Star your STARs!

Have you wished you can have particular plates or taxi diagrams handy, regardless of what airport you’re viewing in the Terminal pane? Here’s how you can do it!

Tap Terminal, then select the book icon in the top right of the screen.

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You’ll see a list of all documents connected to the currently selected airport on the right; on the left, a list of all airports in the database.

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To the right of each document, you’ll notice some hollow star icons.  Tapping the text will take you directly to that document, however tapping the star icon will elevate it up to the Favorites section.

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This feature can be handy for any pilot, but particularly for IFR pilots. You can set up the taxi diagram, SID, STAR then Approach and taxi diagram.  All in the one spot!

To remove any starred documents, simply tap the star icon once again and it will return to the regular list.

Full Screen Flight Log

The interactive electronic flight log has always been one of the core features of AvPlan EFB.  An option recently added to the growing list of personalisation settings includes the ability to select between the original flight log design (on the left in landscape mode or top/bottom in portrait mode) and a full-screen mode.

To enable this feature, tap Settings > User Settings > Full Screen Flight Plan.

Enable Full Screen Flight Plan

When enabled, an extra option appears in the lower section of the screen: Flight Plans. The flight log has its own tab.

Flight Plans

The Hide/Show Flight Log button still works as a shortcut from the other tabs directly to the Flight Plans tab:

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You can cycle through the active leg in the flight plan (i.e. the TO field) by using the up and down arrow buttons.

Active Leg Step

There’s also a new RMK column.  Any delay or air work intentions sent to ATC from your flight plan will be displayed here:

RMKs

To enter these comments, tap the corresponding row in the flight log (this will take you to the Terminal Page for that place), and under the Leg Details tab, type your delay time and Pilot Remarks.

Pilot Remarks

Eagle-eyed pilots will also note that there’s an extra column: Fuel.  The upper box gives the planned fuel burned for the leg, and the lower box displays a progressive planned fuel burned from takeoff.  Pilots that have used AvPlan EFB on the iPhone or 12″ iPad Pro will already be used to seeing this column.

Not all pilots will like the separate tab, but many others will love the extra space a whole screen option brings.  Give it a try today, if you haven’t already!

 

Is Your Airspace Active?

As well as the usual active airspace regions (military airspace, etc) pilots are used to seeing around their region that have fairly regular and predictable times, there’s also many other types that can ‘pop up’. It’s important to know how to find out information about them, and wether they need to be avoided now or in the future.

So, as a quick reminder how to turn on Active Airspace:

From the EnRoute page, tap the Map Settings button.

Map Settings Icon

Tap View Items.

Scroll down and place a tick next to Active Airspace.

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They can be displayed on any map type – VFR, IFR, Satellite, Open Street Map…

Red regions are currently active. Double-tap within a piece of airspace on the map, then select it from the list to read more about it.  NZ pilots, be aware of this example of rocket testing taking place on the Mahia Peninsula:

Rocket Testing NZ

USA pilots, be aware of wildfire TFRs that can pop up without notice. Keep well clear so the awesome firefighting teams can safely do their important work:

Wildfire TFR

Some regions may require checking by the pilot because the NOTAM is too complicated to teach a computer to automatically interpret it. In that case we err on the side of caution and display the region as red:

State: Check

Yellow regions are upcoming Temporary Flight Restriction or Danger areas.  These might include Stadium or Presidential TFRs in the USA, or in Australia pilots might notice long (usually) skinny regions that are military Low Jet Routes (LJR).

Low Jet Routes

Above is an example of both a future LJR and one that is currently active.  These can also be double-tapped to read the NOTAM details.  They’re a good idea to avoid when red, as you might have a visit from a fighter jet!

As of AvPlan 7.5.3, Australian pilots will also notice that military CTRs will now display active and deactive.

If you haven’t been connected to the internet for a while, and AvPlan EFB is not currently aware of the status of airspace, it will display as grey (see below).  Connect your iPad to data, and they should update within a minute or two.

Unknown Status PRD

Once the active validity time has passed for a piece of airspace, the regions will automatically disappear from the map.

So, the team at AvPlan EFB recommend turning on Active Airspace and leaving it on.  It’s handy information to know!

At-a-glance METARs

The METAR Overlay on the EnRoute map has been available in AvPlan EFB for a few years now, however what happens if you’re not looking at the map at the time?  …or even that part of the map?  AvPlan EFB now displays the METAR status in the flight log:

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Not all waypoints will have a METAR dot, but if there is a METAR station associated with the waypoint you’ll automatically see it depicted in your flight log.  They will update at as the METARs get updated.

Tap on the row of a waypoint and tap MET to see the full METAR/SPECI details.

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For a quick reminder of how to decode the colours:

Green (VFR). Visibility >8km, Cloud >3000ft AGL.

Blue (Marginal VFR). Visibility >5km, Cloud >1000ft AGL.

Yellow (IFR). Visibility  >1600m, Cloud >500ft AGL.

Red (Low IFR). Visibility  <1600m, Cloud <500ft AGL.

• METARs with unknown or missing data (some only collect wind and/or QNH) are displayed as grey icons.

Global Airspace

AvPlan EFB now includes a global database of controlled and special use airspace. No matter where you fly you can plan to avoid airspace during pre-flight planning and also receive airspace notifications as you fly.

To view airspace as an overlay on the maps, open AvPlan EFB on your device and tap Map Settings, View Items, Airspace to add that overlay.

The airspace database is fully compatible with the AvPlan EFB Virtual Copilot.

