We have the great fortune to own a small single engine airplane that we use to visit customers, service centers and partners within about a 600 mile radius of our office. The benefits are tremendous; just last week I was able to visit with several companies in three different states – in just two days. Neither driving nor flying commercially would have allowed me to do this.
But with such a high profile business asset/expense comes the requirement to accurately document each flight to satisfy the tax man’s overwhelming curiosity. And collecting all of that information at tax time can be a chore.
Fortunately, AvConnect makes the collection and reporting of flight legs, business purpose and passenger purpose super simple. The system is customizable to fit what I need. Since we fly almost exclusively for business, I have the system automatically categorize each flight as a business trip. And I have it list me as a passenger since I’m the only pilot. The system can even auto enter all of this from the ATC system when I fly IFR and complete a flight.
If I need to add passengers or change the purpose of the flight, then I can do this right from the plane with our iPad app. I can quickly cross check the hobbs meeter and enter any approach information for my logbook. Any data I enter automatically synchronizes and immediately updates my AvConnect account.
With tax season here, any break I can get to make the task more efficient, I’ll take it. I use AvConnect to generate my annual tax report in excel format for my accountant to get a head start – without the usual fire drill from years past.
AvConnect’s Aircraft Manager Lite system starts at just $24.99/month for single pilot accounts, which includes a professional electronic logbook. Subscribe between now and November 30, 2013 and get the passenger and tax reporting features included at no extra cost. Log in or create a new account to get started.
If you have taken a look at your flight summary page lately, you’ve probably noticed some new stand-out features. When you open a flight, you’ll now see a Google map with pins at your departure and arrival airport. This map isn’t a track of your flight, but a quick point A to point B view. In addition, there are some new fields and links on the summary page. You now have the option to open your G1000 datalog from this page as well as your Google Earth flight track. Your Google Earth flight track can be received through SpiderTracks, WingX, or your G1000 SD card.
Let us know if you have any questions. And any and all feedback is always welcome. Happy Holidays to all our AvConnect customers!
When you click on the Tracking Data link, your actual flight track now pops up in a browser window. Rather than having to download the Google Earth file, find it on your computer, and open it, it’s right there for you.
If you’re a WingX Pro and AvConnect Logbook user, this feature is available to you through your logbook page by clicking the link under View Track.
The ability to view your flight tracks in 3-D is still available, at the top left of your browser map, there is a link to download the track with Google Earth.
These updates are designed to make navigating between flights, maps, and datalogs more efficient.
The AvConnect Team
Here at AvConnect®, we not only provide flight analysis and data-logging to individual aircraft owners and operators, but also to entire training fleets. AvConnect and CAPACG have together created a cloud-based Flight Data Analysis tool designed for Garmin G1000 and other integrated flight decks. FlyteAnalytics™, powered by AvConnect, allows every second of every flight to be recorded, stored, and analyzed. The Garmin data-logging feature records 64 parameters every second from engine start to shutdown. Not only is engine information such as Cylinder Head Temps, RPM, and Oil Pressure recorded, but also events including excessive pitch up/down, excessive bank, and G loading, to name a few. For more information on FlyteAnalytics, visit http://www.capacg.com/wpcore/service/flyteanalytics/
FlyteAnalytics was recently selected by Kansas State University as their FDM service. It’s perfect for a training environment, and works as a second set of eyes for the instructor. When a flight is complete, the SD card is removed from the G1000 and can be put into the computer during the debrief. This allows the instructor and student to immediately view all of the flight data and information, as well as a Google map of the flight, in turn improving flight safety and training efficiency. The information for each flight is automatically loaded into the system, and will never get lost in the cloud. Also, students will each have their own logbook account, where their flight times will automatically log.
Not only does FlyteAnalytics make training more efficient, but it plays a huge factor in safety and is a vital part of any SMS program. Having the ability to see fleet trends over time and look at the big picture of what is occurring during these training flights will improve safety of the training program. For example, showing how often excessive pitch down has been occurring or how many times the aircraft has been flown on low fuel. Being able to pinpoint what is occurring regularly on these flights also allows maintenance issues to be quickly detected; again, improving safety.
AvConnect and CAPACG came together while working on a project analyzing G1000 flight data for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. The project was completed this past February, and proved the value of a cloud-based Flight Data Analysis tool for training fleets. This Fleet Aggregate Summary, taken from the ERAU analysis project, is one of the many things that FlyteAnalytics provides to training programs. The summary classifies each event as high, medium, or low risk and provides a monthly count of each event and the average exceedence and duration.
A summary of fleet health and maintenance is also included in the monthly report. With similar look and feel as the FDM summary, it gives an overall view of the fleets condition.
A more detailed report for each individual aircraft gives a breakdown of the month’s events and frequency of each.
The advancement of technology in the aviation industry allows an easy and more accurate approach when it comes to safety and managing aircraft. FlyteAnalytics is currently available to analyze data for Cessna 172/182/206, Diamond DA40/42, Cirrus SR20/22, and Piper single/multi-engine aircraft. Contact us for more information and check out the press release on Kansas State University here.
It seems that everywhere we turn, “the cloud” seems to be the buzzword of the day for anything new. There’s “in the cloud” and “cloud-based” “web 2.0” or even “SaaS”, which is also “the cloud.” What’s this all about and how does this work for GA?
What Is the Cloud Anyway?
