Sunday, February 22, 2015

February 2015

Sectional Chart overlay in Google Earth
I've never liked February. The month is the dead of winter, ugly gray, frigid cold, blustery winds and snow. Too much snow. None of it is good for flying, especially VFR only kind of flying. While I have gotten some flights in, more have been cancelled. Last week I had to postpone a flight due to cold temperatures, 1 degree Fahrenheit. (Gusty winds and moderate turbulence factored in, but the cold was the real show stopper.) So its important to find other things to do while waiting for the Spring thaw.

  • eFIRC: (Electronic) Flight Instructor Refresher Courses (FIRC) help Flight Instructors stay abreast of changes in general aviation flight training. I took the one provided by the AOPA/Air Safety Institute. Some of the courses need to be refreshed but overall the course was interesting and well produced.
  • Google Earth: My Virb Elite camera produces a GPX track as a byproduct of the video. I usually just use the information as an overlay to show flight data, however the track is useful as input to Google Earth to show where the flight went. Some investigation on the web provided a way to import Aeronautical Charts. I think this will be especially useful to analyze cross country flights.
  • Ipad Mini: The pressure was just to great. I like my Nexus 7 but if you attend any pilot learning session the hot topic continues to be Ipad apps. The final straw came while attending Expo. I stopped by the WingX booth to discuss the latest software updates and found that no new development was being done on Android. Additionally, the latest version of the program was being offered for free to CFIs. Ipad Mini2 with Retina Display, 32gb, IOS 8.1.3. I'll let you know more once I've flown with it.
  • Keeping her warm: A lot of good internet discussions about keeping the ROTAX engine warm in the winter. A variety of different kinds of blowers, heaters and warming devices are being discussed. I'm still using Dr. Paul's concept using a heat gun with conduit into the exhaust channel at the bottom of the cowling.
Finally, there is a stack of unread magazines on the table. I wonder if I should get the digital versions for the Ipad?

Video Reference Google track: Cold Sunday 
Video weather analysis

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