ForeFlight Acquires Flight Debriefing Software Provider CloudAhoy

We are thrilled to announce that CloudAhoy is now part of ForeFlight and the Boeing family.

ForeFlight Acquires Flight Debriefing Software Provider CloudAhoy


Responding to customer desire for more integrated digital solutions, ForeFlight, a Boeing Company, has announced that it has acquired CloudAhoy. Founded in 2011, CloudAhoy is a provider of post-flight debriefing, analytics and flight operations quality assurance (FOQA) software products for flight training, as well as business, general and military aviation pilots and operators.

Specifically, the deal strengthens ForeFlight’s data analytics tools and services, which provide a seamless digital ecosystem that touches all phases of flight, according to company leaders.

“CloudAhoy’s advanced capabilities and products will complement and integrate nicely into our existing digital portfolio, and we are excited for CloudAhoy and its employees to join our team,” said Tim Schuetze, ForeFlight CEO. “Recording and debriefing flights has been a staple of ForeFlight for years, and CloudAhoy’s software will enable even deeper post-flight analysis of every flight.”

ForeFlight’s popular Track Log feature already supports exporting recorded flights to view in other apps such as CloudAhoy, allowing ForeFlight customers to unlock substantial value with their existing track log collection when used with CloudAhoy. Also, ForeFlight’s award-winning Sentry and Sentry Plus ADS-B receivers record additional flight metrics such as attitude and g-load, arming CloudAhoy with even richer flight data for a more informative analysis.

“We are excited to become part of ForeFlight and Boeing, and for the opportunity to have a growing impact on aviation safety,” said Chuck Shavit, founder and CEO of CloudAhoy. “We have known the ForeFlight team for many years and share a passion for aviation and the customer.”

ForeFlight’s offerings are part of Boeing Global Services’ digital solutions business. The acquisition of CloudAhoy is an example of Boeing’s larger strategy to continue building capabilities that will support customer needs today and into the future, according to Brad Surak, vice president of Digital Aviation Solutions, Global Services.

“These new capabilities, in combination with existing offerings across Global Services’ digital and training businesses, highlight our commitment to providing innovative solutions that improve pilot training and enhance safety,” Surak said. “We will continue to strategically invest in capabilities that we believe will strengthen our digital solutions portfolio to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our customers.”

The companies are not disclosing terms of the transaction.

CloudAhoy P-FOQA is released!

[Lexington, MA] CloudAhoy is happy to announce the release of CloudAhoy P-FOQA (“P” is for Pilot), a pilot-centric Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) / Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) product for General Aviation. This release follows months of collaboration with early customers, and successfully addresses the needs of diverse types of General Aviation operations including flight training, owners/operators, charter, and fractional ownership.

Post-flight email

CloudAhoy’s vision is to increase aviation safety by using data-driven post-flight analysis. “Airlines saw a spectacular decrease in accident and fatality rates over the last 20 years; FOQA programs were instrumental in achieving this. In contrast, the General Aviation accident rate is still too high.” says Chuck Shavit, CloudAhoy’s Founder and CEO. “We created a new FOQA product designed from the ground up to cater to the unique needs of General Aviation.” 

CloudAhoy P-FOQA is pilot-centric, providing objective feedback to the pilot immediately after landing, including an optional post-flight email. At the organization level, flight safety personnel and leadership can use P-FOQA’s dashboard, updated in real time, for an overall view to monitor trends and adherence to safety standards and SOPs. They may elect to receive automatic alerts upon detection of possible safety events. 

P-FOQA is built on the same underlying analysis technology as CloudAhoy’s post-flight debrief, which has been developed for over a decade. This mature and robust technology has been enhanced for efficient data aggregation, providing a natural path between P-FOQA and debrief, thus between aggregated data and diving down into details of a flight for learning and investigating.

