Bulletin: September 15 Data Updates

Data updates are now available to download for the September 15, 2016 – October 13, 2016 and September 15, 2016 – November 10, 2016 periods:

  • Airport and Navigation Database
  • ForeFlight Airport Diagrams, including updates to the following airports:
07TS 0TX1 7N1 CYBR CYJN CYSH
CYTB CYUY CYYE CYYN CYYY CYZH
CYZT CZBM EDDF FA54 KAFW KBDL
KBFL KBIS KBLI KBOW KCAE KCLT
KCMH KDTW KFWA KGBG KGTF KGYL
KHMP KIAD KIAH KIGM KIJD KINL
KJQF KLWS KMAE KMAI KMCW KMYF
KORD KOSH KPDX KPIT KRED KROC
KSDY KSEE KSEG KSEP KSEZ KSFZ
KSGJ KSPG KSTS KSVE KTOP KTRI
KTRK KTSP KTTD KTTN KTUL KTUP
KTUS KTVL KTWF KTXK KTYR KUAO
KUDD KUES KUGN KUIL KUMP KUNV
KVAD KVBT KVGT KVIH KVIS KVPC
KVTN KVUO KVYS LFPG TNCB TTCP

From the FAA:

  • VFR Charts and Terminal Area Charts
  • High and Low Enroutes, Area Charts
  • Caribbean High and Low Enroutes, Area Charts
  • Ocean Planning Charts
  • Taxi Diagrams
  • Terminal Procedures
  • Airport/Facility Diagrams
  • Documents

For Canada region customers:

  • Taxi Diagrams
  • Terminal Procedures
  • High and Low Enroutes
  • Canada Flight Supplement
  • Documents

For our Military Flight Bag customers:

  • Georeferenced worldwide D-FLIP Terminal Procedures
  • Georeferenced worldwide D-FLIP Airport Diagrams
  • CSA High and Low Enroutes, Area Charts
  • PAA High and Low Enroutes, Area Charts
  • D-FLIP Publications such as Planning Change Notices, Area Planning Documents,
  • Chart Supplements, Enroute Change Notices, and Terminal Change Notices.
  • 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.

Apple iOS 10 and ForeFlight

UPDATE September 26, 2016: ForeFlight 8.1, now available on the App Store, is all-clear for use with Apple iOS 10.0.2. We appreciate your patience during the testing process and hope you enjoy the new features in Apple’s biggest iOS release yet.

ORIGINAL POST September 9, 2016: Apple released iOS 10 to the public on Tuesday, September 13th. We are continuing to conduct thorough testing on iOS 10 to ensure full compatibility with ForeFlight.

Please stay tuned to our blog, Facebook page, and Twitter feed for updates and the all-clear notice. As always, please feel free to email team@foreflight.com if you have any questions.

Customer Notice: Guidance on a bug in ForeFlight 8

UPDATE September 2, 2016: ForeFlight version 8.0.1 is now available on the App Store, a minor release that addresses a bug that appeared in 8.0 involving TFR Alerts when connected to a Baron Mobile Link XM weather receiver. Although the majority of our customers are not affected by this, we recommend that all customers upgrade before their next flight as a preventive measure.

Version 8.0.1 also fixes a timezone issue leading to Logbook signature expiration dates being off by one day.

ORIGINAL POST September 2, 2016: We have identified an issue with ForeFlight Mobile following the release of version 8 earlier this week. Some customers experienced an app crash when connected to a Baron Mobile Link XM weather receiver. We have identified the root cause and are working hard to get an updated version of the app released as soon as possible to resolve this issue. Until then, the work-around to keep the app from crashing while connected to a Baron Mobile Link device is to turn off all TFR Alerts. To do this:

  1. Open Apple Settings
  2. Scroll down to ForeFlight and tap on it
  3. Scroll down in the ForeFlight Settings until you find Alerts, then tap on it
  4. Turn OFF all TFR Alerts. This includes “Visual Alerts”, “Audio Alerts”, and “Include DC SFRA/FRZ”

After you do this, the app should function normally when connected to your Baron Mobile Link. If you experience any other issues, please email us at team@foreflight.com with details. We will notify you when the updated version of ForeFlight is available on the App Store.

ForeFlight 8: Global Data-Driven Aeronautical Maps, Logbook Enhancements, TFR Alerts

The wait is over—ForeFlight 8 is here! Download on the App Store today to experience our groundbreaking data-driven Aeronautical Maps. New TFR Alerts help you steer clear of TFRs while inflight and upgrades to Logbook make flight logging even easier and more connected than ever. In addition, major enhancements to ForeFlight on the web make it possible to plan, file, and brief whenever and wherever it is most convenient. Read more about web updates here.

