15 May 2015

CloudAhoy

Whilst browsing an American site recently, I stumped across the great new flying app named Cloud Ahoy. It works with both Apple and Android mobile devices and utilises GPS signal recording to build a 3D dimensional flight log that can be viewed inside Google Earth after landing.

For flight instructors, a paid version is available that allows thorough debriefing through an online interface. Groundspeed, heading, vertical speed and interpolated wind data is all available as you replay the flight in real time (or fast forward)- free for the first 35 days then $45US a year for a subscription.

The free version works just as well, although with limited sharing and exporting options when compared to the premium package. This screen capture below shows what users can see whilst logged into their accounts, with this zoomed out example covering a training flight I conducted with our new pilot out of Ardmore this afternoon:


I found the app's ability to record takeoff and landing times in UTC format particularly useful, and very handy for confirming the accuracy of the scibbles on my kneepad when filling in my flight logs and logbook totals at the end of a busy day. This example below showing a sector between Ardmore and Te Kuiti the other week, with the three dimensional altitude path on the right of the time data:


The US version allows pilots to overlay the plots onto IFR charts with instrument approach paths also showing up in 2D and 3D modes. Perhaps we'll see this functionally for NZ in the future if it proves popular with kiwi aviators!