Over the past year CloudAhoy worked with select customers who formed a P-FOQA Steering Group: Citation Jet Pilots Association (CJP),  Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s (ERAU) College of Aviation at Daytona Beach FL, Tidal Aviation, Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF), Jet It, and United Aviate Academy. The product we are releasing has been used (in beta) since June 2022, and reflects the experience, insight, and wisdom of these industry leaders. 

P-FOQA is highly configurable. Security and privacy are carefully managed. Flight data is anonymized; organizations can authorize specific people to access detailed information about the flights, customizing parameters to fit the organization’s needs and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Easy customization enables adjusting to the needs, level of experience, and type of aircraft. 

For data acquisition, CloudAhoy partners with a growing number of cost-effective providers to enable automatic upload of rich and accurate flight data immediately after a flight.

CloudAhoy P-FOQA is affordable, making it a practical solution for any organization. “It is extremely satisfying to see how each organization is adapting it to their own needs,” says Chuck Shavit. “P-FOQA is intuitive to use. I believe that we created a product valuable for experienced pilots of high performance aircraft, beginner student pilots, and all the levels in between.” Helping pilots fly better and safer has been the fuel driving CloudAhoy from inception.

From the P-FOQA Steering Group: 

Citation Jet Pilots Association (CJP), (link) – an owner pilot association of Textron Aviation Citation aircraft  

Charlie Precourt, CJP Safety Committee Chair and four-time NASA space shuttle astronaut: 

“CJP’s Safety and Education Foundation has been striving to bring the tremendous success of airline FOQA to the single pilot in business aircraft. Working with CloudAhoy, we have been able to create a CJP-FOQA℠ program, allowing each pilot to benefit from the group trends while also tracking their own flight outcomes for continuous improvement and safety, a first of its kind capability in the FOQA world.”

ERAU College of Aviation at Daytona Beach, FL, (link) the world’s largest, most comprehensive institution specializing in aviation, aviation business, aerospace, engineering and STEM-related degree programs

Bob Joyce, Director of Aviation Safety: 

 “…Flight data acquisition, analysis, and visualization are vital components of our IS-BAO Stage 3 registered safety management system…” 

Paul Cairns, Assistant Chief Flight Instructor: 

“The CloudAhoy P-FOQA provides an easy way to identify performance trends from aggregate flight data for validating training and standardization effectiveness.”

Tidal Aviation, (link) – a partner of Cirrus Aircraft as a Platinum Training and Service Center, based in Houston 

Reid Nelson, President: 

“CloudAhoy has been a powerful tool in our toolbox for years, but P-FOQA has become a clear game-changing advantage for us.”

Jim Ratliff, Chief Instructor: 

“We have been able to rethink our own training process…The AI has enabled us to, in literally minutes, do what takes even large organized flight schools dozens of labor hours per week to do.” 

Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF), (link) – a non-profit organization dedicated to leading and supporting the advancement of the highest aviation safety standards for business, charter and fractional ownership 

Bryan Burns, President:

“For a long time, FDM programs have been accessible mostly to medium-to-large cabin aircraft operators…Now we can provide the benefits of FDM at a much lower cost point.”

Jet It(link) – a private aviation company dedicated to providing more time and value to owners with their days-based fractional-ownership model

Jason Greenleaf, Director of Safety: 

“There’s real value in being able to visualize our flight crew performance and trends in the aggregate while simultaneously providing our pilots a detailed flight debrief so they can continuously refine their skills.”

United Aviate Academy, (link) – a flight training academy owned by United Airlines addressing the pilot shortage and aiming to diversify the pilot population

Ray Vester, Director, Safety, Security and Compliance: 

“P-FOQA is a powerful tool for examining our training flights, performing flight safety investigations and analyzing aircraft maintenance events.”  

About CloudAhoy: 

CloudAhoy’s mission is to increase aviation safety and enhance pilots’ proficiency through data-driven flight analysis. CloudAhoy’s debrief product is used by thousands of pilots, students, and instructors, as well as the military. In 2022 CloudAhoy introduced a Flight Operations Quality Assurance product  – P-FOQA. P-FOQA (“P” is for Pilot) is pilot-centric, and targeted at General Aviation, including flight training. CloudAhoy is a leader in post-flight analysis and debriefing.