The Future Of Maps Is Here

Fast, powerful, and beautiful, ForeFlight Aeronautical Maps represent the next generation of mapping technology. Rather than using scans of paper charts, Aeronautical Maps are driven by data, opening up a huge range of possibilities for how information is displayed on the map.

In the Map Settings menu, new ForeFlight Map controls allow you to select from Light and Dark map themes and to turn the Terrain layer on or off. You will also see new Aeronautical Map Settings when the Aeronautical layer is selected in the Maps dropdown. The ability to customize the map is made possible by ForeFlight’s data-driven map technology. You can turn airspace on or off, set airways to High, Low, or Off, turn ARTCC boundaries on or off, and more. Use the text slider to adjust label text size for better readability. This set of controls for the Aeronautical Map is the first iteration of the choices you will have over what map elements you show or hide—future updates will bring more capability.

Aeronautical Maps settings

New Aeronautical Map Settings give you control over what map elements to show or hide.

In addition, Continuous Zoom™ and dynamic decluttering of map elements allows you to find useful information at any zoom level, and “always-up” labels make it easy to read text on the map no matter how it’s oriented.

A new feature called Smart Airway Labels provides information about segments of any airway in your flight plan. These labels start out small – only showing the name of the airway – but expand as you zoom in, showing additional information about the airway segment like magnetic heading and the MEA.

We’ve also taken our Plates on Maps feature to a new level by directly integrating ForeFlight’s airport diagrams into the Aeronautical layer. Zoom in on an airport and runways and taxiways materialize right on the map, complete with labels and FBO markers.

ForeFlight Aeronautical Maps are available with Basic Plus, Pro Plus, and Business Pro plans.

Logbook Is More Connected Than Ever

ForeFlight 8 adds a new feature to Logbook that busy CFIs and flight students might find useful – Remote Signing. Students can send draft logbook entries to their instructor who can review, send back edits, or sign the entry, whenever and wherever it is most convenient. The instructor can also opt to add the flight to their own logbook as ‘Dual Given’ time. As an added benefit, students take command and learn how to manage their logbook from the beginning.

We also introduce Logbook Connect, an ecosystem of third-party services that you can connect to your ForeFlight Logbook. Logbook Connect makes it easier to add flight entries directly from the other pilot services you use. Our launch partners, Redbird Flight and Schedule Pointe, allow you to send draft entries from their respective dashboards to your own logbook.

ForeFlight-Logbook-Twitter-Facebook-sharing

Sharing flights with friends and followers on social media is easy!

In addition, Logbook Progress Reports are available to help student pilots track the progress of accumulated flight time towards their PPL or Instrument rating.

Finally, sharing flight entries with your friends and followers on Twitter and Facebook is really easy. Simply tap the send-to button in an entry and ForeFlight will create a template post, along with photo attachments.

ForeFlight Logbook is bundled with our Basic Plus and Pro Plus plans.

TFR Alerts Keep You Aware In The Air

The new alerts watch for active TFRs near your current altitude and provide visual and auditory warnings as you approach, and again if you enter one. The alerts work whether or not the TFR layer is selected on the Maps view.

TFR ahead on data-driven light theme

Enhancements To ForeFlight On The Web

In conjunction with ForeFlight 8, ForeFlight on the web features a number of updates that are now available for ForeFlight subscribers, including the ability to file flight plans, generate weather briefings, and manage aircraft profiles. You can also access and plan flights with our new global Aeronautical Maps. Log in to ForeFlight anytime using your ForeFlight Mobile credentials and access ForeFlight’s powerful flight planning from your desktop computer. Read more about updates to ForeFlight on the web in this article.

File, Brief, Manage Aircraft Profiles With ForeFlight On The Web

In conjunction with ForeFlight 8, ForeFlight on the web features a number of updates that are now available for ForeFlight subscribers, including the ability to file flight plans, generate weather briefings, and manage aircraft profiles. You can also access and plan flights with our new global Aeronautical Maps. Log in to ForeFlight anytime using your ForeFlight Mobile credentials and access ForeFlight’s powerful flight planning from your desktop computer.

ForeFlight on the web

ForeFlight’s powerful flight planning capabilities are available on your desktop computer.

