Briefing

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Here is some useful links and apps descriptions. Everything is mainly from my personal experience, or for further consideration. Now I made just a quick notes, but later I will probably make a detailed reviews. Just in case – I am talking about apps for GA, because I don’t have any experience in jets now.

Firstly I’d like to say about the situation in different countries. For example, in the US it is pretty good, everything is organized, and some centralized services exist. Lots of available information, and mainly it is provided for free. In Europe it is not so good though. Probably it is because of different rules in different countries with different languages, but we have what we have now. For example, in some countries it is pretty common to file a flight plan by phone, or there is no any centralized aviation maps, or no good centralized weather service… I hope it will be better soon.

Well, let’s talk about the apps.

Flight Planning

SkyVector – I suppose that everybody knows it, and not only in the US. It allows to plan a route, estimate a variation, deviation and wind. For the US it has complete VFR and IFR maps, weather (including radar, SIGMETs, METARs, TAFs) and aerodrome diagrams. Usually I start my flight planning from this site. The only problem is that it is not available as an iPad application, but the website works pretty well.

FltPlan.com – initially I was going to put this resource to ‘briefing’ section, but then I thought that it should be specially treated. The service can file flight plans and provides full briefing, but actually it is able to do much more: FBO information, mass and balance, airplane checklists, navigation with ADS-B and GPS support, aviation maps for USA and Canada, electronic logbook… Additionally it provides fully functional EFB. I could not use their logbook though due to some server error.

Weather

Firstly I’d like to tell something about the differences between countries. In the US there is  aviationweather.gov – the official weather service. In Europe there no any centralized service, and you should use either official CAA information for a given country (of course, they have different websites with different structure and information representation) or any unofficial source, which is not approved by all CAAs, and usually not very convenient. It is especially critical for VFR. Some EFBs also support the weather briefing, and it becomes less painful, but there are not so many available EFBs for Europe. It is changing now though.

Windy is a very convenient service for a wind estimation. It is especially useful outside of the US, where it can be the only available and reliable source for some regions.

Radio Communications

Czech Radio Communications

Acronyms

A TOMATO FLAMES (§ 91.205, VFR day equipment list)

A – airspeed indicator;
T – tachometer for each engine;
O – oil pressure gauge for each engine using pressure system;
M – manifold pressure gauge for each altitude engine;
A – altimeter;
T – temperature gauge for each liquid-cooled engine;
O – oil temperature gauge for each air-cooled engine;
F – fuel gauge indicating the quantity of fuel in each tank;
L – landing gear position indicator (for airplanes with a retractable gear);
A – anticollision lights (for aircraft certificated after March 11, 1996);
M – magnetic direction indicator (e. g. magnetic compass);
E – ELT (emergency locator transmitter);
S – safety belts.

To be continued…