Bulletin: July 23 Data Updates

Data updates are now available to download for the July 23, 2015 – Aug 20, 2015 period:

  • Airport and Navigation Database
  • Documents
  • ForeFlight Airport Diagrams
  • VFR Charts and Terminal Area Charts
  • World Area Charts
  • Taxi Diagrams
  • Terminal Procedures
  • Airport/Facility Diagrams

Data updates are also available for our Military Flight Bag customers:

  • Global airport, navigation, and airway coverage from the Digital Aeronautical Flight Information File
  • Georeferenced worldwide D-FLIP Terminal Procedures
  • Georeferenced worldwide D-FLIP Airport Diagrams
  • AFR High Enroutes, Area Charts
  • EEA High Enroutes, Area Charts
  • ENAME High and Low Enroutes, Area Charts
  • Airfield Qualification Program (AQP) diagrams
  • Airfield Suitability and Restrictions Report (Giant Report)
  • Airport/Facility Directory

All customers will be prompted to download these updates inside of ForeFlight Mobile.

ForeFlight Announces Connectivity with Garmin Avionics

We are excited to announce connectivity between ForeFlight Mobile and Garmin avionics. When connected to Garmin Flight Stream, you can now wirelessly receive ADS-B weather and traffic, precise GPS position data, and dynamic pitch and bank information on your iPad or iPhone.

ForeFlight Mobile and Garmin avionics

ForeFlight Mobile connects to compatible Garmin avionics via the Flight Stream 210/110, Garmin’s Bluetooth® wireless gateway, and displays the full suite of ADS-B weather and traffic information received from the GDL 88/84. The Flight Stream 210, with its internal attitude sensor, powers ForeFlight’s Synthetic Vision and adds a backup attitude capability with dynamic pitch and bank information.

WAAS GPS position information from GTN™ 650/750, GNS™ 430W/530W navigators, or GDL 88 with an internal WAAS receiver can also be used to power features like ForeFlight Mobile’s moving map and geo-referenced approach plates and taxi diagrams to enhance situational awareness in the air and on the ground.

Additionally, flight plan transfer capability is currently in development and will be available in a future app update.

Support for Garmin Flight Stream connectivity is available with ForeFlight Mobile 7.2, now available for download on the App Store. For more information, visit foreflight.com/connect.

Stratus 1S and 2S, Garmin Connext, Graphical Flight Notifications in ForeFlight Mobile 7.2

ForeFlight Mobile version 7.2 supports the next generation of portable Stratus ADS-B receivers, expands our Sync system to include Weight & Balance profiles, increases the temporal resolution of the global winds and temperatures aloft for more accurate flight plan calculations, and improves the delivery of critical flight alerts with Graphical Flight Notifications.

ForeFlight Mobile version 7.2 is currently available for download on the App Store.

ForeFlight Mobile Supports Next Generation Stratus 1S and 2S Receivers

ForeFlight Mobile 7.2 supports the next generation of Stratus portable ADS-B receivers, which were announced last week. Our close development partnership with Appareo and Sporty’s means that Stratus is built from the ground up to work with ForeFlight Mobile and simply works the right way. Pilots using Stratus and ForeFlight experience seamless one-button-push and wire-free operation, easy over-the-air firmware updates, and the flexibility to view and manage Stratus settings right from the app. The best part is, even if you haven’t equipped for the 2020 mandate yet, Stratus allows you to take advantage of ADS-B weather and traffic information for better inflight situational awareness and decision-making. This blog article and the video from Sporty’s both detail all the features in the new receivers.

For fleet operators, Stratus is an excellent addition to your electronic flight bag program. Stratus is a wireless, portable PED so no modification to the airframe is required. For more information contact sales@foreflight.com.

ForeFlight Mobile Connectivity with Garmin Avionics

 

We are thrilled to announce connectivity between ForeFlight Mobile and Garmin avionics. When connected to Garmin Flight Stream, you can now wirelessly receive ADS-B weather and traffic, precise GPS position data, and dynamic pitch and bank information on your iPad or iPhone. Our blog post here details this exciting integration.

Graphical Flight Notifications Keep You Better Informed Before Every Flight

Graphical Flight Notifications list view

Flight Notifications shown in list view with new graphical thumbnails. Tap to expand the image.

