January 30, 2020 ChartData Released

The next FAA data cycle begins next Thursday, January 30, 2020 and the new ChartData is available for download now.  New data is now available for the US, Mexico, and Central America.  European data will be ready shortly. Australian data is unchanged this cycle.  Be sure not to fly with this data until January 30.

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

Important notes for FlyQ EFB user:  Please do not download this new data if you plan to fly before Thursday as the app does not currently 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

Also, read this terrific post from Keith R if you use our ChartData Managerapplication 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 and wait for data to download or copy.

  • 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.

Never hit this while driving….

EDIT:  I had originally offered $100 off FlyQ to the first person who could identify the object I hit. After many good guesses, all wrong, I don’t think anyone will get it so game over.  Text and additional photos below now explain what the object is.


Totally unrelated to flying but perhaps a reason why flying is sometimes called safer than driving?

I hit this on the highway while driving into work this morning.

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In case you can’t tell what this is (no one could from that picture, myself included), maybe these will help.  These were taken after the tow truck lifted my car enough so that we could dislodge the object from the car.

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I hit a sink.  A steel sink painted white.  In the middle of a highway lane.  Really.

On the road, at highway speed, it looked to me like a crushed white cardboard box as the “crushed” aspect to it was not from my encounter but from whomever hit it before me.  I saw it in time to swerve but doing so would have meant moving into another lane without properly checking for incoming cars.  So, given the usual highway speeds, hitting a box seemed like the safest option.  Can’t imagine why I didn’t expect it to be a steel sink.  Even after I hit it, I had no idea what it was and didn’t expect it to still be embedded in my car; I simply thought I blew a tire upon impact with something that, clearly, was not cardboard.  I drove to the right side of the road, and, since I happened to be maybe 100 yards from an exit ramp, drove off the highway onto a side street then drove a bit more and parked the car out of traffic and away from driveways.  I didn’t realize that the sink was still part of my car until I got out and took a look.  And, even then, I had no idea it was a sink until the very helpful tow truck man raised my car enough for us to separate things.

And yes, I’m fine and the car will be fine after some work.  Also, I do have a second car (usually used by son at college but he happens to have left it here after winter break) so I’m lucky.  But this has definitely made an interesting story!

FlyQ EFB 4.5 Released to Beta

If you signed up to be a beta tester, you should have an email from Apple and one from us telling you how to get Beta 1.  As the email says, Beta 1 is focussed on the new ADS-B weather products and Altitude Slider.  It does not include the Timeline or the new weather layers from the Internet (just ADS-B).  We expect to have a beta with those additional features out this month.

Also, the 4.5 release will include a legend for what all the new layer colors and symbols mean.  It’s not in this beta, however.

As you probably know, version 4.5 is all about dramatically improving the weather features in FlyQ.  That means adding the new ADS-B weather products, tripling the number of weather layers from 7 to 21, and adding an Altitude Slider and a Timeline.

 

Snow Day at Seattle Avionics

The Seattle area doesn’t get hit with snow storms very often, but, when it does, we aren’t the best at handling it.  For example, we are in the middle of a relatively mild storm right now but the office has lost power and the roads are filled with drivers who don’t know how to drive in the snow (full disclosure:  I’m originally from Massachusetts so familiar with snow).  Therefore, the folks who made it into the office today have been told to go home.

So … employees who can will be working home but we don’t have a way to answer phones remotely.  Therefore, if you have tech support issues or sales questions, please email them to support@seattleavionics.com or sales@seattleavionics.com rather than call and we’ll do the best we can to help.  We’re very sorry for the inconvenience.

Steve

Security Alert: Bogus email sent from our account

The following is text from an email alert we sent to affected users at 7:30 AM Pacific this morning.  At the end, we have also included additional info in the form of a Q&A section based on a discussion I had with security researcher this morning.  Thank you Brian!


At around 6:30 AM Pacific today, many of you were sent an email via a 3rd party service called Constant Contact, purportedly under my name.  The subject line was “New Chart Updated”.

DO NOT OPEN IT as it’s a phishing scam sent by someone who hacked our account.  If you see the email, please immediately delete without opening it.

We do use Constant Contact to send mass emails, such as new ChartData notices, sales, etc. but did not write or authorize that email.  The email referred to charts for Advanced Flight Systems.  Neither Seattle Avionics nor Advanced Flight Systems sent this email and the contents are likely a phishing scam or a virus in the form of a malicious Word document.

Obviously we’ve changed our Constant Contact password and notified Constant Contact of the security breach.  We also deleted the malicious Word file.

Seattle Avionics does not store account information on Constant Contact beyond your email address, and in some cases, your name.  No credit card info, passwords, phone numbers, or other information is stored there.

If you have additional questions, please email support@seattleavionics.com.

We’re very sorry for the issue and are taking every possible action to prevent it from happening in the future.

Thanks, Steve

==========

Q &A:

Q: Does this affect me if I’m using a Mac or looked at the email from an iPhone, iPad, or Android system?

A: No.  It’s specific to Microsoft Windows.

Q: What happened if I downloaded the Word file?

A: Nothing unless you also clicked past several additional warnings from Windows.

Q: The Word document said something about enabling Edit mode to view the document.  Am I OK if I downloaded the Word doc but didn’t enable Edit mode?

A: Yes.  You’d need to hit a button to disable protection/enable Edit mode.  Just opening it won’t do anything.

Q: And if I did enable Edit mode?

A: You’d still be OK unless you also double-clicked the icon inside the document and then clicked past another warning.

Q: Would standard Window 10 catch this or would someone need to be running a 3rd party anti-virus app?

A: Windows Defender (built into Windows) identified it as a virus, so a normal Windows 10 install would block it.  Earlier versions of Windows also include Windows Defender but older, unsupported version of Windows (such as Windows XP and Vista) may be more vulnerable.  Also, if you’re still using Windows 7, please note that Microsoft support for Windows 7 ends in about a week so this would be a great time to upgrade to newer version of Windows.  See: https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsofts-windows-7-has-one-year-of-free-support-left/

Q: What did the Word doc do?

A: If the Word doc was opened and you clicked past several security warnings from Windows, it would install a Trojan Horse app called TrickBot.  It’s very dangerous.  For more technical info, see: https://www.cisecurity.org/white-papers/security-primer-trickbot/