Flying Commercial With Pilot Tools (ForeFlight and CloudAhoy)

Flying Commercial With Pilot Tools (ForeFlight and CloudAhoy)

Flying aboard an airliner does not have the same emotional appeal as flying a small plane, behind the controls, in charge, as it were. Its like choosing between Greyhound and driving your own car, but with the 3rd Dimension added in to the mix. Sometimes, though, you just have to go commercial, and since I don’t yet have anything beyond a Student Certificate, commercial is all I can fly when leaving the Southern California area.

Off to Central America!

On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I brought along my iPhone with the usual flying tools installed – ForeFlight and CloudAhoy.  I like to play with these and get a better picture of the flights – plane performance, navigation, and airmanship skills. (Yes, presumptuous of someone without even a Sport Pilot Certificate, but indulge me.)  Flying from KLAX to KSJO, I ran CloudAhoy for the takeoff and climbout, along with some video.

The departure from KLAX went smooth as always, with the usual westerly departure over the beach, then a left turn to a more or less direct path to Costa Rica (love those non-stop flights!).

On video, from the same iPhone running CloudAhoy, this looked as follows:

On the return trip, coming in for a stop at KDFW, the pilot came in on a downwind leg, but then made a rather interesting base and final legs. )))   I always thought a nice pattern was one of the first skills pilots have down 100% by the time they get to the ATP certificate, but this one looked…..interesting.

Tracking the same landing with ForeFlight’s tracking feature, then viewing it on their website, this is what I found:

tracklog-ForeFlight-kdfw-landing

Furthermore, ForeFlight gave me the option to download the position data for this leg of the flight in KML, GPX, and CSV formats. (Click on the format name to d/l the file.)

On Google Earth, importing this KML gave this view of what transpired:

kdfw-landing-GoogleEarth-kml