We previously introduced Flight Notifications, a feature that monitors your filed flight plan and synthesizes flight condition alerts from ForeFlight systems and from others, including Lockheed Martin’s Adverse Conditions Alerting Service (ACAS). When a significant change in route or weather conditions is detected within two hours of your scheduled departure we send you a notification containing a summary and detailed description of the condition.

We now include a helpful graphic along with the flight critical information making it easier to analyze the alert and to stay better informed before every flight. Thumbnail graphics are shown next to each alert in the Flight Notification window; tap on an alert to view a larger version of the image.

Graphical Flight Notifications on an iPad

Flight Notifications include updates to: TFRs, airport/runway closed/unsafe NOTAMs, urgent PIREPs, SIGMETs, Convective SIGMETs, AIRMETs, Center Weather Advisories (CWAs), and Severe Weather Watches/Warnings that affect your filed route.

Flight Notifications are tied to ForeFlight’s Sync system, meaning the notifications are delivered to all of the devices on your account.

Easy Configuration Settings for Flight Notifications

To activate Flight Notifications, Sync must be ON. On the iPad, navigate to More > Settings, then scroll all the way down to Synchronize User Data. Before filing the plan, scroll to the bottom of the flight plan form on the File & Brief page and move the Flight Notifications switch to ON.

Once you file a flight plan, ForeFlight will notify you of any new conditions via a red badge (showing the number of notifications) on the File & Brief tab.

Flight Notifications require an active Internet connection and are a ForeFlight Mobile Pro feature.

Weight & Balance Profiles Protected by ForeFlight Sync

Weight & Balance Profiles now Sync

We continue to advance our ForeFlight cloud system, Sync, with the addition of Weight & Balance profiles. Your aircraft load data now synchronizes between all your devices so you don’t have to enter the same information on multiple devices; add or edit a profile on one device and those changes are automatically applied to all devices on your account. This is especially helpful if you fly multiple aircraft and maintain several weight and balance profiles. Sync protected data also makes it easier to set up a new device if you are replacing an old one.

Weight & Balance is a Pro feature, however Sync is available to all customers and, in addition to Weight & Balance profiles, includes: recent and favorite routes, airports, and weather imagery, user waypoints, scratch pads, flight notifications, filed flight plans, and aircraft profiles.

Sync can be turned on by enabling Synchronize User Data, located in More > Settings, near the bottom of the page.

Enhanced global winds aloft.Improved Global Winds Aloft Enables More Accurate Flight Planning Calculations

ForeFlight Mobile 7.2 also introduces an increase to the resolution of the global winds and temperatures aloft. Flight planning calculations are now even more accurate with a forecast time step of three hours instead of the previous six hours. This blog article from Scott Dennstaedt discusses the enhancements to the global Winds Aloft layer.

Refinements to ForeFlight for Apple Watch

ForeFlight for Apple WatchThe Apple Watch is an exciting and evolving platform, and we will continue to develop ForeFlight for Apple Watch to expand the app in helpful ways. In 7.2, we introduce some refinements to the Airports page, allowing weather data from up to 30 airports to be viewed under three selectable tabs: Nearby, Recents, and Favorites.

Improved Resolution of Global Winds Aloft

With the introduction of ForeFlight Mobile 7.2 we’ve increased the resolution of the global winds and temperatures aloft. Now, flight planning calculations are more accurate than ever.

Increased temporal resolution

The horizontal and vertical resolution of the winds aloft are still the same, however, we’ve made a significant improvement by increasing the temporal (time) resolution of the forecast used within the app. At the global level, the winds aloft are still updated with a brand new forecast every 6 hours, but the forecast time step is now double the resolution at 3 hours over the entire globe.

Prior to version 7.2, winds and temperatures aloft contained a gap of 6 hours between forecast periods. That is, the winds were valid at times such as 00Z, 06Z, 12Z and 18Z or every 6 hours out to a maximum of 30 hours in the future. As you might imagine, a lot of weather can happen within a 6 hour period creating flight planning performance errors for fuel burn and time en route when interpolating over this time frame. These errors were likely more noticeable when the weather was changing rapidly along your proposed route. Now at the global level with ForeFlight Mobile 7.2 the winds will have twice the temporal resolution and will be valid at times such as 00Z, 03Z, 06Z, 09Z, etc cutting any interpolation errors essentially in half.

Even higher resolution over three continents

While the forecast time resolution was doubled throughout the world, we took it a step further and increased the temporal resolution by a factor of six over North America, Europe and Australia. That’s right, now these locations will benefit from an hourly forecast that is also updated hourly creating even more accurate results when planning a flight especially when the weather is changing rapidly. The hourly forecasts go out to a generous 12 hours in the future, then the resolution shifts to every 3 hours through 30 hours.

