Service Alert: Problen with Amazon.com affecting SA

Update: 2:20 PM Pacific.  While some Amazon systems are still down, the ones we use appear to be working normally.  We’ll continue to monitor the situation.

Update: 1:00 PM Pacific.  Systems still down.  Issue now getting national press:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2017/02/28/amazons-cloud-service-goes-down-sites-scramble/98530914/

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A widespread service slowdown/failure on Amazon’s AWS service (used by Seattle Avionics, Netflix, and tens of thousands of companies) is dramatically affecting all of our systems.  This is not unheard of but extremely rare.  Given the prominence of many of Amazon’s customers, these issues generally get resolved extremely rapidly.

We’ll keep you updated.  Services have been affected for about 25 minutes at this point.

March 2, 2017 ChartData Released

The next FAA data cycle begins next Thursday, March 2, 2017.  We try to release ChartData the Friday before the new cycle starts.  As that’s today, the US data for the next cycle has been activated and is available right now.  European data will be available a little later.

Important! Be aware that ChartData for the next cycle is not legal for use until next Thursday (March 2, 2017) at 12:01 AM Eastern time.  If you use an app or device that utilizes our ChartData Manager, you can download the data now and install the data to an SD card or USB stick but do not use that SD card or stick until next Thursday.  If you’re using FlyQ EFB, please do not install the data yet if you plan to fly before next Thursday.

We also have a new version of the ChartData Manager.  This new version adds support for Australian ChartData for the Bendix-King KSN 770, improves overall performance, and adds additional validation checks.  The next time you click Update Now, the ChartData Manager will attempt to upgrade itself.  If your Windows security settings block it, you can manually download and install it by clicking here.  The new version is 5.3.6.0536, as shown at the lower left corner of the ChartData Manager.

Recently, we added ChartData for the Bahamas – airport diagrams, approach plates, SIDs, and STARs.  Have a look!  The new Bahamian ChartData is included in our US ChartData set so there is no additional charge for US subscribers.

Also, read this terrific post from Keith R if you use our ChartData Manager application for Windows to update your data.  It explains how to automatically download data and even copy data to a card or USB memory stick without any clicks!  No need to sit there and wait for data to download or copy.  And keep in mind that we recently made the ChartData Manager faster and more reliable with the release of ChartData Manager 5.2.

Special note for Voyager users:  You must install an update for Voyager before this ChartData can be downloaded if you haven’t already installed the new version of Voyager (version 4.7.3.30473).  Simply start Voyager and, if you haven’t run it yet today, the app should say that an update is available and have a button to download.  If you have used it today, select Update Application from the Tools menu.

If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to update your ChartData before you fly.

  • In FlyQ EFB:  Tap the ChartData Manager icon (the “down arrow” icon), review which states you have selected, then tap Update Now.
  • In FlyQ Pocket: Select the Downloads tab on the bottom of the screen and tap Update Now.
  • In FlyQ Online:  Nothing to download.  Just go to https://flyq.seattleavionics.com and the new data is automatically used when the new cycle begins on Thursday (but not before).
  • For apps and devices that use our Data Manager, run the ChartData Manager (or select Settings from the little icon at the lower right corner of your Windows screen) and tap Update Now.
  • In Voyager, select Update Data from the Tools menu then choose the All Monthly ChartData item.

If you need to renew your subscription, click the appropriate link below:

Note that new FlyQ Online (our Web-based flight planner) ChartData is enabled automatically on the day the new cycle begins (next Thursday) so what you see is always the current, legal data.  Unlike data for our apps and devices, we do not release FlyQ Online ChartData ahead of time since there is nothing to download.

Current Temps and 7 Day Forecast

Some of you may have noticed that FlyQ’s usual current temps and seven day forecast were offline for a few days that happen to coincide with a new FlyQ EFB release.  It’s back online now but it had nothing to do with the new FlyQ EFB release nor with anything we did wrong.  In case you’re curious…

As it happens, we get that data from the National Weather Service.  When we first noticed the problem with the temps and forecast, we tested the NWS system and indeed found that their system wasn’t working properly.   From doing this for years, we know that their system periodically goes offline for a day or two so we didn’t think much about it.

