Archive for June 2009

How many souls on board?

June 29, 2009

Took this enroute to KJAC on Saturday.  I was flying along when my 4 year old told me that “Lightning” (his tiger) wanted lunch. That’s when I turned around and doubled over in laughther.  Flying with the kiddos sure keeps it real. . . .Kids and Tiger

KindleDX works for Approach Plates!

June 26, 2009

For a long time I’ve wanted a system to easily display charts electronically in the cockpit.  For all the obvious reasons, having an electronic backup (or primary) version is great for the space-constrained world of the GA cockpit.  With all of the easy places to download up to date NOS charts on the day of departure, the reader is the last piece to fall into place to enable a paperless cockpit.

This past fall I purchased a Garmin 696, which I LOVE. The 696 excels at enroute charting (esp IFR), WX overlay and XM radio.  It is a super product, and a really valuable add-on to any panel, but it is pricey, both for the hardware and for the data.

Today I finally got a hold of a KindleDX and played around with it.  See photos.  In short, the DX seems to work great.  The DX has native PDF support, which is the key to enable the transfer of PDF-based NOS charts to the device.  Once charts are downloaded in PDF format (in my case from FltPlan.com), you simply drag the charts over to the Kindle via USB, open them up in the Kindle table of contents, and voila, charts appear.

The KindleDX also has an iPhone-like orientation accelerometer, which means when you turn it from landscape to portrait, the image and document rotates 90 degrees.  This enables you to view the document in either mode. You can also zoom in on a particular piece of the approach.  It works great.  Tthis might finally be one of the first super easy ways to view approach plates.

The Kindle works best in direct light (eg sunlight) so I am really optomistic about it’s use in the cockpit.  I’m heading PAO-JAC tomorrow so will have ample time to test it.  Oh, and of course it holds all of your books and newspapers, so its much more than just a cockpit device, which is particularly nice on the road.

Jackson, Wyo in Spring

June 13, 2009

Flew the boys up to Wyoming for Memorial Day. High spring run-off made for unusually green scenery.  On departure, we got routed out right over the top of the Grand Teton. Spectacular Mirage views.