Your plane’s V-speeds

Our new release of CloudAhoy enables you to  specify your fixed-wing plane’s V-speeds.
The main benefit of doing so is for aircraft with “unusual” characteristics, such as vintage aircraft, “one-offs”, very fast planes, etc. In those cases you can enter the V-speeds, and CloudAhoy analysis will be more accurate.

Example
Last week Rob Waring was flying four traffic patterns in his 1939 Aeronca Chief, a relatively slow tail dragger. Not knowing the plane’s V-speeds, CloudAhoy calculated them, over-estimated Vs (stall speed) by 10 knots, and labeled most of the flight as an “unknown flight op” since parts of it were below stall speed – see 1 below. By specifying the Aeronca Chief’s V-speeds, CloudAhoy provided Rob with an accurate analysis – see 2 below.

2 flights1

I had a lot of fun debriefing Rob’s flight, since he had embedded in it a nice cockpit video. If you have a few minutes so spare, click this, turn on the audio, and enjoy :)

Background: V-speeds and CloudAhoy
For safe flying, every pilot of a fixed-wing aircraft needs to know the plane’s V-speeds. Likewise, to analyze and evaluate the flight, CloudAhoy needs to know the V-speeds.

Until now, CloudAhoy estimated the V-speeds automatically from the flight envelop. This works well most of the time, but there are end-cases, such as very slow or very fast plane, in which CloudAhoy’s estimates might be off. The new feature enables you to increase CloudAhoy’s accuracy by explicitly providing the V-speeds.

“System” V-speeds
CloudAhoy has a “system” V-speed defined for several common aircraft types. If you fly a US or a Canadian aircraft, CloudAhoy will look up the tail number in the registry, determine the type and apply the “system” V-speeds if known rather than estimate the V-speeds. Over time CloudAhoy will have system V-speeds defined for more and more aircrafts types. vspeeds2

How to enter the V-speeds
You can enter your plane’s V-speeds in the “My Aircraft” section of the Account tab. The example below shows how a user is overriding Vr.vspeedsForm

Should you enter V-speed numbers?
In most cases, you don’t need to enter V-speeds – although it never hurts.

If you don’t enter V-speed numbers, CloudAhoy will typically analyze your flights correctly by either estimating the V-speeds, or by using the “system” V-speeds for your aircraft type.

There are two cases in which CloudAhoy’s analysis will benefit from your entering the V-Speeds:

  • There are no “system” V-speeds available for your make/type aircraft, and it seems that CloudAhoy has made some errors in analyzing the flight – for example, it incorrectly labeled a section of the flight as “stall”.
  • There are “system” V-speeds for your make/type aircraft, but they do not reflect the numbers which you use. For example, you may prefer to rotate 5 knots above the aircraft’s “system” Vr. Or perhaps your specific aircraft has some modifications which lower the normal Vso

You can override any of the “system” V-speeds. Note that entering V-speeds affects only the analysis of your flights. It does not affect other pilots, even if they fly the same identical plane.

Let us know about your V-Speeds
If your plane type does not have a “system” V-speeds and you have entered standard V speeds for it, please send us an email (dev@cloudahoy.com). It would help other pilots flying the same make/type.

As always, we welcome your feedback.

G1000 flight data with CloudAhoy profiles

For pilots flying a G1000-equipped aircraft – we have just released a significant addition to your debriefing arsenal: extended G1000 data displayed as CloudAhoy profiles. It allows you to focus on such things as your power settings, engine information, and navigation accuracy.

I  used the G1000 data of a VFR flight which I recently flew from KPWM to KBED on a DA 40. The flight itself was uneventful, but still it’s interesting to view the rich data.
In this post I am going to share with you:
      Examples of debriefing G1000 data
      “How to” – viewing G1000 data

 

Examples of debriefing G1000 data

Example – Navigation, horizontal CDI:  this was a VFR flight and on the approach to landing I had to follow a Citation on the right base. Even though it was a visual approach, I loaded the ILS-29 approach into the G1000. The horizontal CDI profile shows the CDI deflection as I was approaching the localizer’s center beam, then overshooting it (oops) before intercepting the center line from the other side.

