT&T representative can be a challenge. To ease the pain, FST has developed a concierge service that manages the cellular card, negating the need for owners to do anything. The service is a bargain at $80 a year.
Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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