No special actions need to be taken to download this database – AvPlan EFB will automatically download and save the required data for the regions you have selected.

 

 

 

 

PIREPs

AvPlan EFB 7.1 brings pilot in-flight reports (PIREPs) to our customers. PIREPs are updated via the internet, ADSB (USA Only) or satellite (when connected via GlobalStar). PIREPs are short, inflight weather reports generated for pilots for use in flight or for re-flight planning. PIREPs are an excellent tool for communicating current in flight conditions to other pilots which will help everyone to know ‘what is happening ahead’.

To view PIREPs, open AvPlan EFB and on the Enroute pane, tap Map SettingsView ItemsPilot Reports.

AvPlan EFB represents a PIREP by a simple map icon showing the weather condition (turbulence or icing) and the altitude. Double tap on the PIREP to view the full text. This may include cloud, turbulence and icing levels, current wind. Additionally, a plain text field is available for general remarks.

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Our friends at MzeroA have a great post about interpreting PIREPs. PIREPs always contain the location of the report, altitude, aircraft type and time. The rest is a series of optional elements representing turbulence, icing, wind, cloud and remarks.

To submit a PIREP, tap on the map where you wish to submit the report. Tap ‘Submit PIREP’ from the Nearest Item window which appears. A form will be displayed. You can select the weather phenomenon, add the current altitude, winds, cloud and remarks and then submit it. Once you tap Submit it will be almost instantly available to all other AvPlan EFB users (assuming they have some form of network connectivity). No personal information (such as aircraft callsign, name etc) is transmitted.

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In the USA your PIREPs will be forwarded on to NOAA and available to all other users (regardless of EFB platform etc) within minutes.

 

Default Aircraft Icon

The Default Aircraft Icon is the icon that is displayed on the map whenever there is no plan currently open.  i.e. your Stored Plans list is visible.

To change your icon, tap Settings > User Settings > Default Aircraft Icon.

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Select the icon you’d like to see, then tap the back button:

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Now, you should see that particular icon whenever you’re in between flight plans!

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Give it a try.

 

Entering Passenger Names

If you simply add a weight to a load station, it’s treated as cargo by AvPlan EFB.  If you wish to add names and weights, the usual way is by tapping the ‘Persons on Board’ text….however there is a short-cut:

Tap Planning > Aircraft Loading/Weight and Balance/Fuel Planning.

Then, instead of tapping the green field, tap the middle of the load station.

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Tapping this area will open up a second field directly below the original.  In this new line, enter the passenger name and their associated weight.  Once you’ve finished entering the name and weight, tap the return key.  The weight will then be entered in the load station, and also the figure in the Persons on Board field will be updated accordingly.

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For subsequent passengers, repeat the above process in the empty line.  Again…Each time you enter a new passenger, the Persons on Board field will be updated accordingly.

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Once you’ve entered your passengers using this method, when you print preview or print the Load Sheet (tap Planning > Print Preview Load Sheet), you’ll see individual passenger names and their associated weights listed.

Give it a try!

 

Printed Flight Plan Options

A new feature that appeared in AvPlan EFB version 6 is the ability to control certain aspects of how your printed flight plan is presented.  Let’s have a look at how it’s done and what options there are…

Firstly, build a new flight plan (….or with an existing flight plan open), tap Planning > Domestic Flight Plan Form.  (Make sure you have at least one waypoint in your flight plan before tapping this option)

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Then, tap the Options button in the top-right corner.

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A menu will appear with some options:

  • Double Spaced:
    • Adds a space between each leg within the flight plan.  This could allow you to add your own figures, or notes to the legs using pen or pencil.

 

  • Stage Headings:
    • Adds an extra line with a clear subheading outlining the beginning of each stage (Look for “STAGE # DETAIL”). An excellent option if you plan multi-stage flights.

 

  • Flight Levels:
    • This option toggles between expressing your planned altitude as a raw number or as a flight level (e.g. 25000 feet would be expressed as F250, or 7500 feet would be A075).

 

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Once you’ve been in and set these options to your requirements, AvPlan EFB will remember them for future flight plans.  No need to change them each time!

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To then print your flight plan, tap Planning > Print/Send.  Make sure at least the Flight Plan is selected with a green tick, then tap the send button in the top right hand corner to send to printer or create an email with the flight plan attached as a PDF document (which you can email to yourself, open on your desktop computer and print from there).

 

Adding a Delay

Got some aerial work you wish to do at/around a particular waypoint?  Wish to add it to the flight plan so the time can be accounted for in fuel calculations, arrival times, etc?  Here’s how to do it!

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  1. Tap the line corresponding to the leg you wish to complete the air work.  This is a short-cut to open the Terminal pane information for that place.
  2. Ensure that the Leg Details tab is selected (if it isn’t already).
  3. Tap in the Delay field and type in the amount of time you plan to do aerial work.  This is in HHMM format – e.g. One hour and fifteen minutes would be entered as 0115.  In the above example, 20 minutes has been entered.  Tap in the Pilot Remarks field and describe the nature of your delay/airwork.  The information in this field is sent as a remark to your local aviation authority when you submit your flight plan so they can have an understanding of your intentions.  Make sure to use the correct phraseology – if in doubt, ask for clarification from the authority for the exact details required in the remarks.

Now that you’ve added this data, the overall times for the flight will be recalculated and amended accordingly.  In AvPlan EFB version 6 and higher, the Delay details will also be included as a separate line item in the printed flight plan page (see below).  Tap Planning > Print/Send to print or email this file.

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Give it a try the next time you are planning some air work.