Additional information about data acquisition: 

Textron LinxUs FDM:


Citation Jet Pilots Association Introduces Partnership with CloudAhoy to bring CJP-FOQA to CJP Members

We are happy to share this announcement from Citation Jet Pilots Association (CJP):

CJP HEADQUARTERS, ENTERPRISE, FL, (FEBRUARY 23, 2023) – Citation Jet Pilots Association (CJP) and CloudAhoy, Inc. are pleased to announce their partnership to bring a Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) program to CJP’s 1,400+ members. CJP-FOQA℠, powered by CloudAhoy’s new P-FOQA™ product, combines CJP’s dedication to flight safety with P-FOQA, a pilot-centric FOQA solution designed for General Aviation. It is the fruit of three years of collaboration, and driven by the combined visions of Charlie Precourt, CJP Safety Committee Chair, and CloudAhoy, to use data-driven analysis to improve flight safety.

“CJP’s Safety and Education Foundation has been striving to bring the tremendous success of airline FOQA to the single pilot in business aircraft, but we recognized the airlines’ FOQA systems aggregate flight trends without focusing on individual pilot results,” Charlie explains. “Working with CloudAhoy, we have been able to create a program that aggregates trend data like the airlines, but importantly adds a pilot-oriented feedback report immediately after each flight. This allows each pilot in CJP-FOQA to learn from the group trends while also tracking their own flight outcomes for continuous improvement and safety – a first of its kind capability in the FOQA world.”

With CJP-FOQA, pilots are provided with objective feedback immediately after every flight via email. This feedback includes how well pilots are performing on stabilized approaches, adhering to FARs and SOPs, and their overall safety performance, as well as links to a detailed debrief showing the pilot graphs, flight analysis, and 3D visualizations, including HUD views. Members can also view a dashboard on CJP’s website which displays anonymized aggregated flight data across the organization. This data can be used to focus and improve the simulator training that members receive, thus improving the training’s relevance to their real world operations.

“CJP-FOQA is another industry-leading example of the CJP Safety & Education Foundation’s safety initiatives.  We are pleased to partner with CloudAhoy and utilize the program to increase the safety of the CJP Members,” states Trent J. Corcia, CJP CEO.

CJP is consistently recognized for their dedication to flight safety. For example, the Safe to Land℠ Initiative resulted in new SOPs for stabilized approaches, landing parameters, and go-around criteria. The Gold Standard Safety Program awards rigorous training and preparedness. In addition, there have been no accidents over the past two and a half years among member operators.

CloudAhoy brought P-FOQA to market to offer a cost-effective solution for General Aviation and improve safety outcomes in the segment of the market with the highest accident rate. “FOQA technology had a phenomenal success in reducing airlines’ accident and fatality rates” said Chuck Shavit, founder and CEO of CloudAhoy, “but doing so in General Aviation requires a radically different approach. General Aviation FOQA must be pilot-centric, provide immediate feedback, and be simple and accessible to non-experts. Our close collaboration with CJP over the past three years has been instrumental in creating P-FOQA, and we are proud to work with them.” 

In General Aviation, the high cost of entry, including retrofitting data acquisition hardware, has been a barrier to FOQA adoption. As inexpensive flight data acquisition devices such as AirSync and Textron’s LinxUs FDM solutions come on the market, paired with the flight data analysis software from CloudAhoy, widespread FO(miQA adoption is now attainable.

CJP members interested in participating in this program can sign up at and then click “Connect With Us Now.”

