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.

Exploring the World via Trike

It’s been a long time since I’ve been this mesmerized by a YouTube channel. The “Henry TrikeLife” channel lets us all in on some amazing adventures via weight-shift control (trikes).

Here’s a sample video of Henry soaring of Pikes Peak in Colorado:

As you can see, the video quality/angles are awesome, too. I was considering some glider training next, but this has my attention.

FAA Delivers Final 3rd Class Medical Rule

“BasicMed” wouldn’t be my choice of names for the new medical rule, but at this point, who really cares? Elizabeth Tennyson writes for AOPA:

Under the reforms, pilots who have held a valid medical certificate any time in the decade prior to July 15, 2016, may not need to take another FAA medical exam.

And:

After meeting the initial requirements to fly under the reforms, pilots will need to visit any state-licensed physician at least once every four years and take the free aeromedical factors online course every two years. The course will be available for free on AOPA’s website.

Pilots aren’t off the hook for at least a basic medical evaluation, but I think this is an easier path forward for many. It also keeps your care in the hands of your usual physician, something I’m looking forward to.

I’m guessing most pilots never thought the day would come, myself included. This is a big deal.