Pilots have a lot to deal with before a flight. From checking up weather conditions, runway and airport information to logbooks and calculations. With a wide range of apps available for phones today, one of our Flight Instructors Jason, has given us his top five favourite apps which help him be a better pilot!
Most commercial aircraft are fitted with a piece of technology called a transponder. Transponders relay information about an aircrafts’ position to Air Traffic Controllers who then guide the aircraft towards their destination. Transponder signals roam the sky freely and can be picked up by anybody, if they have the right equipment. If you’re the majority of people without access to the right equipment, then FlightRadar24 is a free app which does the hard work for you. It can display the positions of many (but not all) commercial aircraft operating around the world. It is a long-time favourite for both pilots and travellers alike. There is also a paid version of the app which provides access to more information.
Have you ever wanted to listen to the conversations air traffic controllers and pilots have with each other? Are you fascinated by pilot lingo? Then LiveATC.net is the free app (and website) for you. It gives the public access to live air traffic control radio feeds all over the world. Student pilots can listen to LiveATC.net in order to improve their comprehension and response to aeronautical radio calls.
OzRunways has grown to become one of the most valuable tools for the modern-day pilot. Known as an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB), OzRunways is an app which can help a pilot plan a flight, review airspace, check weather and even act as a transponder to overlay other air traffic information on a digital map. Whilst the app is not cheap (up to $200 per year), the benefits of increased efficiency, safety and awareness pay for itself in the long run.
NAIPS, or National Aeronautical Information Processing System is a series of free tools managed by Airservices Australia which integrate together to provide government-mandated aeronautical briefings and publishing service products exclusively for the use by Australian pilots. The NAIPS website and app provide pilots access to comprehensive weather information, beginning/end of day light calculations, GPS integrity information, charts and flight plan submission.
CloudAhoy is a de-briefing tool which can aid in assisting pilots understand the strengths and weaknesses of their flight. Pilots activate the app prior to flight and it then acts like a ‘Blackbox’ flight recorder, recording all the various manoeuvres and actions of the aircraft in-flight. On the ground, the pilot can open up the app (or website) to view the aircraft tracking and position history overlaid on a map. The flight can also be ‘replayed’ in order to showcase certain situations encountered during the flight. CloudAhoy forms part of a valuable set of tools which flight instructors use.
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[Featured Header Image Source: wired.com]