Infrastructure Upgrades

UPDATE: 4/2/18 02:15 AM Pacific:  Upgrades complete.  All systems online.

UPDATE: 4/1/18 10:00 PM Pacific:  Upgrades started.  All systems offline.

UPDATE 3/31/18: Based on today’s dry-run, we expect the system to be down for 4 hours on Sunday (that is, from 10 PM Pacific to 2 AM Pacific).

Seattle Avionics has been in business for nearly 15 years.  During that time, we’ve continually upgraded many of our systems but two remained running on older hardware and software because they were so difficult to move.  One of these was migrated on Thursday and we anticipate the final step in moving the other this Sunday night.  The entire system will be down for several hours late Sunday night for the change.  We’ll try to provide a better time estimate on Sunday but all should be up and running in time for Monday morning flights.

  1.  Web Server.  SA uses several different server systems, most running on redundant, fault-tolerate clusters.  But one remained on an old system.  On Thursday night (a week after we released data for this cycle), we upgraded our main web server to a new system on a much larger, more reliable provider.  It seemed to generally go smoothly but, for reasons what we have not been able to identify, some customers were having trouble connecting to our web site (www.seattleavionics.com) or were getting connection-related errors in FlyQ or the ChartData Manager application.  The new system seems to be generally working well now and, based on support emails and calls, we don’t think too many people were affected but apologize to those who were.   If you’re having a connection issue, please try rebooting your PC or iPad/iPhone.  If that still doesn’t work, please email support@SeattlAvionics.com
  2. Database System.  We rely on a database for customer info, flight plan storage, and much more.  Over the years as our business has grown, the database server, run by a 3rd party, has become less reliable so we’ve been working to migrate it to a new, more robust system.  We’ve been doing this in stages and think we’re ready for the final step.  To do this, however, we need to completely shut down all our systems to ensure data consistency between the old and the new systems.  During this time, FlyQ EFB and FlyQ InSight will continue to function for inflight use but will not be able to plan flights on the server, get updated weather, etc.  FlyQ Online and the ChartData Manager will be completely shut down.  Voyager should be mostly functional.  We plan to begin this at 10 PM Pacific Sunday night.  It will take several hours but should be done before morning on the East Coast.  We’ll provide a better estimate on Sunday and give updates as required during the transition.We hope that none of this will affect you but apologize in advance if it does.  It will definitely lead to a faster, more reliable system but there may be some unanticipated issues 175547during the transition.

Steve

Gov Weather Service Offline Again

Update 12:00 PM Pacific.  The National Weather Service seems back up.  All clear.  While it was down, we modified some of our code to automatically switch to a backup server should it go down again (the switch was added after the last NWS outage but required some manual intervention).  We also took the opportunity to migrate some weather processing systems to newer versions of various libraries to increase our systems reliability.  We’re very sorry for the issue.

Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 10.59.56 AM

Heads up that the METAR, TAF, etc. data from AviationWeather.gov (the US National Weather Service) is not functioning properly.  Their web site is running but has little or no data.  This will affect the METARs, TAFS, Winds Aloft, PIREPS, AIRMET/SIGMET data that all FlyQ apps use when connected to the Internet.  Radar and Satellite layers appear to be functioning properly as they do not come from AviationWeather.gov

Unclear if ADS-B weather, which is derived from the same base data, is affected or not.

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.  And thanks Paul 😉

March 29, 2018 ChartData Released

The next FAA data cycle begins next Thursday, March 29, 2018.  We try to release ChartData the Friday before the new cycle starts.  As that’s today, the new data is now ready for download.  However, be sure not to fly with this data until Mar. 29.

Three notes about this release:

  1. Dynon Users:  We fixed a bug in how Caribbean SEC/LO/HI data was processed such that it is no longer missing northern Caribbean areas.
  2. FlyQ EFB Users: We fixed two data problems regarding Mexican and Central American data.  One was a problem pre-loading plates/diagrams for some parts of Mexico and the other required adding basic airport info for airports in Central America so those approach plates/airport diagrams can be accessed.  No new version of the app is required, just this new data.
  3. Dynon + FlyQ Users:  Version 3.0.0 of FlyQ EFB had a bug that caused a crash when connecting to SkyView via WiFi to see ADS-B info in FlyQ, send/receive flight plans, or use the SkyView GPS/AHRS data in FlyQ.  This was corrected a few days ago with FlyQ EFB 3.0.1.  Click to upgrade now.