But today we looked into it further as it’s seldom offline this long.  We found that the service was operational but appeared down but because they apparently changed something about how a developer should access it.  We made some changes to our servers to match their changes and all is well again.

 

FlyQ EFB 2.4.4 with ICAO Released

We have just released FlyQ EFB version 2.4.4.  Despite the small change in the version number, this is a very significant release for two reason:

  1. ICAO flight plan filing.  FlyQ EFB joins FlyQ Online with full capabilities to create and file ICAO flight plans via either Leidos (Lockheed Martin) or CSRA DUATS.  All FlyQ EFB flight plans are now filed using the new ICAO format rather then the old FAA domestic format.  For accurate filings, pilots should go Settings/Aircraft Profiles and complete the new sections for ADS-B, RNAV, and such.  See ICAO Flight Planning Now Available! for more information (an ICAO version of FlyQ Pocket will be released very soon and ICAO Voyager is in the works).
  2. Very substantial memory optimizations in the app to reduce crashes.  This especially applies when using ADS-B in high-traffic areas and even more particularly when using the Stratux receiver.

As always, it also includes other fixes and optimizations:

FIXED: Crash when switching from 2D to 3D when the Rings or Extended Courseline layer is on.

FIXED: Calculation error when editing offline flight plans.

FIXED: Cardinal directions on Terrain X-Ray incorrect in one case.

FIXED: Original 2D map zoom is not restored when switching from 2D to 3D then back 2D.

To upgrade FlyQ EFB:

Upgrades to FlyQ EFB are free.

If you’re reading this on your iPad, just click below (won’t work on a PC or Mac):

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flyq-efb/id915571252?mt=8

If you’re reading this on a PC or Mac, go to your iPad then:

1. Open the App Store app on your iPad (usually on the first Home page).
2. Within the App Store, tap the Updates tab at the bottom.
3. Look for FlyQ EFB and tap the Update button next to it.

Tip: You can have the iPad automatically do updates for all apps in the future. This saves a lot of time!  To do that:

1. Go to the Settings app on the iPad
2. Tap the iTunes & App Store item on the left side of the screen (might need to scroll down to see it).
3. Turn the switch next to Updates to ON (green).

Note: Turning on automatic updates does not automatically install new OS releases, just apps like FlyQ EFB.

And, as a reminder of what was new in 2.4:

  • ADDED: Document Management. The all-new Documents tab gives you immediate access to a library of more than 200 FAA publications and charts (Flyway charts, helicopter charts, etc.), weather documents, Seattle Avionics documents, legends, and more. Or easily add your own documents by entering a URL or emailing them to your iPad. Even tap to add photos already on your iPad.
  • ADDED: Support for Avidyne IFD540 and IFD440 wireless data transfer (GPS, AHRS, bi-directional flight plan transfers). Avidyne software release 10.2 required (GPS works with 10.1). More Avidyne support to come.
  • ADDED: Support for ADS-B weather and traffic from the Dynon SkyView. SkyView software release 15 required (GPS, AHRS, bi-directional flight plan transfers already available with SkyView 14).
  • FIXED: An unusual server error state can cause the app to logout and not allow users to log back in.
  • FIXED: Detailed device status information not immediately updated
  • FIXED: NavLog printing results in a clipped document.
  • FIXED: Edits to the FAA Plan form not submitted to Lockheed/DUATS in some cases.
  • FIXED: A few airports with fuel prices do not show the price on the map.
  • FIXED: Takeoff time cannot be set when creating a new flight plan.
  • FIXED: Downloads for Michigan do not include some of the state.
  • FIXED: Last-selected pilot not remembered in New Plan.
  • FIXED: Play/Pause button in sim too small on Retina iPad.
  • FIXED: Editing a flight plan can produce a negative MHdg.
  • FIXED: Tapping the Done button in the ChartData Manager takes so long to respond that it’s often tapped twice.

ICAO Flight Planning Now Available!

UPDATE March 5, 2017:  FlyQ EFB (version 2.4.5), FlyQ Pocket (3.0) , and FlyQ Online (0.93) all now support full ICAO flight planning.