I grew up thinking that clouds were big, fluffy and made of marshmallows. But when we talk about the cloud in the today’s world, we’re really speaking of a large computer system sitting in a faraway building. When we want to use a cloud program, we connect to that computer over the internet, usually using a web browser or a mobile device application. We don’t have to buy that big computer; instead “cloud-based” companies own the physical machine and share it across many users. We don’t have to purchase and install software on our own computer. The whole thing happens across lots of wires, networks and equipment. Because the details of how all this works is complicated, and not that important, we simply started drawing this as a big fluffy “cloud.”
How Can This Help Me as a Pilot?
Before cloud-based services became popular, most of us would purchase computer software, load it on our own personal computers, and be on our way. Personal finance applications, flight planning applications and even software to keep track of my pilot times could be purchased and loaded with a simple floppy disk or CD. As software and computers get more sophisticated, the installation and maintenance of the software starts to cost time and money. And so the cloud helps us tremendously here because we just create an account on that large computer in the cloud, and off we go. If you have used Google Mail or Hotmail, then you have already used a cloud-based service.
Since the cloud system is really across the internet, we’re also able to access all of our important information from any corner of the world. We also don’t need to lug around our own computer to do this, a simple mobile tablet or a friend’s laptop will work just fine. Want to switch from a PC to a Mac or tablet? No problem. Well-designed cloud services can run on any system and your data will automatically be shared across all of your devices.
There’s another big benefit of the cloud. Because the cloud can be accessed by other systems too, we can now exchange pertinent information between other cloud services. For instance, your flight records in the cloud can also include information retrieved from an Air Traffic Control track, a WiFi equipped flight deck or even an iPad moving map system.
Finally, most innovation in the aviation industry is now happening in the cloud. To take advantage of the latest flight planning tool and record keeping system updates, you’ll need to move to a cloud-based service or risk using software that might not be compatible with future computer operating systems.
Isn’t this Risky for Me?
When we start using a cloud service, two important transitions happen that you need to know. First, your “data”, which could include logbook entries, personal notes or even your date of birth, is now being stored outside of your direct control. You need to ask yourself if you trust the cloud company to safeguard your information and back it up regularly in case of disaster.
Second, the programs that you are accessing are on a remote computer and you are relying on that computer whenever you need to view or update your records. How often does that system crash or get bogged down to the point of uselessness? There is no reboot button on the cloud, so you need to be sure that the cloud company fixes problems quickly and has enough computer power to provide always on access.
If done properly, the cloud can be more secure and more accessible than keeping your records on paper or on your own personal computer.
Cloud-based systems are here to stay in the General Aviation world. If done right, they can offer tremendous benefits over purchasing software or using pen and paper. But not all clouds are created the same. Be sure to understand:
- • How well does this service work across PC, Mac, tablets and smart phone devices?
- • Can this cloud service take advantage of other innovative services like ATC tracks, WiFi cockpits and other leading systems such as iPad “EFBs”?
- • How safe is my information with this cloud company? Do they have a second computer location in case of a natural disaster? How and how often is my data backed up?
- • Are the business fundamentals of the cloud provider strong enough to stay the course?
AvConnect has been offering a cloud-based GA record keeping services since before cloud was even a term. Founded by a former Cisco Systems CCIE who used to teach companies how to build large cloud networks, AvConnect has the right experience, technology and partnerships to safeguard your personal information and provide the most innovative features for your pilot logbook and aircraft maintenance tracking systems.
CAPACG and AvConnect are working on a low-cost and easy to use FDM solution for GA aircraft with glass cockpits. We’re leveraging our cloud-based tools with CAPACG’s expertise in FDM, FOQA and MOQA programs to offer a robust solution that does not require the installation of expensive FDM equipment.
We’ve already used these new tools to help Embry-Riddle analyze their flight data under an FAA grant.
Please see our press release on the announcement – more details to follow!
At Oshkosh, Aspen Avionics announced their new Connected Panel system – a great new way to interact with your aircraft’s avionics through mobile devices like the iPad. The value to the PIC is tremendous: first, cockpit intensive events like flight re-route planning can happen right on the iPad where you have the most data available (think weather briefings, NOTAMs, fuel prices, airport information, sectionals. wind data – all using finger swipes). Revisions to the flight plan are then sent wirelessly to the MFD for PIC approval before loading into the certified navigation systems like the KNS770.
But equally as important is retrieving all of the great airframe and powerplant data that your panel collects for you during the flight. We call this “datalogging.”
AvConnect has announced that will will wirelessly download all of your datalog information – directly from the Aspen Connected Panel – and then send it up to your AvConnect account. From there, we’ll process all of your flights for you and eventually even provide valuable trending and diagnostics data for your aircraft.
The combination offers another great workload reduction benefit for the PIC. Your aircraft times and pilot logbooks will be updated automatically after each flight with no manual data entry – keeping your maintenance inspection list and pilot currency reminders current at all times. And any aircraft or engine issues that you suspect during a flight will be documented second by second for your service center to view from the comfort of their office (with your permission!).
Of course, we’ll also send you our signature Google Earth 3D map after each flight for you to show off 🙂
We recently announced a great new way to get your flights into AvConnect using your G1000 equipped cockpit.
With a central, private and secure archive of all your G1000 flight logs, you can now have AvConnect automatically enter your aircraft flights, analyze engine performance and share diagnostics information with your service center.
Rather than saving the datalog files to your computer, or uploading them to a public site, the AvConnect application uploads your files to your personal aircraft records. They can only viewed by your partners and other people who you specifically authorize.
Check our the tutorial on how to use the AvConnect Datalog Upload utility