Winds Aloft Popover Window

In the airport popover window shown here, a single valid time is provided instead of a range. Even where the winds are available hourly, they are displayed at three hour time intervals out to 30 hours in the future.

Higher resolution winds used under the hood

Even though we’ve increased the temporal resolution, you’ll notice that in the airport popover window under the Winds tab, the winds and temperatures aloft are only shown every 3 hours (see above). This was done, in part, to keep the display of the winds consistent throughout the world and also to avoid a lot of unnecessary scrolling to get to the latter part of the forecast. Don’t worry, even though the higher hourly resolution winds are not displayed, they are indeed used in performance calculations for route planning.

The Winds Aloft layer on the Maps view will also benefit from the higher resolution. Previously, the time chosen may have been valid several hours before or after the current time. Now the Winds Aloft layer will be able to pull from the higher resolution forecast which will be valid closer to the current time. Moreover, those winds over North America, Europe and Australia will be refreshed hourly with a new forecast.

Winds Aloft Map View Layer

With the higher temporal resolution, the winds aloft layer on the Map view will use the closest forecast to the current time making it more representative of the wind speed and direction occurring right now.

By the way, if you don’t update ForeFlight Mobile to 7.2, you may see hourly forecasts displayed on the airport popover as shown below. That’s not an error; just a side-effect of progress. To get a more filtered view, you’ll need to update the app to version 7.2. Lastly, the FBWinds received through Stratus (FIS-B) haven’t changed as a result of this update. They are still the same lower resolution product as before. The FAA has no immediate plans to increase the temporal resolution of the winds received over ADS-B.

Hourly Forecasts Winds

For those customers that don’t update to version 7.2, you will see winds aloft presented hourly showing a range of times centered on the valid time of the forecast. Upgrading to 7.2 will filter the winds to 3 hour periods and show a single valid time.

Summer Flying for EAA-ForeFlight Scholarship Winners

School is out for summer and our scholarship recipients, Jacob Rasmussen and Megan Kerstein, are already back in the air. If you missed our first follow up with these two, read part one here. Although this Spring brought some challenging weather, Jacob and Megan remained focused on their pursuit of flight.

Blog-MeganKerstein-Alaska

Megan Kerstein

No pool parties and sleeping in for Megan this summer break as she switched hats from full time student to flying humanitarian. Megan is spending her summer on an environmental science/justice internship in Alaska. The organization she is interning with helps indigenous Alaskans and other community members to prevent environmental destruction on their lands. Megan explained that it’s not all work and no play; she’s expanding her flight experience by taking some lessons with Artic’s Air Academy in Palmer, Alaska. Megan reports that “the scenery is absolutely incredible!”

Blog-MeganKerstein-Alaska1

Where are you in your training now?

I’m prepping for my solo currently.

Has there been a flight that sticks out in your mind so far?

My most recent flight in Alaska sticks out in my mind. I’ve never been at the flight controls through mountain terrain, so that was pretty exciting! We flew through mountain passes and then ended up over the Prince William Sound, a gorgeous body of water. We flew over several glaciers on the way to the Sound. The whole experience was unreal!

What’s your favorite part of flying?

That’s a tough one. I love the exhilaration of taking off, but I also love getting up to cruise altitude and taking in the scenery around me while interacting with the flight controls and navigating the plane. For me, cruise flight is when all my skills come together, which is really energizing.

What’s next? Do you have new goals for what you would like to do with your pilots license?

I’m going to fly a couple times a week in Alaska, which should bring me very close to finishing up. From there, I’d love to take some of my friends up and hope that the aviation bug bites them. I just really want to inspire others to get involved in aviation to some degree. I would love to be a mentor for the Women Soar You Soar Program held at Oshkosh AirVenture every year, as that program was very meaningful to me as a participant.

Blog-JacobRasmussen-1Jacob Rasmussen

Congratulations are in order for Jacob—when we caught up with him, we found out that he has been accepted into EAA’s Advanced Air Academy SportAir Camp to take place following this year’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. At this camp Jacob will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with composite construction, fabric covering techniques and ground flight training.

Blog-JacboRasmussen-3

Where are you in your training?

