Aircraft Tracking

We added a satellite tracking feature to our software. Based on a small satellite black box device that can be installed in all your aircraft, the hassle of keeping track of flight data is over. Instead of keeping track manually of the times of takeoff and landing of all the aircraft in your fleet, our satellite tracking solution keeps track of what your aircraft are doing for you. It knows when one of your aircraft is landing, in a climb or cruise phase of flight and where it is heading. And if the aircraft is in flight, we know its altitude, speed and direction. And we show you the position and latest track of all your aircraft on one integrated map. The aircraft journal bookings are also auto-suggested for crew members to complete in minutes.

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Delorme Inreach devices deployed in aircraft connect to your mobile device and provide 2-way text communication and text-based aviation weather data next to tracking.

The exact functionality supported depends on the satellite tracker solution you use in your aircraft. We fully support (a) the ADL devices from Golze Engineering , (b) the Delorme Inreach devices, and (c) the latest Iridium Go! satellite device. All these devices record both speed and altitude.

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Left: Delorme Inreach tracker; Middle: SPOT Gen 3 and right: ADL 140 satellite device.

Limited support is available for the SPOT Gen 3 Messenger. However, it is a cheap satellite tracking solution for private pilots to get started with. The SPOT Gen 3 device can record off-block and on-block times based on movement and does provide the position of the aircraft in up to 2,5-minute intervals, but the SPOT Gen 3 does not record your altitude and speed, so does not record your exact takeoff and landing times. The takeoff and landing times will be auto-suggested in the flight journal booking by taking a fixed number of minutes after off-block time for the takeoff and a fixed number of minutes before on-block time for the landing time.

The Iridium Go! offers more than tracking the position of your aircraft. It also offers voice calling from the smart phone of the pilot over his Bluetooth enabled headset.

The ADL devices offer extensive satellite radar images delivered to you over the Iridium satellite network in Europe alone. The aircraft tracking works worldwide. The Delorme Inreach tracker utilises the same Iridium network  and can provide you with 2-way text communication and offers text aviation weather data, but no rain radar images. When you want to use Inreach devices, you will have to migrate one or more personal Delorme accounts into a Delorme enterprise account to make it work with our software. There is not a lot of price difference between the personal and enterprise accounts, but the enterprise account enabled devices offer more functionality and 2,5-minute intervals for aircraft tracking. The SPOT Gen 3 devices record only the off-block and on-block times, no 2-way communication is possible in the way that the other two devices offer it, but it does record the position of the aircraft and auto-suggests journal bookings for your flights.

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The aircraft tracking page allows you to see in an instant where your all your aircraft are positioned or flying around at that moment. It shows you the current position of all your aircraft on one map.

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By selecting the latest route option instead of the latest position option, you get to see the latest flight route of the selected aircraft. The aircraft can be selected from a drop-down menu or you can show all your aircraft by selecting “all”. If you select all aircraft instead of one, you get to see the latest flight route for all your aircraft all on one map.

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The tracking feature is also an integrated feature with our flight plan iOS app, where you can see a planned route, in this case from EHLE (Lelystad) to EGMC (Southend) from within the app. Here we the user was flying westbound in a single-engine aircraft with a ground speed of just about 75 kt due to a very strong headwind. Using the flight plan app,the exact block and flying times are recorded in the app as well for pilot reference. On the way back, the tailwind worked out well and gave a much higher ground speed of around 150 kt.

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In the above screenshot taken from an iPhone, you see that the tracking solution will also follow the aircraft while in flight and en route to its destination. It also shows where it is in relation to the filed IFR flight plan route. In this case, the IFR route filed with Eurocontrol was LFAT to EHLE: ABB R50 CMB N874 VEKIN N873 HELEN. However, a more or less direct route was offered by ATC once airborne directly inbound HELEN.

Journal Bookings Auto-Suggestion

The satellite devices are priced competitively. The SPOT Gen 3 goes at Amazon.com for as low as US$ 150,00. Some of the ADL models can be installed in the aircraft panel without a lot of formal paperwork. Other trackers are powered by internal or external batteries. The tracking data of the ADL devices is provided for free at 10-minute intervals through the Iridium satellite network. In most cases, you will need to get some kind of subscription for the satellite devices and services to provide you with tracking data. The times of takeoff and landing are recorded by the minute with all the devices. The exception to this is the SPOT Gen3 as that device does not record speed, but does record start and end of aircraft movement. Except for their ALD devices running on batteries, all the ADL satellite devices turn on automatically when you turn on the avionics in your aircraft and turn off automatically when you switch off the avionics. In some cases, the switch off is not recorded. For example, the ADL120 does not have an internal battery, so it does know when you turn on the engine and avionics and will record that time but cannot send the on-blocks times to our server if switched off, so the on-block time will in that case be auto-suggested as a fixed time after landing.

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The takeoff and landing are recorded in the flight plan app as well as on our server.

The moment your company aircraft are all connected and configured in our system, our tracking solution takes the hassle out of the administrative part of flying. At the same time, your operations desk now has a complete overview of where all your aircraft are situated, being it airborne or stationed somewhere on the ground.

Once flights are completed, our software auto-suggests the flight journal booking to your crew members and office staff, giving them the exact times, airport of departure and landing, the number of landings (in case of training flights) and suggesting increments for hobbs/tachometers. Crew members still have the opportunity to complete the journal booking by providing additional information and to correct the latest hobbs/tachometer figures for the last flight they did that day to exactly match the numbers on the meters in the aircraft. At the same time, your operations desk has a log of all the raw flight data available for reference and can instantly create invoices from the journal bookings created. The flight journal can also be the basis for maintenance planning.

Flightlog

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