Monday, February 28, 2011

Field Report : Aviation Safety Hitting the Mark

Monday, February 28, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

In 2001, Ken Wittekiend, the 2009 Southwest Region CFI of the Year, realized that many pilots did not have easy or effective ways to gain additional knowledge or training beyond what was learned leading up to their check-ride.  In response to the need for a better continuing education program, Ken established ProMark Aviation, a flight training company based at KBMQ in Burnett, TX, to provide beginners and accomplished pilots a better way to maintain and improve upon the critical skills necessary to fly safer and more confidently.

Through the use of aviation study groups, Ken is creating opportunities for pilots to share their knowdlege of flying with each other.  This interaction not only produces an exceptional environment to develop better pilots but it also strengthens the pilot community, elements that are critical to the future of general aviation.

Ken featured iFlightPlanner.com at his most recent study group to help pilots improve their preflight safety practices.  "The response (to iFlightPlanner.com) from our Aviation Study Group has been enthusiastic," he said.  "It gives our students a robust flight planning solution that is fast, complete, and easy to use."

Word about the study groups hosted by ProMark is spreading, and attendance is steadily growing.  He also noted that they will be participating in the SAFE Training Symposium to be held May 3-5, 2011 in Atlanta, GA which Ken says will be a major event in aviation education.  ProMark is looking to expand the study group concept to other airports and welcomes anyone interested in hosting a group to contact them via their website, http://www.ProMarkAviation.net, to get started.

We are excited that ProMark Aviation Services has chosen iFlightPlanner.com as their Official Flight Planner.  If you think your FBO or Flight school would benefit from having iFlightPlanner.com as part of their program as well, please let us know!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Product Review : Blockalls IFR View Limiting Device

Friday, February 18, 2011 @ 1:30 PM

by Andy Matthews, iFlightPlanner.com

I love to fly and look out at the world below.  It provides such a unique perspective which I instantly fell in love with when I started flying airplanes.  Unfortunately for those of us who continued working towards our IFR rating, the price we paid for the opportunity to fly in less than ideal conditions was to give up that top-down view in exchange for a pair of funny looking glasses.

Just a handful of hours into my IFR training I quickly learned that the frosted goggles designed to limit my view of the outside world were not going to make the cut.  As much as I love flying by reference to instruments I struggled with the amount of time I was spending under the influence of frosted plastic.  Eye-strain became a real issue and I began to scour pilot shops to find something better.  I am happy to report that I have!  If any of you have experienced strained or watery eyes as a result of using frosted IFR glasses, cry no more.  Meet Blockalls!

I had the opportunity to fly with Blockalls for the first time last month and quickly noticed how light and comfortable they are to wear.  I weighed my pair at exactly 1 ounce, which is pretty impressive given they are made of a sturdy plastic with rubber accents on the nose and behind the ears.  In addition to enhancing comfort, the rubber ear pieces made sliding the Blockalls on and off while wearing my headset extremely easy.

Functionally, I found them great in the cockpit.  Blockalls have an opaque finish that blocks sunlight from getting in while creating an off-centered viewing area that helps you keep your eyes focused on the instrument panel.  Given their more stylish shape you may be able to sneak a peak out of the corner of your eye if you have exceptional peripheral vision, but I found it difficult to do so and in no way compromised their designed purpose.
Blockalls retail between $24.95 and $28.95 and are available in an array of colors.  They have a model with a tinted viewing area and one designed specifically for helicopter pilots as well.  If you are one that wears reading glasses while in the cockpit, Blockalls has teamed up with a company that offers prescription stick-on lenses that'll eliminate the need to wear one pair over the other.

The bottom line puts Blockalls at a very competitive price point, and given that they are the most comfortable and pilot-friendly view limiting device that I've had the (dis)pleasure of flying with, it’s a no-brainer.  Do your eyes a favor and add a pair of Blockalls to your flight bag!

Blockalls has extended iFlightPlanner.com members an offer to save 10% off their order.  Simply head over to Blockalls.com and use coupon code “BA10” at checkout to take advantage of this special offer!

Flight Planning Friday : Favorite Routes

Friday, February 18, 2011 @ 1:00 PM

Did you know that with iFlightPlanner.com you can save and quickly recall your favorite routes?  It's as easy as clicking the "Save as Favorite Route" option within the Flight Basics section of the Flight Wizard.

You can easily recall your routes from the "My Account Home" page or from the "Favorite Routes" drop-down box.  This is a very helpful and often overlooked feature of iFlightPlanner.com and we wanted to be sure that you're getting the most out of your flight planning experience with us!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Flight Planning Friday : Cue LiveATC.net

Friday, February 4, 2011 @ 8:50 PM

iFlightPlanner.com has teamed up with LiveATC.net to offer live air traffic control feeds directly from our Airport/Facility Directory! LiveATC.net has established itself as the premier source for live air traffic control audio on the web and offers access to over 450 feeds from airports all across the world.

Simply click the "LiveATC.net" logo from within the Airport/Facility Directory where you'll be directed to LiveATC.net and listening within seconds!

If your favorite airport is not yet part of the LiveATC.net network, they're always looking for volunteers to help put new locations on the air! If you have an air-band scanner sitting idle, why not join the network?

We are really excited about putting this fantastic aviation resource at your fingertips! Whether you're a pilot, student pilot, or someone who just loves aviation, you'll really enjoy LiveATC.net!