DTC Delivers Weather, Free iPhone App
At the DTC Duat Services booth (No. C11236), NBAA attendees can check out the free DTC iPhone/iPad app, which provides mobile access to features such as flight planning and filing, weather briefing and graphics and a convenient way to check for TFRs before takeoff. Of course, all of these features have long been available on the DTC Duat website.
Duat is the FAA’s Direct User Access Terminal service for pilots, and Data Transformation Corp. is one of two contractors that provide the service (the other is CSC Duats). Duat allows pilots to obtain a legal preflight briefing and file flight plans. The service is free to qualified pilots, dispatchers and other authorized users.
Reading DTC Duat’s weather briefing has been made easier. Pilots can request a standard route briefing and use the buttons located at the top of the results page to view pertinent reports, instead of having to wade through the entire briefing. Clicking on each button pulls up the desired information, including area forecasts, Metars, Tafs, pilot repots, Notams, and so forth, making it much easier for the pilot to interpret the results. Buttons are also available for planning the flight and filing the flight plan, both for domestic U.S. flights and ICAO flight plans. Briefings are available in normal abbreviated format, plain English or both.
A new DTC Duat feature is en-route low- and high-altitude charts, which can be displayed in user-selected transparency levels, showing surface details behind the airways. Airport charts and data are also available.
Each request made by the user is stored, so it’s easy to return to look over the data instead of having to redo the request.
An enormous amount of preflight information is available on the DTC Duat website and via the iPhone/iPad app. A great place to begin using the service is the “interactive overlays” link, which shows a map of the continental U.S. or of Alaska. Users can select all sorts of data to overlay on the map, including terrain features, time zones, nuclear plants and stadiums, and a variety of weather data. This gives pilots an instant look at the weather picture over a large area. Then by clicking on a portion of the map, pilots can get a view of a local area, including (when selected as one of the overlay features) weather conditions at that area’s airports.