Important notes for FlyQ EFB user:  Please do not download this new data if you plan to fly before next Thursday as the app does not have any concept of “current” versus “next” data cycle.  However, FlyQ EFB downloads TFRs, fuel prices, and weather automatically so rest assured that this data will always be current even without doing a manual update

As a reminder, we just added approach plates, airport diagrams, SIDs, STARs, etc. for Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Belize!  You may remember that we also recently added this same data for the Bahamas.  All of it for no additional cost.

European data will be available shortly.  Australian data is unchanged this cycle.

If you’re using another data provider, check with them about availability.

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.

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 InSight or 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 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.

FlyQ EFB 3.0.1 Released

Yesterday, Apple approved FlyQ EFB version 3.0.1, our first release after the major v 3.0 release.  It’s available for download right now.  It fixes several mostly minor bugs with the most important being a crash that occurred when connecting FlyQ to a Dynon SkyView system via WiFi.  It also improves some aspects of the Flight Data Recorder.  See below for more details.

To upgrade from an existing iPad or iPhone installation:

Go to the App Store icon on your iPad or iPhone and select the Updates tab.  Click the Update button next to FlyQ EFB.  Note:  If your device is set to automatically update apps, you may see an Open button rather than Update because the new version has already been installed.

To download to a new iPad or iPhone (or if you didn’t install version 3.0 to your iPhone):

Go to the App Store icon on your iPhone or iPad, select the Search tab, enter FlyQ EFB.

Fixed and Improvements

  • FIXED: Crash when connecting to Dynon SkyView and AFS systems.
  • FIXED: Some data fields missing when connected to Avidyne systems. Note: Temporarily also removed ADS-B and flight plan processing for Avidyne systems. Will be restored soon.
  • ADDED: Flight Data Recorder now synchronized between all your devices.
  • FIXED: The Data Recorder broke flights into multiple segments if the app is paused or backgrounded during the flight.
  • FIXED: Incorrect regional radar images for some parts of the Southern Mississippi valley.
  • FIXED: In some cases, the ChartData Manager may show percent complete greater than 100%.
  • FIXED: Wind arrows on airport diagrams and satellite images may be sized incorrectly or show an arrow in some cases of no-winds.
  • FIXED: Problems / incorrect information message when adding some SIDs and STARs.
  • FIXED: iPhone only: Airport quick access buttons (Direct To, Plates, Map, etc.) inoperative in Favorites and Recent.
  • FIXED: iPhone only: Creating a 30 day trial can be difficult depending on the screen size of the device.
  • CHANGED: iPhone only: METAR/TAF switch for Raw/Translated in the wrong place.
  • CHANGED: Flight Recorder titles should be larger and bold.

The Next Generation

Some generations have a moment when they wake up, when they understand that they are not mere passengers but are the pilots and have the power and obligation to take charge of the world they are inheriting.  For my children’s generation, that may well prove to be today.

As you’ve probably read or seen on TV, an untold number of students are walking out of school today to either honor the 17 slain Parkland students or protest the gun situation in this country.  Or both in many cases.

This post is not about either of these reasons.

What I’m excited about (thrilled, really) is to see young people so motivated about changing their world.  Generally, young people are less likely to vote than older people.  This is understandable given all that’s going on in their lives at that time and sometimes because they don’t see any of it as relevant to them. But it’s particularly sad because they are the ones who will have the most time in this world.

I’m slightly too young to remember this, but several people have told me that today feels a lot like 1968.  I hope so.  Regardless of the specific events of those years and how we may feel about them, it was clearly a time of change, of redefining what it meant to be an American, and, above all, of hope for the future.  A generation of school children changed the world.  And I think we’re witnessing it again right now.

I am incredibly proud of my children and all the other kids taking a stand today.  If you have children or grandchildren, I hope you have a chance to speak with them about today’s events.  By taking a brief walk away from school, they are starting a journey that may well change the world in ways we cannot even imagine.  They are learning about democracy and the incredible power it wields.

I am filled with great hope and deep admiration for these kids and I’m convinced that, today and in the future, they will solve many of the problems that have vexed my generation.

Please note:  I welcome comments about the kids but will not allow any comments pro or against guns.  That is not the point of this post and not the place for that debate.

Approved iOS 11.2.6

Seattle Avionics has approved the use of Apple iOS version 11.2.6 with current version of FlyQ EFB for iPad/iPhone, FlyQ InSight for iPhone/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: v3.0.0

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: 11.2.1 (15C153)

How to update a Seattle Avionics app

  1. Open the App Store app
  2. Go to ‘Updates’ screen (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.