Joy of Flight: Logging Memories

March 25, 2013

Joy of Flight: Logging memories

By C. Husick

flight path EveryTrail trip log of a flight from Florida to the Bahamas.

We fly for the sheer pleasure of being aloft, for seeing new sights from unusual vantage points, and for the pleasure of visiting new places. We methodically log our flights, both to comply with FAA regulations and to provide a memory resource. We want recall not only the flight, but also the experiences encountered on those trips. Now, thanks to the efforts of a California-based company, GlobalMotion Media, pilots can use a free application called EveryTrail to create a pictorial trip log.

I created a trip log with my iPhone 3G during a flight from Albert Whitted in St. Petersburg, Fla., to Treasure Cay International in the Bahamas. (The Android, BlackBerry, devices running Windows Mobile, and others capable of GPS tracking can be used as well.)

EveryTrail can superimpose my precise flight path on a hybrid satellite/topographical image of the Earth. Each of the pear-shaped symbols marks the location where I took a photo. Trip stats also can be displayed, showing the aircraft’s altitude. For example, my trip log started while I was climbing to the requested 9,000-foot-msl IFR cruising altitude.

The log doesn’t need to be limited to the flight—adventures on the ground can be tracked as well. Images taken with a digital camera can be uploaded to the EveryTrail Web site using Flickr and then geo-referenced to the trip log. On the Web site, the map and photos can be edited, and a narrative of the voyage can be added.

incorporating photos Photos can be incorporated into the EveryTrail trip log.

The record can be shared with other EveryTrail users or kept private. It can even be downloaded as a GPX file to program a GPS navigator if you or someone else wants to replicate the exact flight path.

With this new tool, pilots’ adventures can come alive in a way never before possible.

Charles B. Husick, AOPA 434178, is the former chariman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and former president of Narco Avionics (1971 to 1977), senior vice president of Cessna and Fairchild and Chris Craft Boats Corporation (1988 to 1989). He is a commercial pilot and flight instructor with over 6,300 hours.