The National Business Aviation Association announced its new FileSmart system last week as a way to help operators develop flight plans that should increase ATC system efficiencies. FileSmart is a web-based educational product created to teach operators how to improve the timeliness and accuracy of their flight plans by adding more information about their intent where relevant.
New flight plan requirements developed for ICAO compatibility with digital air traffic management systems around the world take effect tomorrow at 8 p.m. EST. “The amendments to flight plan content go to the very core of flight-plan processing,” according to Eurocontrol. The basic flight plan form and the field composition within the flight-plan message remain unchanged, but the content of some fields will change. A new Eurocontrol interface manual explains the changes from a user’s perspective.
Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) is introducing a new, integrated multifunction standby unit (IMSU) for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft that measures, processes and displays altitude, airspeed, slip/skid and navigation data in a single display. The unit features a high-resolution LCD with LED backlighting that automatically adjusts for cockpit lighting.
It’s a simple concept: if you can flight plan a higher altitude to use during an overwater emergency, then you might not need as much extra fuel to reach an alternate airport. Most airlines and business jet operators flight plan for an emergency altitude of 10,000 feet, because supplemental oxygen isn’t needed at that altitude, when flying from the equal-time point to an alternate airport.
The FAA announced a collaborative public-private NextGen effort at Florida’s major airports late last week that will increase safety and efficiency while reducing aircraft emissions. Dubbed NextGen metroplex, the initiative will improve the flow of air traffic into and out of airports in the Miami, Orlando and Tampa metropolitan areas. Similar metroplex projects are under way or planned in numerous metropolitan areas across the U.S., the FAA added.
A long-awaited feature on the Aircraft Performance Group iPreFlight iPad app–in-flight analysis–is now available on the Apple App Store. Previous versions of the APG app need to be connected to the Internet to perform runway analysis calculations. The advantage of performing a landing-distance assessment while airborne is that conditions at the destination sometimes change, and pilots need to calculate if the destination runway still meets legal and safety parameters.
A recent Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) report of a Learjet 31 altitude bust on departure from Denver’s Centennial Airport (APA) reminds all aviators that miscommunication, poor preflight planning and a loss of situational awareness can lead to serious mistakes.
Filing an ICAO flight plan will become a bit more complicated this fall, if you file them by hand. Gone will be the old days of telling a flight service station that your aircraft is a slant “A” or a slant “R.”
Arinc Direct recently released Version 2.3 of its iPad flight-planning app, a major upgrade designed to help users eliminate paper from their cockpits and including a new note-taking annotation feature on flight plans.