When was the last time you used a plotter, a marker and a VFR chart?
Truth be told, I’ve used mine rarely since I got my private pilot license!
As you can see my instrument plotter remains unopened to this day! I have stopped buying paper charts since I became a subscribed user of iPad and Foreflight.
The aircraft I trained in for my primary private pilot certificate, was a basic C152 trainer with a single VOR, six pack analog instruments for Airspeed, Attitude, Altitude, Turn Coordinator, Heading, and Vertical Speed Indicator. Any flight planning required poring over VFR charts, identifying ground references, computing headings, distances and checking weather with the Flight Service Stations. That was then.
Once I got my Private Pilot Rating, I quickly moved to the four seat C172S and the PA28 that were equipped with GPS. I frequently used VFR charts, sometimes a plotter and several hours for planning my flight. I spent hours, perusing the weather sites such as aviationweather.gov, talking to Flight Service Stations (FSS) to understand weather patterns and preparing for my upcoming cross country flight. I purchased backup hand held radio, intercom, Garmin GPS moving map handheld and other devices, that not only provided additional information, but also served as back devices for the safety of flight.
Truth be told, they were quickly obsoleted by the fact, that I progressed to newer aircraft that were equipped with built in GPS and Flight Management Systems (FMS). There was no turning back, once I got here!
Once I switched to the G1000 aircraft, when they started to invade flight schools back in early 2000’s, there was no looking back. These days that is my first aircraft of choice. My hand held devices, which served as early backups, soon remained unused. Instead, my latest toys are the iPad with ForeFlight and the Stratus. Even these I rarely use. When I fly the G1000, there is rarely a need to use the iPad with Foreflight and Stratus. Truth be told, I love to fly by looking outside and don’t want to be bogged down with technology. The G1000 is excellent for all weather flying. The iPad with ForeFlight and Stratus (or some other similar device, app and software) are excellent devices that enhance the safety of any cross country flight.
During longer cross country flights when weather events prevail, these backup devices very quickly become primary safety devices. ADS-B with weather and traffic services are an incredible tool for General Aviation (GA) pilots. Especially so when you fly in congested airspace, special use areas and are haunted with less than normal weather conditions.
ADS-B coverage through Traffic Information System – Broadcast (TIS-B) and Flight Information System – Broadcast (FIS-B) provides traffic services and weather for suitably equipped aircraft. Both a valuable asset to GA pilots.If you posses an iPad with ForeFlight and possess a Stratus 2, you can obtain both these services without any other subscription.
MIT is conducting a study and taking a survey of GA pilots on the use of ADS-B. If you are a GA pilot, and interested, please consider participating by checking this out.