Check Out This Small, Affordable ADS-B Receiver

If you haven’t checked out my post on building your own Stratux ADS-B receiver, you should do that. But if you’re like many people, the DIY route isn’t really the best option for whatever reason (time, comfort level, etc.). Here’s a new ADS-B option that’s worth a look.

It’s the pingBuddy 2 ADS-B receiver, and it should start shipping this month (March 2017). It’s the size of a USB stick and works much like any other simple receiver, giving pilots weather and traffic information.

In their own words:

Simply power pingBuddy 2, join the wireless network, launch your EFB software and enjoy subscription-free traffic and weather.

The receiver looks like it will work with most any electronic flight bag app, including the usual suspects such as ForeFlight, FlyQ and WingX. There’s actually a long list of supported apps, so I suspect whatever you’ve chosen will be just fine.

My Apple fascination aside, technology that works across a wide variety of apps is a good thing for the industry. And, it looks like this will be affordable, too.

EAA Releases Launches New Podcast

EAA has launched a new podcast for aviators titled “The Green Dot.” The title is a reference to the dots used at KOSH during the annual AirVenture event every July/August.

From the launch announcement:

The Green Dot features EAA news, general aviation topics, history, personal experiences from the hosts and a variety of guests, and anything fun, interesting, or cool in and around the world of flight.

With the explosion of podcast popularity in general, it can be hard to find content that’s well-produced and easy to listen to.

According to EAA’s description, this seems like it’ll be a good balance of stories and information. I’m hoping for more storytelling from an aviation podcast, so maybe this will deliver.

I’ll be listening to the entire podcast later today, but a quick sampling showed the quality is spot-on with this one.

Proposed Bill Would Ban 100LL Fuel in Oregon

Here’s an interesting development in the great state of Oregon. A new bill would ban the use of 100LL fuel in that state.

From the article on General Aviation News:

Oregon Senate Bill 115 and House Bill 2109 exist to “Prohibit selling, dispensing or using aviation fuel that contains lead or lead compounds after Jan. 1, 2022.”

Now, let’s be clear: It’s time to find an alternative to our current fuel situation. But this seems like a bill without much thought about the impact to the aviation industry in Oregon. And what about pilots who choose to fly in to their state?

The DoubleEnder

I’ve watched a lot of aviation YouTube videos. Who hasn’t? The Backcountry Pilot channel is one you should bookmark, anyway, but this video featuring the “DoubleEnder” aircraft kept my attention until the end. Fantastic videography.

Zane Jacobson, writing for BackcountryPilot.com, shares details about the aircraft:

It is unlike anything the aviation world has seen, with its twin Rotax 914 push-pull engine configuration, its unobscured view over the pilot’s feet from the bubble canopy, its active STOL wing design using slats on the leading edge and enormous double-slotted flaps, and its super-beefy landing gear with 35″ bushwheels.

Definitely check out the video and the linked article.

 

Sedona’s Beautiful Airport

One of my long term goals is to fly southwest and explore. This trip report on General Aviation News is fantastic and has some great photos, too.

Sedona’s Runway 3/21 is perched on the edge of a 500-foot tall mesa, surrounded by iconic red rock peaks that glow bright orange from the rising sun. The approach can be a bit precarious with unpredictable up and down drafts, along with opposite direction arrivals and departures.

This write-up features great details about exploring the area, including must-see items. I’ve bookmarked this as a reference for possible future trips.

Sign me up!

ForeFlight Releases 8.3, Adds Epic Feature

A new release of ForeFlight has brought many new enhancements, but one caught my eye.

From the ForeFlight blog:

Checking the weather report at your destination airport is an important step in your landing checklist. Like a good co-pilot, ForeFlight anticipates your needs and automatically displays the weather frequency approximately 20 nautical miles from your destination airport.

This is an example of why I always end up using ForeFlight, despite trying other apps. These simple feature additions show how their team can identify a common pain point and include a simple solution that just works. I’m looking forward to using this very soon. (Update: I’ve flown several times since this original post and this feature is as good as I had hoped!)

Other notable features in ForeFlight 8.3 include color inversion for charts and documents, new logbook features and some additional XM weather enhancements.

The new version is available now in the App Store.

Bessie Coleman Featured on Google Doodle

Bessie Coleman, the first American-American woman to hold a pilot certificate, is featured on today’s Google Doodle.

According to Biography.com’s profile:

Because flying schools in the United States denied her entry, she taught herself French and moved to France, earning her license from France’s well-known Caudron Brother’s School of Aviation in just seven months.

A true pioneer in the aviation world. She also appears to have specialized in aerobatics and skydiving.

A Virtual Tour of Air Force One

I’ve always been fascinated by Air Force One, the Boeing 747 that carries the leader of the free world.

This visual tour from CNET includes great photos (as much as can be shared) and some interesting historical information about presidential aircraft. For example, do you know who the first president was to take flight? I didn’t.

Aircraft Loans vs. Car Loans

Buying an airplane was one of those “holy crap!” moments in our family’s life. Oddly, though, we didn’t have any trouble financing our purchase through our local bank.

In this article, Adam Meredith pulls back the curtain on how aircraft loans differ from other consumer loans. Interesting stuff.

One of the primary insights Meredith shares:

That’s because the underwriting process for an airplane loan is more like that for a house than it is for a car. With both a house and an airplane, lots of documentation needs to be collected and presented.

True. Tons of documentation to consider, and sometimes it’s not all easily available. Meredith mentions that many things are getting easier, though, as the FAA is becoming more accepting of electronic documents.

If you’re considering a purchase or if you’re just curious, it’s a good read.