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Old 03-19-2014, 04:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Electronic Flight Bag (ForeFlight) - Thoughts?

I tried out Foreflight on my iPad and intend on getting a subscription, but haven't yet gotten around to it. Although it's really cool and useful, since I fly for a (Canadian) 703 Operator (that's the equivalent of Part 135 in the US), before we can switch to iPads we need to develop procedures for their use, change our Company Ops Manual (COM) and get approval. We'll do all that eventually, but it will take some time.

So here's my question - we're using the Canadian paper maps and plates (CAP) - no problem there, other than the lesser convenience than using electronic. The real pain comes with the American stuff. We tried to keep our paper subscription, but even though we were paying big bucks, the charts and plates wouldn't arrive until after they had already expired. We called many times, but to no avail - the stuff would arrive many days or even a week after the expiry date! The answer we got from the FAA was that it was all online for free, so what was our problem? Well, that works somewhat for the plates (although if you end up diverting unexpectedly you're pretty much screwed), but the maps are a total pain. Some of the Canadian maps overlap the American ones, but when you end up further afield, putting together a map from a bunch of printed sheets is totally stupid. I can't believe that everyone in the US is using iPads (although I assume that the rules for private flyers is much less involved when it comes to doing the switch).

So does everyone else maintain a paper subscription? And if so, do your maps and plates arrive on time? I suspect that they are just slow with cross border mailing, but I can't believe that it takes that much longer - though it might be a ploy to get everyone to just print the stuff off their site.

For those that print plates and charts off the FAA site, what do you do about maps? It's like arts and crafts time trying to tape together 16 pages that form a "real map"! (Although my F/O got quite the laugh when I showed up with my home-made-hand-assembled map )
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you get fore-flight subscription for US, you can pretty much print all the charts that you need to print right from there and than.

If your company is yet to develop the proper ipad usage procedures, there is NOTHING against you doing your flight planning using your ipad (including filing the flight plan and getting briefing), then creating a chart bundle and printing it before you head out for your flight.

If I know I am getting into a real IMC I always print the charts(just in case my ipad goes crazy on me) but I also have all the charts in my phone as well (just in case), and all those are the actual charts that are being published, so I see nothing wrong or compromising the safety in there.
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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But the problem comes with printing the maps (sorry - when I say charts I mean maps, as oppoed to plates for the approach plates) - each one encompasses 11 pages (letter size, not legal). What do you do about printing out the maps?
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I was referring to plates, not the enrout charts.
On the other hand for using the iPad for commercial operations (charter airlien), you should let it up to your company to buy you the subscription


I have ONE GREAT IDEA for your company to get all the charts they need on time!
The contract someone in US to buy it for them an overnight it with FedEx, contact an individual and you will never have to worry about getting those in time!

Of course developing ops for ipad usage is a better solution!
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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So what do you do about the maps, Vlad - do you stick with the iPad?

My company will indeed pay for it, but the approval process for us for everything is really onerous, so it could take a while to submit Ops Manual changes, get them back, re-submit, get them back, re-submit etc etc
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Helloooooo-o-o-o-o-o-o?! Anybody out there?!
Anybody try any electronic gizmos, gadgets or software that they really find helpful in the cockpit?
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Deb, Foreflight is the ultimate and the best!

The ONLY thing it's missing (as compared to the Garmin app in ipad) is an approach timer.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That's when us old timers look at that thing on our arm with the hands on it, Vlad
(Sorry - I couldn't resist)
For having my major in Compter Science I am strangely un-enamored with technology, but I am starting to get quite a kick out of changing my flip phone for a smartphone (once I got over being frightened of it )
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I do see terror on the face of 'old timers' (you said it), once in while when I am helping someone from the right on heavier things, goes away as they start trusting the new technologies and getting hag of it.

But then I always try to see the other side of the story and learn as much as I can, as I am sure every single worry(that doesn't worry me) can be based on an information/skill that comes from more experience.


P.S. It's usually even worse doing from the right, insisting and doing it 'my way'
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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New technology, no matter how useful, is often hateful at first - it's just a matter of how long it takes to get the hang of it and then you keep progressing until you wonder how you ever got along without it.

I gotta say, I enjoy the new Garmin GTN 750 we have in one of our planes - it's mostly a treat to use, but the touch screen can be rather challenging/amusing in turbulence. It actually has little grooves on either side, though, so you can hold your hand on it and just move your finger. In that airplane the 750 is for the Capt and there's a 430 for the F/O. Inevitably you find yourself poking the screen of the 430 and thinking "What's wrong with this thing...ohhhhhh....I hafta push the buttons...how primitive!"
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I know late to the discusion here but we just got approved for EFB's with I pad mini and fore flight. I was scepticle at first, but now I love it. Esspecially the part of not having to llug 40lbs of paper charts around everyday. Still have to carry paper for Canada though as our EFB's don't cover Canadian charts yet. Luckily that's just one plate as we don't venture too deep into the wild north too often.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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You will love it more as the time passes
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