About CloudAhoy:

CloudAhoy’s mission is to increase aviation safety and enhance pilots’ proficiency through data-driven flight analysis. CloudAhoy’s debrief product is used by thousands of pilots, students, and instructors, as well as the military. In 2022 CloudAhoy introduced a Flight Operations Quality Assurance product  – P-FOQA. P-FOQA (“P” is for Pilot) is pilot-centric, and targeted at General Aviation Part 135 and Part 91 operators, as well as flight training. Learn more at

About CJP:

The Citation Jet Pilots Owner Pilot Association (CJP) is the only member organization dedicated to the ownership and operation of the Cessna Citation family of jets. Open to anyone who owns, flies or supports a Citation, the organization offers a wide range of safety, advocacy, interaction and philanthropic benefits all with the common goal of helping each member get the most out of their aircraft. The CJP Safety and Education Foundation is dedicated to engaging with CJP Members on methods for operating their aircraft in the safest possible manner and developing safety-related resources for Citation pilots and others in the industry. Learn more at and


Additional information about data acquisition


Textron LinxUs FDM:

Terrain and AGL

In the latest version of CloudAhoy you can see the terrain and the aircraft’s altitude AGL (Above Ground Level).

Terrain and AGL are shown in the Flight Graphs and Segment Info views which display altitude. AGL data is also used for scoring maneuvers in which the AGL is important.
* This feature is available in CloudAhoy Standard and in CloudAhoy Pro.

A picture is worth a thousand words – here are a few examples as some members of CloudAhoy team relive their past flights.  

Over the Grand Canyon

  • Aircraft: SR22
  • Flight data:  CloudAhoy App 
  • Pilot: Chuck Shavit. Flown in Mike’s plane (with Mike in the right seat)

“Memorable flight over the Grand Canyon, as a guest of a long-time user.”

Engine failure over the mountains 

  • Aircraft: C182
  • Flight data:  Foreflight with Stratus
  • Pilot: Kate Matteson

“I lost my C182 engine shortly after departure from KLEB in New Hampshire while flying solo. All the training in the world doesn’t prepare you for a real, single pilot engine out experience over mountainous terrain! The green line on CloudAhoy’s ALT/IAS graph shows I descended to 759 AGL before successfully restarting my engine, returning to the airport, and safely landing on RWY 36. Whew! Having the terrain/AGL makes the debrief extra meaningful.”

Crossing the Alps

  • Aircraft: DA42
  • Flight data:  G1000
  • Pilot: Markus Rex

Notice the IAS graph (blue): it becomes unstable as Markus crosses the alps (the brown graph). Mountain waves cause turbulence and significant variations in airspeed. At the time shown, the headwind was 68 knots.  Insightful to see the correlation between fluctuation of IAS and the peaks of the mountains! 

Over Grand Canyon in a simulator

  • Aircraft: SR22 (in a simulator)
  • Flight data:  X-Plane
  • Pilot: Seth Richards

“After developing the display of terrain in graphs, I wanted a cool flight I could use to demo the feature to the CloudAhoy Team.  I fired up X-Plane and flew an SR22 from KGCN across the Grand Canyon and back.”

Traffic Pattern

  • Aircraft: C182
  • Flight data: G1000
  • Pilot: Chuck Shavit

“I was practicing traffic patterns at KORH. The approach to RWY 29 is always fun because the runway is on top of a hill and the valley before it makes the approach feel steeper than it actually is.”

Landing with dad

  • Aircraft: C182
  • Flight data:  Foreflight with Stratus
  • Pilot: Kate Matteson

“Took my Dad for a sightseeing flight last Spring and was happy to have a really nice landing 🙂 “ 

Flying in Arizona

  • Aircraft: Beechcraft Sundowner
  • Flight data: ForeFlight with Stratus
  • Pilot: Chris Hufford

“How close was I to that mountain peak? 1386 AGL. From Marana, AZ to Safford, AZ for lunch.”

Eights on Pylons in CloudAhoy (commercial maneuver)

Eights on Pylons is a commercial maneuver, recently added to CloudAhoy – we can now Identify it and score it.  

