December 2, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
It’s time to present five more aviation apps submitted to AOPA by their developers. We review our first Windows app in this column. Other apps offer functions including an E6B, charts, a pilot error management system, and an RMI-Sim. These are not endorsements of any app.
FlightPath (free in the Windows store)—Dave McAnall is an AOPA member who got his private pilot license in July. He also created the first Windows app reviewed in this column. This aviation weather app allows users to search for airports, save their favorites, and pin their favorites as a live tile to main screen, which auto updates the latest metar. The app also offers tafs, airmets/sigmets (text and graphical), aircraft reports (text and graphical), and airport notams.
E6B Descent Planner (free in iTunes)—Developer Art Varrassi created this app, a fully functional circular slide rule for use in real-time descent planning. Using one finger, and with a single turn of the rotating disk, pilots can easily perform computations to determine top of descent, angle of descent, vertical descent rate required, glide ratio, maximum glide distance based on altitude, plus many other computations that are not commonly associated with a mechanical E6B.
PilotWxChartJr (99 cents in Google Play)—This charting app, developed by Curt Jutzi, allows users offline access to charts/sectionals. It includes airport information based on a local database to allow users to access information inflight and it also supports a GPS and most airports’ waypoints.
Pilot In Command ($19.99 in iTunes)—Brisbane, Australia-based Dash 8 Captain Scott Nyholm has developed a personal error management system for student and private pilots in this iPhone app. Pilots can capture their errors, and then have the app provide quality information about the areas they should target to improve their flying. Questions it can answer include: in which phase of flight are most errors made; have I reduced procedural errors since my last check; and what error producing conditions am I susceptible to. The inputs are designed to guide the user, and the graphs and exports are clear and colorful.
RMI-Sim (99 cents in iTunes)—This app, created by AOPA member David Lloyd, simulates a radio magnetic indicator using GPS data. Two pointers are provided as in a traditional RMI. When moving, RMI Sim will use your track for heading information. When stationary, it will revert to the iPhone's internal compass.
Meanwhile, the AOPA top 10 apps of 2013 poll heated up over the long Thanksgiving weekend. The top five now, in order, are: ForeFlight, FlightAware, LiveATC, FltPlan and MyRadar. Help me choose the best of 2013 by vote for your 10 favorites here. The winners will be announced before the end of the year. Meanwhile, you can see the complete list of apps I’ve already covered here.
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
Safety and Education
The FAA on Feb. 23 issued a special airworthiness information bulletin recommending preflight inspection of Robinson R44 and R44 II main rotors.
Pilots focus on preheating the engine during cold weather, but what about the cockpit? More than 30 percent of an aircraft's value is often tied up in the panel.
AOPA connected with hundreds of pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation enthusiasts during the thirty-second Northwest Aviation Conference held in Puyallup, Washington, Feb. 21 and 22.
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