Due to scheduling, weather and other obstacles the last couple of months have been especially difficult getting in hours, however I am working hard on bookwork and ground instruction. I have a total of 18 hours as pilot in command, 1.5 hours of solo time and I am about to embark on my second cross-country flight with my instructor.

Has there been a flight that sticks out in your mind so far?

As empowering and memorable as one’s first solo must be and is, the one flight that has stuck in my mind the most would have to be the first with my instructor. From being pilot in command, radioing the tower, taking off, all the way to wrestling the airplane back to earth, with a death grip on the yoke and my eyes fixated on the runway. I imagine the experience to be like what a rookie naval pilot would have when landing his first F-16 on an aircraft carrier in the middle of a typhoon…it was exhilarating. It was my first glimpse into what many believe to be an impossibility or a mere dream that only the most well off and elite can aspire to fulfill. When in actuality it is more easily obtainable and by no means impossible as one might think. With just a little dedication of one’s time and resources, as well as a true desire to follow through, anything is possible within aviation.

What’s your favorite part of flying?

My absolute favorite part of flying is the feeling of accomplishment and knowledge I get when completing each step to the goal of becoming a private pilot.

What’s next? Do you have new goals for what you would like to do with your pilots license?

My plans as of now, are to continue pursuing aviation as a hobby and potential carrier for the future to help serve my community. I would love to (hopefully in the near future)  learn to fly helicopters while continuing along my training of fixed wing aircraft. My only warning to those who may be interested in flying is that when you start you will never want to quit and if you do quit you will wish every clear day of your life that you hadn’t given it up.

We’ll be checking back in with Jacob and Megan once they’ve officially received their licenses. Until then, we wish them the best of luck with their summer activities that will help take their aviation skills and knowledge to new heights.

New Stratus 1S and 2S Deliver Solid Features and Better Performance, Shipping Soon

Stratus 1S and 2SIn partnership with Appareo and Sporty’s, we are happy to announce that the next generation of portable Stratus ADS-B receivers are available and shipping soon. Stratus 1S and 2S offer new features and better performance, with the same pilot-friendly design that has made Stratus the best-selling ADS-B receiver. Even if you haven’t equipped for the 2020 mandate yet, Stratus allows you to take advantage of ADS-B weather and traffic information for better inflight situational awareness and decision-making.

 

Stratus 1S, priced at just $549, is an affordable option that gives you subscription-free weather, single-band ADS-B traffic, and GPS position. Features on this entry-level option include enhanced ADS-B reception, the latest USB Type C connector for charging, and Stratus Replay, a feature that allows you to sleep your iPad screen and never miss a weather report.

Stratus 2S, ADS-B Weather and Traffic

Stratus 2S enhances the ForeFlight Mobile experience, especially for single-pilot IFR operations. Stratus 2S comes with a built-in barometric pressure sensor and integrated Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS). The pressure sensor drives ForeFlight Mobile’s Pressure Altitude instrument and Cabin Altitude Advisor alert, a helpful notification feature that keeps you safer at higher altitudes. The super-responsive AHRS provides a backup attitude display, a feature that really makes our Synthetic Vision come alive. In addition, flight data recording, a dual-band traffic receiver, and Stratus Replay are all a part of the $899 Stratus 2S value.

Here is a detailed comparison of what each receiver offers (click for a larger image):

Stratus 1S and 2S features.

Stratus 1S and 2S features.

For existing Stratus customers, you can feel confident that we will continue to support the first- and second-generation Stratus units. The Stratus platform is built from the ground up to work with ForeFlight Mobile, making it easy to develop and deliver firmware updates.

Stratus 1S or 2S can be purchased via Sporty’s Pilot Shop or Appareo. Customers who currently have an order placed for a second-generation Stratus will automatically receive a new Stratus 2S. Stay tuned for updates on the ship date. Customers interested in Fleet Sales should contact ForeFlight at sales@foreflight.com.

Learn more at foreflight.com/stratus.

Apple iOS GPS Issue Resolved with 8.4 Update

UPDATE 7/2/15:

We have completed our general ForeFlight Mobile compatibility testing of the public version of Apple iOS 8.4. We recommend caution when it comes to any iOS update, however our testing did not reveal any significant issues.

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We are happy to report that the GPS accessory compatibility issue that resulted from the Apple iOS 8.3 update is resolved with the iOS 8.4 update released this morning. We have performed a quality review of the Bad Elf GPS Pro, Bad Elf GPS Pro+, Dual XGPS150, and Dual XGPS160 on a Wi-Fi iPad running iOS 8.4 and these devices perform as expected. Stratus 1 and Stratus 2 devices were not affected by this issue. We have also started our general ForeFlight Mobile compatibility testing of the final version of iOS 8.4.

