October 12, 2013
By Ian J. Twombly
CSC, one of the two FAA DUAT System providers, said it is bringing weather to the cockpit within 12 to 18 months.
The company is working with a partner to provide coverage through an as-of-yet-unnamed satellite network. A small transceiver will receive the CSC DUATS information through the network and deliver it wirelessly to an iPad application that’s currently in development. Pricing hasn’t been determined, but there will be a cost for the transceiver, and potentially the satellite data.
CSC said it expects all the current weather products to be available, including text weather, stationary graphics, and moving graphics. Although most of the details have yet to be released, a company representative said a prototype was built and tested, and that the FAA seemed pleased.
In the meantime, CSC is attempting to make its online interface more useful with a tripkit function. Instead of having to print out dozens of pages of weather, notams, and procedures, users can now add any part of the briefing or procedures they want and in any order they want to a printable and downloadable pdf.
In the near future the capability will exist to specify preferences that will create an automatic tripkit based on the user’s preferences. So instead of having to select the desired groups of information, the software will automatically create the tripkit filled with current and briefing-specific information.
Pilot Weather Briefing Services,
FAA Information and Services
Jeppesen’s Mobile FliteDeck VFR for iPad has been expanded; iFly GPS is now available on Android platforms; and iFlightPlanner 2.0, FltPlanGo, and FlightPro have all been updated.
Discussing the pros and cons of possible routes, your CFII poses an unexpected question: “What is an air traffic clearance?”
For all its regulations and costs, there are options out there to make the dream of aircraft ownership a reality for most pilots.
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