Eights on Pylons is a ground maneuver, using two reference points, called pivot points, or pylons. The goal is to fly a figure 8 pattern over the ground while varying the aircraft’s altitude in order to maintain a defined visual reference to the pylons. The heading is continually changing  from directly downwind to directly upwind, and as a result the ground speed is constantly changing, causing the pivotal altitude to vary slightly throughout the eight. Therefore, a constant adjustment is needed, by climbing or descending, to hold the reference line or point on the pylons.

The challenge about Eights on Pylons is the need for accurate maneuvering of the airplane and keeping it coordinated, while dividing attention between the flight path and the selected points on the ground.

We developed this feature in collaboration with Paul M. Cairns, Assistant Chief Flight Instructor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach Campus.  Paul says “This maneuver is the most beneficial to grade, because it is a challenge to grasp conceptually and visually. It is an exercise in division of attention, manipulating all the flight controls simultaneously, and the effect of wind on ground speed and pivotal altitude.”


A well-executed Eights on Pylons:

Well executed Eights on Pylons

Paul’s remarks: Excellent entry at appropriate speed and altitude AGL, upon starting first turn, slight descent turning upwind was excellent, level flight from upwind to crosswind then a slight climb turning downwind again, second turn around second pylon also very good and nearly symmetrical to first – well within standards.


The example below shows a poor  example: 

Poor executed Eights on Pylons

Paul’s remarks: in the execution of Eights on Pylons the starting altitude is too high – above pivotal altitude, and ground track not symmetrical.


Here is another example of a well executed Eights on Pylons:

Notice how we use the ‘declutter’ feature in the Segment Manager, to focus on the Eights on Pylons maneuver. The entire flight is shown on the right in 2D, with the color coding to designate each maneuver. 

Well executed Eights on Pylons

Paul’s remarks: Well flown and well within standards. In this flight wind was very light so altitude changes were minimal, coordination good throughout. The entry was a couple hundred feet southwest of the mid-point between pylons and the turn around the second pylon was ended a few degrees early so crossed a couple hundred feet northeast of the mid-point between pylons resulting in the entry path and exit path not lining up with one another.


Additional reading: 

[1] Sporty’s Flight Training Central

[2] CFI Notebook

[3] FAA Airplane Flying Handbook, 7-13


Textron Aviation announces the addition of CloudAhoy as Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) provider

We are happy to share this announcement from Textron Aviation:

Cessna | Beechcraft | Textron Aviation

Citation Latitude


Textron Aviation is pleased to announce the addition of CloudAhoy as a new, approved Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) provider.

“At Textron Aviation, we are always looking for ways to enhance the aircraft ownership experience,” said Brian Rohloff, senior vice president, Customer Support. “Our innovative LinxUs FDM program enables customers to improve their operational efficiency, training, and reliability by transferring their flight data to one of three customer-selected data management providers, including CloudAhoy.”


  • L3Harris Technologies, Flight Data Connect
  • Safran Electronics & Defense, Cassiopée Flight Data Monitoring
  • CloudAhoy, P-FOQA™

Monitoring aircraft operational data is essential to improving your flight department’s operational efficiency. LinxUs FDM offers the flexibility to select a service provider that best fits your needs, so you can receive the most comprehensive flight data monitoring capabilities for your aircraft.

Are you ready to get the most out of your aircraft?


U.S. +1.844.44.TXTAV | INTERNATIONAL +1.316.517.8270 | TXTAV.COM
One Cessna Blvd. | Wichita, KS 67215


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© 2022 Textron Aviation Inc. All rights reserved.

View as webpage

Flight data from LinxUs is rich, and contains parameters which are typically not available for live flights from other data sources – AOA, flaps, and gear.


Safety Events, Trends, and more – PREVIEW

During the last year we have been focused on adding capabilities to CloudAhoy with an emphasis on safety.  The capabilities we’ve worked on include  automatically detecting unsafe moments in flights and analysis of aggregated data to identify trends.

The work is ongoing, and not yet released. We are working closely with our partners – flight schools, owners and operators – to create a valuable product that fits into their workflow. We are at the point that we can share some examples and what’s coming next.