Customers that wish to resume use of their affected GPS accessories can upgrade to iOS 8.4. Customers that do not need immediate access to the affected GPS accessories can opt to wait until ForeFlight completes its compatibility testing of the final iOS 8.4 release and issues an ‘all clear’ notice.

For your reference, here are the instructions on how to update the iOS software on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Bulletin: June 25 Data Updates

A new Airport and Navigation Database is available for the June 25, 2015 – July 23, 2015 period for customers running ForeFlight Mobile 7.0 or newer. This update corrects Procedure Preview for our ForeFlight Mobile Pro Canada customers.

We have also released an updated version of Search and Rescue in ForeFlight Mobile in our Documents Catalog.

All customers will be prompted to download these updates inside of ForeFlight Mobile.

ForeFlight is Onboard Historic Air Race Classic

As a veteran of this and other cross-country air races, I was thrilled to participate in the Air Race Classic starting events in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

AboveAllAviationTeam+FF

Visiting with Pilots Jessie Davidson, Topaz Grabman, and Emma Sullivan from Above All Aviation. These ladies are strategizing for a win!

The Air Race Classic has its roots in the first Women’s National Air Derby, held in 1929, when twenty female pilots set out to prove to the world that air racing was not just a sport for men. Beginning in Santa Monica, California they flew over 2,800 miles to the finish line—the National Air Races in Cleveland, Ohio. From that event, the Ninety-Nines were formed, as ninety-nine of the then 117 licensed female pilots organized to promote flying, friendship, and freedom around the world. Air Race Classic, Inc. continues the tradition of this historic race.

With airplanes and logbooks impounded for meticulous inspection by members of AWAM (Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance), anticipation and excitement built over the weekend as the 51 race teams gathered for three days of pre-race briefings. During the briefings I shared with racers how to get the most out of ForeFlight features such as our new weather imagery for better forecast planning, user waypoints, and annotating taxi diagrams with race time lines. It was fun to share my experience in what goes into creating a strategy for this race.

Each airplane is ‘handicapped’ to provide the best way possible to make all airplanes equally competitive. During the handicap flight the plane is flown full throttle on a rectangular course at a specific altitude. Vents are closed and engines are leaned for best performance. This levels the playing field and so the race becomes one of pilot skill and strategy rather than the raw speed of the fastest airplane, as it was in 1929.

As an Air Race Classic racer myself, I can tell you that the best strategy is to scrutinize the weather each day of the race and capture the best possible winds on the best possible days. Sometimes that means not flying on a day of headwinds if more favorable weather is forecast. As long as the course is completed in the four days allowed, how many of the legs are flown each day is up to each race team. There are some other fine-tuned race strategies I have used, but you’ll have to be my race partner to find out what those are! My ultimate advice: fly straight, fly fast.

2015 Air Race Classic star route

This year’s 2400 mile race forms a star pattern.

On Monday, the clock started against the 111 racers. The day VFR race legs total more than 2,400 miles. The race route is different each year; this year’s path draws a sort of star pattern, with the required timed legs going first to Hickory, NC, then Connellsville, PA, Jeffersonville, IN, Kalamazoo, MI, Lawrenceville, IL, Kirksville, MO, Union City, TN, and Gadsden, AL, and crossing the finish line at Fairhope, AL. Those who crossed the starting timeline have until 5:00 pm EDT Thursday to finish the course.

Engineers and rocket scientists who work for companies like Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic, airline pilots, and airport managers, artists, singers, veterinarians, and retirees, and more people with fascinating backgrounds are in this race. Seventeen collegiate teams from around the country are vying not only for the coveted first place prize, but the chance to finish ahead of all other competing schools.

Unfortunately not all registered teams arrived for the start, as weather kept four race teams from reaching Fredericksburg. Another nerve-trying situation occurred at the start when Team 54, Terry Kane and Roxanne Ostrowski, returned from the starting line with a low voltage light. To remain contenders, they had three hours to secure the parts, complete repairs, and fly the timeline to start the race. I’m happy to report that they beat the clock and are still in the competition!

As the race teams navigate through the challenging race course, Team ForeFlight sends its best wishes for a safe and exciting adventure! Find out more about the race teams here, and join us as we track their progress here.