Infrared Satellite Overlay

Most pilots will be used to looking at the Rain RADAR overlay; it’s a great tool, however this does not necessarily show the whole weather picture.

If you include RADAR rain returns and also look at a satellite-based infrared as part of your weather self-brief during preflight preparation, you’ll have a much clearer picture of the whole weather situation.  That’s where AvPlan EFB’s Infrared Satellite overlay comes into play.

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To turn the layer on, from the En Route pane tap the Weather Overlays button (RADAR icon).  From the list, tap Infrared Satellite.  After a few seconds the data will load, and you will be presented with a representation of the cloud cover/moisture in the air.

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This weather product is a global one, so you can zoom out as much as you’d like to get the ‘biiiig picture’:

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You can use the arrow buttons that appear at the bottom of the screen to step forwards or backwards through the most recent frames.  If you’d like to view them in an automatic loop, tap the play button.

To access this feature in flight, you’ll need to be connected to data – either via an internal sim card, a portable cellular WiFi router, or by hot-spotting your smartphone.

This weather overlay is a often forgotten one by pilots, but can be very informative if you know what to look for.   It can also be combined with the Lightning Overlay to give an amazing picture of any active CBs or TCUs:

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Give it a try when preparing for your next flight!

 

Aircraft Defaults

If you have an aircraft that is flown in a similar loading or setup, you can save time each and every new flight plan by having pre-set-up weights and loadings.

For example:  You have a two-seat aircraft that you fly almost all the time with your favourite co-pilot.  It’s always refuelled at the end of each flight and you always carry the same flight bag and tie-down kit with you.

Another example could be a commercial aircraft that always carries a particular piece of equipment in it for every flight – like a tie-down kit, survey camera, etc.

In these scenarios, you can have these stored in your aircraft profile so every time you create a flight plan, those details are already pre-filled.

So…How do you do it?

Tap Settings > Aircraft Type Database > [Your Type] > [Your Registration].  Scroll down to the bottom of the list, where you should see the subheading: AIRCRAFT DEFAULTS.

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What does it all mean?

Default POB:  Enter a number here, and it will be entered in the Persons On Board field on the Planning > Aircraft Loading/Weight and Balance/Fuel Planning page. (see below)

Default Taxi Fuel:  Enter the number representing your usual amount of fuel burned during startup, warmup, run-ups and taxiing to the end of the farthest runway.  Just enter the number and tap return.  AvPlan EFB will append whether it is pounds, litres, kilograms, US gallons which are derived from the aircraft’s profile.  For example, a small four cylinder engine might only need 3 litres (see below), whereas a large high performance engine might need 2 gallons or more.  Turbines – even more! If in doubt, err on the slightly higher side to be safe.  This figure will be added in the Fuel Table on the Planning > Aircraft Loading/Weight and Balance/Fuel Planning page.

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Default Loading: Brings up a new list of options.  The items listed here are derived from the weight and balance setup of your aircraft profile.  You’ll see your load stations and fuel tanks listed.  Enter the weights/fuel loads as appropriate.

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Survival Equipment:  Shows a list of regular safety equipment carried on flights.  Select the options you carry each flight and these will be automatically sent with your flight plan submission.

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Once you’ve entered these details, tap the back button found at the top-left of the page preceded with a < symbol.  Each time you tap the back button, the preceding page title is displayed.  Tap this back button until you return to the Aircraft Type Database main list, which might be three or four times.  When AvPlan EFB prompts you, tap Save to commit your changes to your aircraft profile.  If you ever wish to change your defaults, simply return to this menu and make the necessary adjustments.

To see these default loadings in action, simply begin a new flight plan and make sure that your particular registration is selected (if it’s not, tap the hollow aircraft icon below the flight plan and select your aircraft’s registration from the list).

Add some waypoints, then tap Planning > Aircraft Loading/Weight and Balance/Fuel Planning.  You should now already see those details entered in the loading stations, POB and taxi fuel.

If there does happen to be a variance from the defaults to a current flight (for example, your co-pilot is not available or you only have three-quarters fuel), you can quickly amend them for this flight.  It won’t effect future flight plans.

Try it – it could save you time!

Electronic Ruler

Electronic maps are wonderful things! No more folding, ripping or replacing.