Safety events – Automatically Detected

Example – Unsafe base-to-final turn: The pilot overshot the turn to final, and corrected it by making a turn with a steep bank.

  • CloudAhoy detected the steep angle of the turn back to the final and annotated it in the debrief.


Example – Cause and effect: A pilot came in 16 knots too fast, landed long, and used almost the entire runway (and probably slammed on the brakes).

  • CloudAhoy detected 2 safety events: airspeed too high  at 50’AGL, and being too fast during rollout  approaching the end of the runway.

Example – Safety event and decision making: The pilot came in too high on final approach, then tried to correct with an excessive sink rate. The result was an unstable approach.

  • CloudAhoy detected a safety event: sink-rate too high at 515′ AGL and at 133′ AGL. The pilot decided to go around (the red segment) – which was the safe thing to do!


What General Aviation Can Learn from the Airlines about Safety

“You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” [– Peter Drucker]

Over the past 20 years, the Airlines’ accident and fatality rate had dropped significantly. One of the main contributing reasons for it is that the Airlines implemented safety programs – known as Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) and FDM (Flight Data Monitoring). The airlines implemented monitoring and measuring techniques to understand flight safety, and translated that into actions to improve safety, such as training and Standard Operations Procedures. As a result accidents and fatality rates dramatically decreased.  

Unfortunately, in General Aviation and in Business Aviation the accidents and fatality rates are stagnant.  We believe it’s time to bring the techniques used by the airlines to every GA pilot – to save costs, and most importantly – life. Detection of safety events is a natural progression of CloudAhoy.

Source:  General aviation trends in charts—2021 update,

Looking at trends can be a good way to identify bad habits and unsafe behavior.  As an example, the following screenshot shows a CloudAhoy histogram of the approach speed across hundreds of flights during a certain time period. CloudAhoy compares the Indicated Airspeed in each approach to the desired speed (Vref). The vast majority of the approaches were safe, “in the green”. Yellow and pink colors indicate flights that were too slow or too fast.

Introducing CloudAhoy P-FOQA / FDM
“P” is for Pilot 

CloudAhoy’s P-FOQA is pilot-centric (hence the “P”).  

P-FOQA is tailored for General Aviation and is modeled after similar programs used by the airline industry. It is designed for business aviation, flight training, owners/operators, and fleet managers.  The safety events – such as described above – are automatically detected by CloudAhoy and presented on a dashboard. 

CloudAhoy’s P-FOQA is using the same underlying technology as CloudAhoy’s post-flight Debrief products, with the additional capability to identify safety events, to analyze and visualize aggregated data, and to notify pilots, safety personnel, and fleet managers of safety events. The integration with CloudAhoy Debrief provides an efficient way to identify the root cause of safety events, increase pilots’ safety awareness, facilitate learning and improvements. This leads to becoming a better and safer pilot.

P-FOQA design goals:

  • Pilot centric  
  • Immediate reports and alerts
  • Secure and protecting privacy
  • Anonymized reports to designated safety personnel
  • Configurable and customizable

CloudAhoy P-FOQA is now in Beta, with a selected  group of customers. 

Stop by our booth to see more. 



What is “The Killing Zone” After Flight Training?

Guest blog by Rod Rakic

You might be surprised that a pilot’s first time alone without a flight instructor on board is not statistically their most dangerous flight.

Sometimes a pilot’s most dangerous flying comes later, in what some call “The Killing Zone.” The good news is, today, most pilots already have tools in their flight bag that can help them fly safer and avoid becoming yet another statistic.

For many, the concept of The Killing Zone seems counterintuitive. It’s simpler to imagine that the first time we solo an airplane would naturally be the most dangerous. Then, most would guess, safety records would simply get better as we log more flight time.

Still, many pilots may have heard the old saying that a pilot’s risk of a mishap rises after a couple hundred hours in the cockpit. To some extent, that’s borne out by the statistics. Yet many pilots who hear this bit of lore secondhand can’t quite pinpoint where they even heard of the idea. When does the risk tend to increase? How can they better manage the increased risks? It turns out that the data demonstrates that low-time pilots are relatively safe while in the training environment, but then often initially begin to exhibit habits that lead to airplane accidents after building a bit of experience. Fortunately, the data also shows us that logging additional flight experience over the long term does increase safety.