Route Editor, NavLog, & Route Advisor

Familiar Route Editor and Navlog views make it easy to build and edit a route using text input or rubber band planning. ForeFlight’s auto-complete search engine returns results as fast as you type based on waypoints, navaids, airport names, routes, and city names. Just like on ForeFlight Mobile, Route Advisor™ allows you to simply enter departure and destination identifiers into the Route Editor, then select from available route suggestions including airway, recently cleared ATC routes, preferred routes, or TEC routes.

ForeFlight web planner route advisor

Route Advisor helps you select from available route suggestions.

You will also see a new Aircraft tab on the left-hand side; here you can create and edit aircraft profiles. When you add performance data, the Navlog computes your route time and fuel burn, just like in the mobile app. The best part is that any aircraft profile changes you make on the web are automatically synced to your mobile devices.

In addition, the new global Aeronautical Maps look stunning on a desktop browser and include many of the same benefits as the mobile app, like dynamic decluttering, customizable information, light and dark themes, and Smart Airway Labels.

File & Brief Anywhere, Anytime

All of the same file and brief features you enjoy on ForeFlight Mobile are available via the web. You can amend and cancel IFR plans and activate and close VFR plans – and it’s all instantly synced to your iPad and iPhone. In the Aircraft view, you can add ICAO equipment and performance codes, and ForeFlight pre-populates your flight plan form with this information.

ForeFlight on the web graphical briefing

Generate ForeFlight’s Graphical Briefing right from your desktop computer.

ForeFlight’s Graphical Briefing can be generated on the web. Graphical Briefing transforms the standard text briefing information and delivers it in a visually elegant design for better readability – and it looks amazing in the full desktop view.

Check out this how-to video to learn more about Graphical Briefing:

Logbook On The Web

In addition to experience reports and the 8710 report, student pilots will enjoy keeping tabs on accumulated flight time towards their PPL or Instrument Rating using the new Progress Reports. These reports use data from your logbook entries to display a checklist of requirements needed for each, checking off each item as you complete it.

Logbook progress tracking report

ForeFlight Logbook Progress Reports help student pilots keep an eye on the prize.

ForeFlight on the web gives you more flexibility to plan and file when and where it is convenient. You can log in to ForeFlight anytime using your ForeFlight Mobile credentials. Access to Logbook features and the new Aeronautical Maps requires a Basic Plus or Pro Plus subscription plan. If you need to make changes to your subscription, you can do that on the web, too!

Apple iOS 9.3.5 and ForeFlight

UPDATE August 26, 2016: Compatibility testing between ForeFlight Mobile and iOS 9.3.5 is complete and we are issuing the “all-clear” to ForeFlight customers. Feel free to update at your convenience.

ORIGINAL POST August 25, 2016: We are performing compatibility testing between ForeFlight and the newly released iOS 9.3.5 to ensure that everything is working smoothly. We will update this post with an “all-clear” when testing is completed.

Bulletin: August 18 Data Updates

Data updates are now available to download for the August 18, 2016 – September 15, 2016 period:

  • Airport and Navigation Database
  • Documents
  • VFR Charts and Terminal Area Charts
  • Taxi Diagrams
  • Terminal Procedures
  • Airport/Facility Diagrams
  • ForeFlight Airport Diagrams, including new diagrams and updates for the following airports:
06FD 07FA 09A 09FA 0Q5 18FD
1D7 1G4 1G5 1H0 1K1 1L0
1N7 21D 24A 27XS 3DW 3M0
3NR3 3OH0 3R7 4R9 5C1 5M0
7A8 7FL4 88R 89GE 94FL AL60
CA51 CO12 E60 KCDN KDED KDIJ
KHAD KMUL KNEN KNGS KNWL KSPW
KSRR KSTF KSTJ KSTP KSUT KUOS
KUOX KUZA L52 MMPC MS82 MYAN
MYEN MYER NC06 NC14 NC26 NC27
NC30 OR96 PMDY T20 T35 TDCF
UT25 UT47 UT99 VG18 WA09

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
  • 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
  • Documents

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

Getting the most from ForeFlight radar layers

Now that ForeFlight Mobile 7.7 introduced a second radar layer to the app, what are the practical advantages of each? As I mentioned in my earlier blog post, the composite reflectivity and lowest tilt radar layers both provide a high glance value to the pilot to highlight the location and movement of the truly nasty adverse weather. But I think you’ll find that these two layers are more often similar than they are different.