G1000ProfilesAppr3

 


Example – Engine Data: I plotted the altitude, manifold pressure, RPM and CHT3 for the entire flight. Note the RPM=2000 during run-up, then set to max during the initial climb and during the final approach.G1000Profiles4P

 


Example – Radio: in some cases it might be interesting to debrief the radio usage. The following screenshot shows my aircraft about 5 miles from Boston’s mode-C veil when I switched to Boston Approach 124.4 on the active COM1. COM2 at the time was tuned to KBED’s ATIS, 124.6.
Soon after, I switched COM2 to KBED’s tower 118.5, then after landing to KBED ground 121.7, and finally after I parked I called for fuel on 130.8.G1000ProfilesFreqA

 


Example – Altitude vs. OAT: Here I plotted the Altitude and the Outside Air Temperature profiles of the departure climb from KPWM to my cruise altitude of 3000′. Turned out the temperature dropped at a rate of 2.7°C per 1000′.

G1000ProfilesClimb

 

“How to” – viewing G1000 data

The combination of the rich flight data from the G1000’s avionics with the flexible profile display of CloudAhoy provides a powerful debriefing environment. You can display any number of profiles simultaneously and move their timelines in sync, or watch them change during animation.

QprofilesMenu9uick reminder:

To display a profile, click (or tap) the profiles profilesMenuIcon menu icon in the Flight Profiles bar. You can select a standard profile (like altitude) as well as a G1000 profile.

We organized the data into groups. Read the list like you read classified ads in a newspaper: top to bottom and left to right.

As always, please let us know how this works for you. We would love to receive examples of your own debriefs using the G1000.

Importing Garmin VIRB’s flight data to CloudAhoy

VIRBGarmin’s VIRB video camera is gaining popularity among pilots. VIRB also captures the flight’s GPS data, and that data can be imported to CloudAhoy for further debrief.

James Papafagos is using VIRB with CloudAhoy, and he was kind enough to write the bulk of today’s post. The stage is yours, James:

Uploading a .gpx file from your Garmin VIRB to CloudAhoy.

Connect your VIRB to your PC / MAC via USB and open the USB drive that should now be available.

Open the “Garmin” directory then open the “GPX” folder. You will see file named “Track_2014-9-23 145854.gpx” (for example)

It helps to have the directory view that shows the date modified so you can locate your specific flight if you have many recorded.

You can upload this file to CloudAhoy now by clicking “flight import”.

But… you probably have a flight longer than 20 min or so and have 2, 3 ,4 video clips and for each clip.. the VIRB created a new .GPX file. NOW WHAT?

If using a MAC, download the light version of Adze form http://kobotsw.com
You will use this to import your multiple .gpx files into one, and then upload that combines file to CloudAhoy.

Run Adze, just drag and drop all the .GPX files for your flight

VIRB 1

Select all the tracks by clicking on the first track, hold down shift and click on the last track

VIRB 2Detail

With theses tracks selected, click on the “glue” icon (or press “command – M”)

VIRB 3Detail

VIRB 4Detail

You will now have ONE track that contains all the data from the multiple tracks you started out with.

Now, go to File, Save As.  to save the new file.  This file can now be uploaded to CloudAhoy!

Thank you James!

As always, any feedback is most welcomed.

Improvements in flight profiles display

We enhanced the flight profile display in the Debrief tab; it is now possible to:
– undock a profile, move it and resize it,
– drag the crosshair to move the timeline.profilesOvrS

profilesMenu

 

To display a profile, click (or tap) the profilesMenuIcon menu icon
in the Flight Profiles bar, and select the profile from the list.

 

Profiles: undock and dock
Initially a profile is displayed in the Flight Profiles section. This is called docked state. You can undock a profile by clicking the undocking icon profileDockIcon.

Once undocked, a profile can be moved and resized – see the illustration below. You can also dock it back in the Flight Profiles by clicking the docking icon profilesDockprofilesDragAreas350

To close a profile, click its X icon on the upper right, or unselect it from the menu.

Drag the crosshair to move the timeline
Each profile has a vertical line to show the current time. You can drag the line to move the current time, which is exactly equivalent to moving the timeline’s slider – but allows for better accuracy.

Persistence
If you are the flight’s owner (i.e., one of the pilots), each profile’s size and location is saved, and will be restored the next time you debrief the flight.
BTW, we now also save segment information windows segInfoIcon, and the PIP window.