The Killing Zone: How & Why Pilots Dieby Paul A. Craig was initially published in 1999 and then updated with a second edition in 2013. Craig explains, “…the greatest number of accidents took place when a private or student pilot had between 50 and 350 total flight hours—that span the Killing Zone.” Craig was the first to highlight why the statistics pointed out this trend, but more importantly, he offered specific advice on reducing the risks led by the accident data. Each chapter unpacks a different topic, such as continuing VFR into IFR conditions, maneuvering flight, takeoff and climb, etc.

chart of total fatal accidents vs. flight hours of pilot

(Craig, The Killing Zone: How & Why Pilots Die, 2013)

Other researchers have looked closely at the idea of The Killing Zone, and even rigorous statistical examination of data by the FAA validated the phenomenon. For example, William R. Knecht, at the FAA’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, took a close look at the numbers in his 2015 paper, “Predicting Accident Rates From General Aviation Pilot Total Flight Hours.” He summarized, “Consistent with our intuition and the frequency count studies, these models suggest that a “killing zone” indeed exists. Accident rates seem to increase for GA pilots early in their post-certification careers, reaching a peak, and then declining with greater flight experience.”

It’s not all doom and gloom, as John Zimmerman at Air Facts Journal points out in “GA safety trends: what should we worry about?” (2020). Zimmerman highlights, “The good news is that general aviation flying is getting safer. Accidents through 2018 are essentially flat over the preceding four years: about 1200 accidents per year and 200 fatal accidents per year. However, the rate of accidents, which adjusts for hours flown, was down 13% over the last five years.”


Pilot-related Accident Type Chart

(Zimmerman, Air Facts, 2020)

Zimmerman clarifies where we should be looking for risk and where bad habits are most likely to strike: “Looking at 2018 statistics, the first thing that stands out is landing accidents: 47% of pilot-related accidents are in this phase. Fortunately, 99% of these are not fatal, but they destroy airplanes, shatter confidence, and increase insurance premiums for the rest of us.”

Zimmerman continues, “By contrast, takeoff accidents are three times less common than landing accidents but over 20 times more likely to be fatal. This is statistically the most dangerous phase of flight (according to 2018 data) because there’s simply no margin for error and no chance to try again.”

Justifiably much of our effort, practice, and attention is focused on landings. But, let’s again follow the data and keep Zimmerman’s reminder top of mind: “Takeoff accidents deserve far more attention than the dreaded base-to-final turn, at least according to the NTSB reports.” 

So how can we put statistics and analysis from Craig, Knecht, and Zimmerman to work in the cockpit? How can pilots escape The Killing Zone? Today, we often have a wealth of data streaming into our aircraft via GPS, ADS-B, cellular data connections, or cockpit WiFi. Yet let’s not ignore the fantastic amount of data that can stream out of the cockpit too. Pilots can put that data to work, whether from integrated flight decks like the G1000 or even their Electronic Flight Bag running on an iPad. Using services like CloudAhoy offers visibility into poor habits and performance that can lead to accidents. Some of the risks pilots face in The Killing Zone can be identified by measuring and reviewing pilot performance.

Here’s an example of how a CloudAhoy debrief can support flight safety. This TBM 900 pilot did a fine job maintaining a consistent airspeed on this visual approach to runway 20R at KSNA. Unfortunately, that speed was consistently slow. The red shaded area in this CloudAhoy debrief on the right highlights that the pilot flew this approach well below the recommended vREF speed (vREF speed is noted by the dashed blue line), decreasing the pilot’s expected safety margins. The CloudAhoy debrief also highlights how getting low on the glide path allowed the sink rate to get away from him, building to over 1,000 feet per minute. It’s an unstable approach, and we know that’s the sort of habit that leads to bending metal.Pilots have a steep learning curve to climb from that first adrenaline-filled solo flight to becoming competent and experienced aviators. The adoption and use of the right tools, like CloudAhoy’s post-flight debrief, can help pilots consistently review performance and uncover and address bad habits before they affect flight safety.

