Flight Planning with ForeFlight, Garmin Pilot, SkyVector.com, FltPlan.com and more + GA News



There are many ways for a pilot to flight plan a trip. Traditionally, it was done with a paper map, pencil, and a plotter. But now there are many new flight planning tools available on the Internet and as smartphone apps for iPhone and Android phones.

We first talk about which percentage of listeners use each tool, then describe the most popular tools, and finally describe how user use multiple tools. Some of the tools described include:

  • ForeFlight
  • Skyvector.com
  • Garmin Pilot
  • FltPlan.com
  • OzRunways
  • 1800wxbrief.com
  • WingX
  • AOPA Flight Planner
  • DUATs
  • SkyDemon
  • NavPlan EFB
  • FlyQ EFB AirNav Pro
  • Mermoz

To reduce iPad discharge in flight, Greg Brown recommended turning the brightness down and this USB charger.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what what ADS-B portable receiver you own or plan to buy, and what you like and dislike about it.

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You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

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Instrument Pilot IFR Tips – Using GPS on a VOR or ILS approach, Foreflight + GA News


Last week we talked about briefing the approach and said one of the first things you should do is check to see whether GPS is in the title of the approach. For example, you might look to see whether the title is just VOR 21 approach or if it’s VOR 21 OR GPS. If it’s the latter, it’s obvious you can use GPS in lieu of a VOR signal for the entire approach. But what’s less clear is when you can use GPS for a portion of the approach if it says just VOR 21 and doesn’t have GPS in the title of the approach.

Although GPS receivers have been around for over 20 years, pilots are still unclear as to when they can use GPS on non-GPS approaches such as ILS and VOR approaches. As Max explains, the rules are different for VOR and ILS approaches. The regulatory basis can be found in FAA Advisory Circular AC 90-108, dated March 3, 2011, and in the AIM, the Aeronautical Information Manual, in section 1-2-3, sub-paragraphs c4 and c-5, updated May 26, 2016.

These tell us that for a VOR or NDB approach, you can now use GPS for the entire approach, even if GPS is not listed in the title of the approach. So in our example, if the title of the approach is VOR 21, and GPS is not in the title, you can still now use GPS for the entire approach, but with one caveat. The VOR or NDB signal MUST be in service, and you MUST monitor that signal for the final approach course.

But for an ILS or Localizer approach, as soon as you turn onto a localizer or ILS, you need to display course guidance from the Nav radio. On the Garmin 430/530, that means as soon as you turn onto the localizer, you must push the CDI button so VLOC is displayed. You can, if you wish, monitor RNAV (GPS) data as you fly along a localizer, but GPS cannot be used for primary guidance at any time while on a localizer.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what what ADS-B portable receiver you own or plan to buy, and what you like and dislike about it.

Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

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Instrument Pilot IFR Tips – Briefing the Approach, iPhone iOS 11 update + GA News


Everyone knows that when flying VFR, that a pilot’s priorities are to aviate, navigate, and communicate. But when flying IFR, pilots are often confused by their priorities when faced with a high task load while preparing to fly an instrument approach. 2008 National Flight Instructor of the Year Max Trescott explains that IFR pilots should prioritize these three things above all other activities. 1. Rolling out onto headings 2. Leveling off at Altitudes 3. Intercepting the final approach course Getting the ATIS, briefing the approach, talking to ATC and everything else are all lower priorities. Max then talks about how to brief an instrument approach while in cruise flight and setting up for an instrument approach.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight.

Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

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Unstable Approach Definition and Private Pilot Tips for How to Fly a Stable Approach + GA News


You’ve undoubtedly heard of a stabilized approach and know it’s helpful to have one prior to landing. But many pilots don’t know all of the elements of a stabilized approach, or the potential expense of an unstable approach. Last year, two pilots I know dug deep into their wallets to pay for damage resulting from landings that followed unstable approaches. Both considered going around, but didn’t. The pilots of an IFR charter fight into Akron, Ohio in November 2015 weren’t so lucky; everyone died after their unstable approach.

So what is a stabilized approach, and why does it matter? Cirrus Aircraft’s Flight Operations Manual gives a good description. It says: “A stabilized approach is characterized by a constant angle and constant rate of descent approach profile ending near the touch-down point. Stabilized approach criteria apply to all approaches including practice power-off approaches.“ It goes on to say that for VFR landings, an “approach is considered stabilized when all of the following criteria are achieved by 500′ AGL:

  • Proper airspeed,
  • Correct flight path,
  • Correct aircraft configuration for phase of flight,
  • Appropriate power setting for aircraft configuration,
  • Normal angle and rate of descent,
  • Only minor corrections are required to correct deviations.

A go-around must be executed if the above conditions are not met, and the aircraft is not stabilized by 500′ AGL.” This episode contains lots of tips to help you consistently fly stable approaches every time you fly the traffic pattern, including tips for long, straight-in approaches, which often lead to unstable approaches.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight.

Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

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13 Fun Ideas for National Aviation Day + GA News


National Aviation Day has been around for more than 75 years, But it probably doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. Here are 13 fun ideas for celebrating on national aviation Day, which is August 19.

Franklin D. Roosevelt created National Aviation Day in 1939 by presidential proclamation. Originally it was to celebrate the growth and advancements made in aviation. But one can’t help wonder whether it was also a way to start getting more people interested in aviation got a time when Europe was just beginning to enter World War II. Today we face a different challenge, which is how to attract more people to aviation at a time when pilots are in high demand, but new student pilot starts are declining.

