For aircraft equipped with satcom or air-to-ground Internet connectivity, pilots can use an iPhone/iPad app from Aerovie while airborne to submit pilot reports directly to the FAA’s Aviation Weather Center and to Lockheed Martin Flight Services (the contractor that runs the FAA’s network of flight service stations). The AerovieReports app also delivers Pireps directly to the app, saving pilots time looking up flight service frequencies and calling on the radio for updated information.
AerovieReports, available for the iPhone and iPad, automatically tracks the aircraft’s location and altitude if a GPS signal is available to the device. The “Add Report” feature includes a time function (either now or up to 30 minutes ago); location (if no GPS position is available, a map pops up for the pilot to insert a location manually); ability to include a photograph using the device’s camera; selectable symbols for ride comfort, precipitation and icing plus base and tops selections for those items; and a remarks section. Pireps can be submitted to the Aviation Weather Center/Lockheed Martin as well as to Twitter and Facebook.
To view reports, the pilot can filter altitudes (ground to 60,000 feet) and times from four hours to 30 minutes ago. Each report is shown on the map by a symbol representing the type of report; tap on the symbol and the report pops up.
Flight-Tracking and Dispatching Combined
Aerovie is also offering the free (for now) Pilot app, which combines a flight-tracking/recording system with a dispatching capability as well as pilot and maintenance tracking. AeroviePilot can either record a flight using an iPad’s internal GPS or an external GPS connected to the iPad, or it can import flight data files from Garmin G1000 and Avidyne avionics (which provide much more data).
The Pilot app starts with a dashboard, showing a list of recent flights and a map with the routes superimposed. A reminders section posts alerts about any upcoming maintenance items or pilot limits.
The flights page shows each flight on a map or satellite view along with a playback function that allows the user to see the actual flight alongside a mini primary flight display (PFD) view and engine indications (if that data is available). The PFD view is a handy way to play back and examine a specific maneuver such as, for example, an unstabilized approach.
The dispatch page shows a list of dispatch requests and allows the user to add new requests. Data for the dispatch includes details of the flight and some risk-assessment features to make sure the pilot has considered important elements of the flight.
The weather page is a handy way to check Airmets, Sigmets, Metars, radar imagery, winds, icing and so on, without having to launch another app.
In the aircraft section, the user can add aircraft to track, then for each aircraft add maintenance tracking items. These include annual inspection, 100-hour inspection, pitot/static check, a custom inspection and oil-change intervals. Photos can be added to each inspection item, too. The custom inspection item could be useful for tracking life-limited parts and other time limits.
Multiple pilots can be added in the pilot section, and it includes an endorsement feature with a signature box, as well as the ability to designate dispatch approval to one of the listed pilots. The pilot section also shows a current chart of that pilot’s flight time and number of flights.
Aerovie developer Bryan Heitman told AIN that he is still working on the full set of features for the Pilot app and plans eventually to add a subscription fee, although the Reports app will remain free.