Using 50-AGL-Point to Score Visual Approach

The latest CloudAhoy Pro release included significant improvements to scoring of visual approaches, especially those to a short or long landing.

For scoring a visual approach, we now focus on the 50’ AGL point rather than the runway’s threshold. We check the airspeed at that point, and its distance to the touchdown. The impact of this improvement is that most visual approaches will now get a higher score, because we no longer penalize for landing short or long.


Example: Short Landing

This is an example of a visual approach. The 50 AGL point is annotated on the graph.  

To score this approach we consider the airspeed at that point, as well as the touchdown distance from that point.

Short Landing, the 50 AGL point is before the runway


By clicking the Info button, you can get information about the touchdown point:

Click or tap the Info button to see Touchdown Info


This is a short landing:  the 50 AGL point is before the runway, touchdown is at 522’ from threshold.  

Note that this runway has a displaced threshold so the pilot felt comfortable landing short.

Timeline at 50 AGL – aircraft is before the threshold


To get details about the scoring criteria, we can open the score table by clicking or tapping the arrow.  The 50 AGL point is used to evaluate the speed and touchdown.

The detailed scoring, showing all the graders


Example: Long landing

This is a landing on the Green Dot at Oshkosh during AirVenture 2021. 

Touchdown on the green dot in KOSH during AirVenture – the 50 AGL point is passed the threshold, as directed by ATC


Scoring is based on the 50 AGL point: Touchdown is 1252’ from the 50 AGL point, which is 2715’ from the threshold (see screenshot below), and the scoring has a grade 100 for the “touchdown distance” criteria.

Scoring is based on the 50 AGL point which is well past the threshold.
Runway Info showing touchdown at 2715’ – a long landing


* Reminder that for all graders, the goals are customizable and can be adjusted using the Envelope Editor, to fit your SOP

– – –

To summarize:
This adjustment in scoring for visual approaches focuses on the 50 AGL point – taking into account that when flying visually, pilots may choose to land at a point that is not necessarily 1000 ft from the threshold.  This improved scoring applies retroactively –  when you debrief any past flight in your account, it will automatically be re-analyzed and the score will reflect the revised and improved grading.

This is a step in the continuous improvement of the analyzer which makes the scoring increasingly more accurate.

New – Moving Map in 3D View

We released a new feature: moving map in 3D Track view. When on, the aircraft is kept centered while the map or scenery moves during the animation.
(Note that this feature has been available for a long time in 2D Track view)

How to use

To set on: click or tap the Moving Map icon on the top right.

The view will be automatically adjusted so that the aircraft symbol is  positioned at the center of the view.

When you animate (click or tap the Play button), the aircraft symbol will be kept in the center of the view as the background moves around it.

While the moving map is on you can zoom in, zoom out, and change camera positions to move around the aircraft for different viewing angles. You rotate the camera position by dragging the mouse (or finger) right/left and up/down.

Below are a few examples showing how you can use this feature during a debrief.


Example – Crosswind Landing
The moving map helps to see clearly the crabbing, while landing with a crosswind.


Example – Instrument Approach
Using the moving map display to debrief this instrument approach, we can follow along the approach path and rotate the view to look at it from different angles. By rotating the camera around the aircraft, and by zooming in and out, you can see how the pilot intercepted the glide slope from below, and the accuracy of flying the glide slope and the localizer.


Example – Sim flight in a canyon (best in full-screen)
In this simulator flight debrief, we unchecked all the flight segments in the Segment Manager, so only the aircraft symbol is shown.


Example – Sightseeing in Alaska
This sightseeing flight was debriefed on an iPad, with the 3D Track View and Moving Map in the left pane.