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As you probably know, the FAA plans to soon disallow the old Domestic flight plan forms and require ICAO format plans for both domestic and international flight plans. The exact date keeps shifting but we’re currently told it won’t happen until sometime in March.  However, we’re ready to go now with some apps and almost ready with others.  Read on .. it’s complicated!

We released several products today (one live now, one in beta now, and one in beta on Monday) that allow filing ICAO flight plans to your choice of Lockheed-Martin (Leidos) or CSRA DUATS.  The changes encompass two areas: Aircraft profiles and the Flight Plan page.  As some of the apps are in beta and some shipping, please read the following carefully to understand which level of planning is available in each app right now.

The Aircraft settings screens have been augmented with the nearly 100 new equipment options you need for full ICAO plans.  We thought that was overkill for most GA pilots so we added a unique Basic vs Advanced switch that hides the more esoteric options unless you select Advanced.  For example, a typical GA pilot flying a small plane in just the US is unlikely to need settings for ADS-C with FANS 1/A Capabilities, RNAV 5 with INS or IRS or Dinghy Color so we hid them in the Basic setting.  Flip to Advanced if you need the extra features.

The FAA flight plan form has been replaced with the ICAO flight plan form and we use the Aircraft settings to complete all the cryptic new Equipment fields. Please note that ICAO flight plan forms have numbered blocks, like the old domestic plans, but the first block number is 7 not 1.  No, we don’t know why either.

So what’s available for all our apps?

FlyQ Online:  We released a revised version of our Web-based planner, FlyQ Online, that has all the changes to both Aircraft settings and ICAO flight plans implemented.  You can see it running now on your PC or Mac with a Web browser:  https://flyq.seattleavionics.com  Note that you may need to hit a Refresh button or clear your browser cache (especially with Chrome) to see all the new features.

FlyQ EFB: We released a new beta (test) version of FlyQ EFB today that has the same Aircraft settings and ICAO forms that FlyQ Online has.  We expect to release this version to Apple for public release early next week unless beta testers find problems.  The new version also has dramatically improved app stability, especially when using an ADS-B receiver in high-traffic areas and/or with the Stratux receiver.  In the meantime, the current version of FlyQ EFB will continue to use the FAA domestic flight plans from Lockheed or DUATS.

FlyQ Pocket:  A new version of FlyQ Pocket will be released to beta on Monday with all the aircraft and ICAO form changes (and other changes).  However, unlike FlyQ EFB, the shipping version of FlyQ Pocket for both iOS and Android will now file ICAO flight plans rather than FAA Domestic plans.  How?  It will file ICAO plans using whatever aircraft information it has available.  In other words, if you just use FlyQ Pocket, you’ll get an ICAO plan but with no way to add ADS-B information or any other equipment information so the effect will be the same as an old domestic plan.  However, if you use FlyQ Online to add ADS-B info and such to your aircraft profiles, your FlyQ Pocket flight plans will contain the added ADS-B and other info.  Got that??

Voyager:  We’re still working on modifying Voyager for ICAO flight plans but, like the shipping version of FlyQ EFB, the current app will still file FAA domestic plans so you should be fine.  We might also suggest that this is a great opportunity to try FlyQ Online today for your flight planning.

 

Apple iOS 10.2.1 Approved

Seattle Avionics has approved the use of Apple iOS version 10.2.1 with current version of FlyQ EFB for iPad, FlyQ Pocket for iPhone/iPad, and SmartPlates & Charts for iPhone/iPad.

How to find the version number for FlyQ EFB

  1. Open FlyQ EFB app
  2. Go to the Settings screen (gear icon)
  3. The version number is at the top right. Example: v2.3.1

How to find the version number for Apple iOS

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Go to General
  3. Go to About
  4. The iOS version number is under Version. Example: 9.1 (13B143)

How to update a Seattle Avionics app

  1. Open the App Store app
  2. Go to the Updates tab (bottom right)
  3. Look for the app icon and tap on Update

How to update Apple iOS

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Go to General
  3. Go to Software Update
  4. Tap on Download and Install

*Please note that beta (aka “test”) versions of Apple iOS are not finished, have not been fully tested, and contains bugs. Seattle Avionics does not support beta versions of Apple iOS for use with any of its apps.