Here are 13 ways that you can celebrate today, or help get other people more connected to aviation.

1. Get someone else involved in aviation.

2. If you are a rusty pilot, get back into flying!

3. Fly in a new airplane type.

4. Watch an aviation themed movie.

5. Fly a flight simulator!

6. If you are a licensed pilot, fly somewhere new!

7. Visit an Aviation Museum

8. Fly a radio controlled airplane

9. Volunteer to help an aviation-related organization

10. Download and read an aviation book from your local library or from NASA

11. Go Plane Spotting

12. Thank someone who works in the aviation industry

13. Take an aviation course

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight. Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

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FAA WINGS program, Marvel Comics, Non-towered airport pattern entry, More ADS-B products, Flight Design Sold + GA News


We talk about the benefits of participating in the FAA WINGS program in lieu of doing a Flight Review (formerly called a BFR), which pilots in the U.S. must do every two years. Instead of spending an hour on the ground reviewing Part 91 rules and regulations, the FAA WINGS program lets you can take free online courses instead, which may be a better use of your time, if you choose courses that help keep you safer when you fly.

We had lots of feedback on entering the traffic at non-Towered Airports. Not everyone likes the FAA preferred entry for crossing over the field at 500 feet above pattern altitude and then turning to enter on the 45. But we don’t get to pick which rules to follow and not follow, just because we don’t like them!

Plus an Air Canada flight 759 near miss update. Oddly, that aircraft was not visible on SFO’s surface radar for 12 seconds, and we explain why. Plus listener questions. An instrument pilots asks about how to activate an instrument approach on his Garmin GPS.

Click here for the survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight. Please visit my new Patreon page and help me with my goal of funding the creation of two apps for my show, one for Apple and one for Google Play, so that non-techie pilots can find the show in the app store.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

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Cirrus Embark – Free Training for Buyers of Used Cirrus Aircraft – Ivy McIver Interview


Cirrus Aircraft announced a ground breaking new program called Cirrus Embark that provides free, yes absolutely free flight training to buyers of pre-owned Cirrus Aircraft. So if you were to buy a ten-year old Cirrus from someone, you can get up to 3 days of free flight training, paid for by Cirrus! It’s called the Cirrus Embark program, and we interview Ivy McIver, SR Product Line Manager at Cirrus Aircraft to talk about the Embark program.

If you are thinking about buying a new, or late model Cirrus, please contact me now, so that I can give you some tips to help you with your decision process. You can contact me here.

Click here for the survey. Tell us which plane you fly most often. Please visit my new Patreon page and help me with my goal of funding the creation of two apps for my show, one for Apple and one for Google Play, so that non-techie pilots can find the show in the app store.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

 

Private Pilot Tips for Non-Towered Airports, Free Cirrus Training, ATC Privatization, and Air Canada Near Miss Update + GA News


We talk about flying at non-Towered Airports, including how to enter on the 45, when on the opposite side of the airport. The preferred method of entry from the opposite side of the pattern is to announce your intentions and cross over midfield at least 500 feet above pattern altitude; here in Northern California, pilot examiners look for pilots on checkrides to cross at 1,000 feet above the traffic pattern altitude. When well clear of the pattern—approximately 2 miles—scan carefully for traffic, descend to pattern altitude, then turn right to enter at 45° to the downwind leg at midfield.

Air Canada flight 759 had a near miss last week, and a retired Air Canada captain told me that their procedures require pilots to back up visual approaches with electronic navigation. But apparently this pilot didn’t follow that procedure, and he nearly landed on top of several airliners on a taxiway. Plus listener questions how to legally exit an airport under a TFR, and an instrument pilots asks about whether to load an instrument approach with vectors or an IAF.

Click here for the survey. Tell us which plane you fly most often. Please visit my new Patreon page and help me with my goal of funding the creation of two apps for my show, one for Apple and one for Google Play, so that non-techie pilots can find the show in the app store.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

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Private Pilot Tips for Traffic Patterns, Cirrus Crash, ATC Privatization, and Air Canada Near Miss Update + GA News


We talk about flying the traffic pattern, and talk in detail about flying a Cessna 172 in the traffic pattern. For example, many people don’t know the exact meaning of “Make Right Traffic.” It means, fly to a position where you can enter the traffic pattern on the 45, then turn to downwind and fly the traffic pattern. It doesn’t mean to enter on the downwind. And of course you should be at pattern altitude when you’re on the 45. We also talk about doing a forward slip in a Cessna 172 and use of flaps during crosswind landings.

Air Canada flight 759 had a near miss last week, when it inadvertently lined up to land on a taxiway instead of on the runway. We talk about how confirmation bias may have contributed to the lack of awareness that the Air Canada pilots had about their situation.

We also talk about a recent fatal Cirrus SR22 crash in Sonoma, California, and the importance of never pulling the parachute below 400 feet, as it will most likely make things worse! I give details about a recent flight I took from El Paso, Texas to Concord, CA with the new owner of a Cessna 206. We postponed the trip because of a heat wave 3 weeks ago.

Plus listener questions about using flaps during crosswind landings and whether you can fly if you’re legally using medical marijuana.

Click here for the survey. Tell us which plane you fly most often. Please visit my new Patreon page and help me with my goal of funding the creation of two apps for my show, one for Apple and one for Google Play, so that non-techie pilots can find the show in the app store.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

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