Go to any pilot gathering discussing weather and you’ll likely discover a majority of pilots genuinely swear by the composite reflectivity mosaic. In fact, you may even hear a few so-called “experts” stand up in front of an audience and attempt to convince them that you should only ever use composite reflectivity. Depending on your particular flying habits and aircraft capabilities, you may find that the base reflectivity from the lowest tilt is actually more useful and accurate. However, before we get into the pertinent differences, let’s examine how each mosaic is built.

The nuts and bolts of NEXRAD

Every NEXRAD radar site throughout the U.S. scans the sky with multiple 360-degree sweeps at increasing elevation angles. It starts the process (called a volume coverage pattern) at 0.5 degrees and finishes at 19.5 degrees assuming the radar is in precipitation mode. The base reflectivity from the lowest elevation angle (called the lowest tilt) is most representative of precipitation, if any, that is falling out of the base of the cloud and reaching the surface. So the lowest tilt is what interests most of the general public so that’s what you are likely to see on various websites that depict weather radar.

The composite reflectivity, on the other hand, includes the base reflectivity from every elevation scan. Depending on the scanning strategy of the particular radar site, this could be up to 14 different elevations. The highest base reflectivity value from each of these elevations is what’s included in the composite reflectivity mosaic. Consequently, you don’t know if the reflectivity depicted is near the base of the cloud, somewhere in the middle or near the top simply by looking at the mosaic.

Cross-section

A cross section of this mesoscale convective system (MCS) provides a better indication of the altitude of the highest reflectivity in the storm. In this case the precipitation core is below 6 km or 20,000 feet.

More is not always better

One of the chief issues with the composite reflectivity mosaic is that it often has a very large footprint when compared to the lowest tilt. It tends to exaggerate the areal impact of the precipitation event making it challenging to determine where it’s safe to fly. Shown below is a two image animation over the southeastern Florida peninsula that toggles between the composite reflectivity and lowest tilt. Notice on the composite reflectivity mosaic at least one-half of the area depicts returns that are not likely to be actual precipitation falling from the sky. Most of the green contours to the northeast of Lake Okeechobee are low dBZ returns from ice crystals in the thunderstorm’s anvil and are not likely a threat to pilots flying at lower altitudes 10 or more miles from the storm, but below the anvil.

CompositevsBase-Animation

An animation comparing the composite reflectivity and base reflectivity from the lowest elevation angle (lowest tilt).

High ice water content

If you fly a turbojet aircraft in the upper flight levels, the composite reflectivity mosaic can be quite important to examine. The thunderstorm anvil like the one shown above can contain a high enough concentration of ice crystals (called high ice water content) to be a problem. These ice crystals can be ingested into jet engines causing power-loss or damage within the engine core. Engine instability such as surge, stall, flameout, rollback and damage of compressor blades due to ice shedding have been reported in these conditions. So if you are a pilot circumnavigating deep, moist convection in a turbojet aircraft, the composite reflectivity mosaic provides some indication of where the high ice water content may be located.

Down low and below

During the warm season when thunderstorms are the most common, the lowest tilt depiction is one that is useful to pilots that like to fly down in the bumpy air below the cloud deck. Typically the footprint of the areas of precipitation will be less giving pilots a cleaner image leaving behind just the cellular structure that’s most important when flying within a convective environment. Even so, it’s still important to keep your distance. Bear in mind that nasty convective wind shear often occurs below building convection or when flying near mature thunderstorms. Gust fronts from thunderstorm outflow as well as microbursts are the biggest threats especially with high-base convection.

What about the radar from my Stratus?

At the moment, the base reflectivity from the lowest elevation angle isn’t part of the ADS-B broadcast. So while en route you will only have the regional and national composite reflectivity mosaic available. The current provider of ADS-B radar does a good job removing most non-precipitation returns, however, they don’t broadcast any returns below 20 dBwhich is typically what you’d see in areas with a thunderstorm anvil.

dBZ

Here is the ForeFlight mapping of colors to dBZ levels found in the Pilot’s Guide. Notice that the first shade of green under ADS-B doesn’t start until 20 dBZ whereas the Internet scheme starts as low as 5 dBZ.

In the end, when both depictions are available as they are in ForeFlight Mobile, each radar should be given its due time during your preflight analysis.

Apple iOS 9.3.4 and ForeFlight

UPDATE August 12, 2016: After testing iOS 9.3.4 this week, we’re ready to issue an “all-clear” to ForeFlight customers. Feel free to update at your own convenience.

ORIGINAL POST August 5, 2016: We are performing compatibility testing between ForeFlight and the newly released iOS 9.3.4 to ensure that everything is working smoothly. We will update this post with an “all-clear” when testing is completed.