However, one thing that is eroded ever so slightly with electronic mapping is the sense of map scale; owing to the fact that it can be constantly panned and zoomed through multiple map types. On a paper map, only one map at a time and all remains fixed.

How do we make up for this in a constantly adjustable digital world? Easy.  Have you ever been flying along and want to know exactly how far that town/mountain/lake/airport/landmark is away?

Enter the digital ruler.

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Simply place two fingers slightly spread apart (as if you were going to zoom out, but don’t) on to the map and hold for a second or two.

Between and slightly above your fingers, the ruler should appear. It doesn’t even have to be perfectly aligned with the objects you wish to measure at this time…

Once it’s visible, while keeping your two fingers on the screen you can then spread/contract/twist/drag to align it with your desired measurement.

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Once the ruler is satisfactorily aligned, simply remove your fingers from the screen and the ruler will remain in place. You can even continue to pan around the map with one finger and the ruler will stay in the assigned position relative to the map.

The ruler displays the great circle distance between the end points, plus a magnetic bearing.  Why is Great Circle distance important?  It’s not a big deal for short distances, but for measuring larger ones it makes for a much more accurate measurement… This is why it looks bent over a long distance!

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To clear the ruler, you can repeat the process and create a brand new ruler somewhere else, or simply zoom the map slightly. The moment the map is zoomed in or out, the current ruler is cleared.

You’re flying along and you’ve suddenly got a passenger feeling ill? Want to measure the closest suitable airport distances/bearings before committing to a diversion? Seen an AvPlan Live traffic target appeared on the map nearby and you’d like to know how far away it is? Now you know how to – just some of it’s many uses!

Glide

Have you wanted to use the Aircraft Glide envelope, but don’t have the necessary details to get it going?
Let’s have a look at what’s involved.
First, turning the function on.  From the En Route pane, tap the Map Settings icon (two cogs, top right) > View Items > Airport Glide Range.
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If your currently select aircraft profile already contains the necessary details – great!  You won’t see the above dialogue box.  When you next take off, you’ll see the green shape grow around your aircraft icon as you climb higher and higher.  It’ll also change shape if you’re flying near significant terrain:
If your aircraft does not yet contain the necessary information, you will be prompted with a small window (see above).  The two fields with red text (Glide Ratio, Glide IAS) are required data, Minimum Runway Length is an optional field.  We’ll discuss why a little later.
First, let’s discuss the Glide IAS field.  That’s pretty straightforward.  We all should know the best glide speed for the aircraft we fly.  Place that in this field.  If your best glide speed changes with your gross weight, enter the figure associated with MTOW, that way it’s only going to get better as you burn fuel.  AvPlan EFB needs to know this figure because it takes into account how your aircraft will be affected by forecast winds during the glide simulation.
What goes in the Glide Ratio field?
Well, if you already know the glide ratio you can type it in here.  If your aircraft’s glide ratio is 10:1, we at AvPlan take the :1 part as a given, so simply enter 10 in the field.  You can also enter figures with up to two decimal places here.  For example, if your aircraft POH says the glide ratio is 8.92:1, then simply type 8.92 and tap return.
My POH just gives me a graph – not a ratio.  How do I work it out?
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Take an example altitude – one that lines up nicely with a distance.  In this case, 8000 feet lines up well with 12 Nautical Miles.  Right now, we’re comparing apples to oranges.  In order to work out a ratio, we need to compare apples to apples by converting Nautical Miles to Feet.  You can do this by multiplying the Nautical Miles figure by 6076.12.
This equals 72913.4.  Now we have apples to compare. Divide that number by the height.  72913.4/8000 = 9.114175.   There you have it!  Tap Settings > Aircraft Type Database > [your type] > Basic Performance and scroll to the bottom to enter 9.11 in the glide ratio field.  Tap the back button two or three times and select Save when prompted.
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What about Minimum Runway Length?
The minimum runway length is used by the Pro Upgrade subscribers as a flight planning tool.  Any airports with known runways shorter than the figure you set will not be taken into account by the Glide algorithm.  If you are a VFR-Standard subscriber without Pro, you don’t have to enter a figure in this field.
You can read more about how the Airport Glide Range works in flight and during planning by going to section 5.13 in the AvPlan EFB User Manual.