Example
The screenshot on top was obtained by analyzing the flight in XC mode (click the XCMode button in the Flight Segments bar), selecting only the Approach and Final segments (see here about segments isolation) and displaying airspeed in docked state and altitude in undocked. Such a display can help in debriefing how stabilized the approach was.

 

 

Importing flights from Garmin G1000

G1000-SDCard-4

If your aircraft is equipped with Garmin G1000 avionics, you can now debrief your flights using high-quality flight data from the G1000.G1000-SDCard-3

The G1000 writes flight data into an SD card. To debrief the flight you need to import that data into CloudAhoy. This blog described how to do it.

 

Logging the flight
Important: please consult your aircraft’s G1000 manual for details specific to your aircraft.

  1. Before turning on the G1000 system, insert an SD card into the top slot in the MFD. If you are renting the aircraft, you would usually bring your own SD card. If there’s already an SD card in the slot, consult with the plane’s owner.
  2. During flight, the G1000 automatically writes the flight data into your SD card.
  3. After the flight, remove your SD card from the top slot of the MFD. You now have the flight data in the SD card.

 

Importing to CloudAhoy

  1. Insert the SD card in a card reader connected to your desktop or laptop computer. The SD card’s folder will appear on the desktop.
  2. Open the folder. It would typically contain a data_log folder, and in it the flight file in CSV format.
  3. G1000-SDCard-5Open a web browser and login to your CloudAhoy account.
  4. Click the Flight Import button. An Enter the flight’s pilot names, tail number and optional remarks (you can edit all these later), select the CSV file with the data, then click Import.
  5. The flight now appears in your flight list, and is ready to be debriefed.

A word about the Garmin G1000’s flight data: the CSV file contains rich information including engine data, AHRS and wind. CloudAhoy stores all this information in its database. Currently we only process the GPS data. Stay tuned, we plan use this rich information in the future.

Import flights from ForeFlight to CloudAhoy

It is now possible to import into CloudAhoy flights which were recorded by ForeFlight. As many of you know, ForeFlight 6.3 introduced Track Log, a cloud-enabled flight recorder (see ForeFlight’s blog). We have worked with ForeFlight on integrating this feature with CloudAhoy, and we think you would like the results of this collaboration.

Several CloudAhoy users have asked us about ForeFlight’s new feature, prompting us to write the following Q&A.

 

Q: I am using ForeFlight’s track logs. Do I still need CloudAhoy?
A: Yes. Flight debriefing is what we’re about, and our CloudAhoy Standard is what enables it – with things like auto segmentation and maneuver analysis, airspeed profiles, cockpit view, 3D instrument approaches, video and a lot more.

ForeFlight’s Track Logs are roughly equivalent to CloudAhoy Free, our free flight track storage and display. Both products are free and you can use either one, or both.

Check our CloudAhoy Free vs. CloudAhoy Standard comparison table.

 

Q: I use Stratus. Can I import Stratus data into CloudAhoy?
A: Yes, and this is a big benefit of the integration with ForeFlight. To debrief a flight flown with Stratus on board, create a track log in ForeFlight and import it to CloudAhoy.

We logged flights with Stratus and imported them into CloudAhoy for debrief. Good stuff.

 

Q: I’m already creating track logs with ForeFlight. Should I also log my flights with the CloudAhoy app?
A: If you’re using Stratus, then no. Otherwise it’s a matter of convenience – do you prefer to hit the START button on CloudAhoy before the flight, or to import the flight from ForeFlight afterwards? We have used both ways, and are still undecided which is more convenient (both are very simple).

 

How to import a flight from ForeFlight

  • First you need to record a flight: tap REC in ForeFlight’s Maps tab.
  • In ForeFlight’s More tab, select the flight in Track Logs.
  • Tap the Share button on the upper-right, then tap Open In…
  • Select the CloudAhoy icon.

Note: when importing a flight from ForeFlight, CloudAhoy uses the track data from ForeFlight, and the pilot names, tail number and remarks from the CloudAhoy app. Before the import, you may want to verify that CloudAhoy has the correct pilot names, tail number and remarks. You can always edit this information after the flight was imported.

FF-CA12