Dec 17 2009

AeroWeather App – Dan’s Review

Category: iPhone Apps,RamblingsDaniel @ 5:37 am

Released Dec 02, 2009
Seller:  Pascal Dreer
(C) 2008 Pascal Dreer
Price (as of 12/17/2009):  FREE!
Rated 3.5 as of 12/17/2009 on iTunes Store

In my opinion, the AeroWeather free app is a powerful and must-have application for all pilots.  It’s simplicity is what makes it so great.  You just set your favorite airports and it pulls the current weather conditions (METARs) and forecasts (TAFs).  You can choose airport weather stations from the built-in database by either name or ICAO code.  The great thing for us pilots who don’t read METARs and TAFs every day is that the data can be shown in its original format or fully decoded into plain English.  I find this particularly useful in that it converts the Zulu time found in TAF’s into local time (a huge brain-power saver).  AeroWeather also puts a nice green/yellow/red icon next to each weather station to indicate whether the weather is at VFR/IFR minimums, another simple way to know if your flight is actually going to happen.

AeroWeather_Screencap_1AeroWeather_Screencap_2Sorry my review isn’t much longer, but that about covers everything this great little app does.  I would highly recommend this for ALL pilots, but especially general aviation pilots.  Check out AeroWeather on the iTunes Store here!

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Dec 10 2009

Taking Great Friends Flying for the First Time

Category: RamblingsDaniel @ 5:47 am

This past weekend I had the opportunity to take three of my really good friends flying.  This was the first time for all of them in a small airplane, and my first time taking them up!  The stars aligned perfectly to make this day happen…  1)  My friend Scott and his girlfriend Angie happened to be in my general neck of the woods due to a race earlier in the day (they are basically semi-professional triathletes).  2)  Another flying club member was able to move his booking to another plane to open up the schedule for me to fly that afternoon.  3)  The weather was nice – even though the day before brought some of the first snow of the season.  4)  My friend Mark who has 2 kids and a very busy December was able to find a few hours free on a Saturday, which is rare.

Flying with Three Great FriendsScott, Angie, and I started from Westosha (5K6) and flew southbound to DuPage (DPA) airport.  Mark met us there since he only lives about 5 miles away from DPA.  Timing worked out well as I was able to text him right before we departed.  We hung out and chatted at DuPage for a few minutes, then jumped back in plane to head westward.  We did a quick landing and takeoff at DeKalb Regional (DKB) then a traveled a bit further west to just putz around in the sky.  We had great views of Northern Illinois University and, upon request, performed a brief “zero-g” moment to let them feel what a very steep dive feels like.  After that, we headed back to DuPage to let Mark get back to his family and then the remaining three of us flew back home to Westosha.

All three of my friends got to ride in the front and all three seemed to really enjoy it.  It was definitely a blast for me to share my hobby and passion for flying with all of them.  We are already talking about other times we can get together and go somewhere with a more set destination in mind.  All-in-all, it was an awesome day and I can’t wait to fly again with them!  You can see pictures from the day on my friend Scott’s Picasa Page here.  It was also my first time to DeKalb airport, another airport down on my list!

This flight I logged 2.1 hours of flight time and 4 landings.

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