The MyFlightBook thread

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by AggieMike88, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. EricBe

    EricBe Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I like the "HAVE YOU CLOSED YOUR MYFLIGHTBOOK YET" sign, but this is also an intriguing suggestion. I don't want to close the flight (could still have engine running), but could possibly pop-up an "are you there?" reminder...
     
  2. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Perhaps pop up notifications during a long taxi, while stopped waiting for a runway crossing, not such a good idea...

    Methinks some folks just need to extend thy whole “it isn’t done flying until it’s tied down” to say, “It isn’t don’t flying until the ‘Securing Aircraft’ checklist is completed”, and add their digital gadgetry logging duties to that checklist...

    :)

    Master On / Avionics On
    Check 121.5 / ELT Silent
    Avionics / Master Off
    Control Lock Install
    Cowl Flaps Closed
    Fuel on Left/Right
    Cabin Vent / Heat Off
    Note Hobbs/Tach Time
    Note Fuel Remaining
    MyFlightBook Updated / Closed
    Cabin Clean / Personal Items
    Doors / Windows - Closed / Locked
    Baggage Door Closed / Locked
    Hangar Door Closed / Locked
    Drive Home

    Or whatever you like ... :)
     
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  3. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you haven’t moved over 50 feet in 10 minutes works. Then launch the annoying vibrations, noises, flashing lights....
     
  4. EricBe

    EricBe Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Actually, I don' t think that would help. You sit in the plane for 10 minutes without moving 50ft after engine shutdown? Maybe, but you probably move 50 ft just opening the hangar door, pulling your car out, pushing the plane in, and driving off (with the requisite restroom break in between, of course. Or is that just me?). So you could certainly pick different values and try to tune it, but I don't think you could avoid a significant number of false positives and negatives.

    I actually had a request a while ago to listen to the microphone and use engine noise as a cue. Besides the signal processing being a bit beyond my skills, that would chew up battery...

    Anyhow, I think perhaps a better "alarm" would be to ignore the GPS and simply see if 10+ minutes has elapsed since the last full-stop landing without the pause button being pressed. (You do know about the pause button, right? I use that all the time when I go somewhere for lunch: you land, press "pause", eat lunch, get back in the plane, and hit "play" and the GPS autodetect/record resumes listening; the paused time is subtracted from engine start/end to yield the net total time...). Won't help you if you land at your home airport and 10 minutes later you're on the highway (that, after all, often looks like another takeoff), but might be a bit more reliable.
     
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  5. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And instead of just a normal buzzer... surprise them with an audio of your snarky voice, “hey you! Mr. PIC! Ya forget something?”
     
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  6. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    It could just wake up every ten minutes from startup to shutdown and say CHECKLIST! CHECKLIST!

    LOL.
     
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  7. iamtheari

    iamtheari Cleared for Takeoff

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    I finally found something that I wish MFB had that isn’t already there: a property for number of animals carried. In reviewing my logbook to determine how many seats I actually need a plane to have, I had to search a few different fields to find flights that may have had a dog on board (charitable flight for Pilots N Paws and my dog’s name in the comments field for flights with her). Human passengers are accounted for so at least the number of humans I typically carry was very easy to search for.
     
  8. EricBe

    EricBe Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sure, why not? Animal Passengers is now live.
     
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  9. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Related to this.... how about some data fields for the name and contact details of the organization the Charity Flight was done for.

    Since the added detail fields list is getting pretty dense, would it be possible to create some logic to drive some of this? For example, if I say yes to "Was this a Charity Flight?", then the other fields such as "Type? (PnP, VAC, Angel Flight, etc)", "Passenger name", "Qty/Species of passenger", "Organization name" will pop up and prompt for input.

    Same idea can apply to when IFR is checked so we can enter details into the appropriate fields. Or if someone is a part 135 pilot and wants to enter details to keep up with his reporting requirements.

    I see a simple drop menu asking what flavor of flight this was. And if one of those flavors is chosen, then the fields associated are brought to the top of the heap, even if they are already marked as favorites.
     
  10. EricBe

    EricBe Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I actually have the notion of a "template" flight on my to-do list. Training flights, corporate flights, $100 hamburger runs, etc. would all fit into this. I'm a bit leery, though, of getting too structured; things get awfully complex awfully quickly. A lot of things can go into the comments if there's no particular need to either show them in totals or another compelling reason to have it be structured (e.g., ability to pull from previously-used values, or to search for flights that contain the property). I also like to keep things fairly generic if possible. Angel Flight is a good example. I fly for Angel Flight myself, but I didn't want an "Angel Flight" field because there are lots of charity flying groups. The salient fact is that it's a charity flight; putting "Angel Flight" into the comments works great - I can search for all my charity flights (optionally also containing "Angel") if I want the subset of charity flights that were AF flights.
     
  11. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Ted now has his weekend plans to go back and update his Logbook. LOL. ;)
     
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  12. EricBe

    EricBe Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I realize that I've been a bit remiss about posting new features here. Some of the new functionality that's been introduced over the past 6 months or so include:
    • ICAO codes for aircraft models, so you can view your totals grouped by ICAO code. This is nice because it's less granular than specific models (i.e., ICAO is all 172's under "C172", vs. model which treats a C-172N and C-172S separately)
    • Per-aircraft deadlines. You can associate custom deadlines with individual aircraft, and have those deadlines be based on aircraft time (tach/hobbs) rather than calendar dates. Deadlines, of course, show up in your currency
    • Autofill (website) now estimates night time even if you don't provide a full path. It does this by assuming a great-circle route and a constant speed, so it's an approximation, but should be pretty accurate.
    • Analysis on the website now supports grouping by day, week, and year in addition to month (it used to only group by month). You can also show flights and days with flights.
    • Simple markdown support (website only) in comments: *boldface* is drawn as boldface and _italic_ becomes italic.
    • I launched a blog (https://myflightbookblog.blogspot.com/) where I discuss logbook issues in general and MyFlightbook issues in more depth
    • Endorsements are more fully editable when being issued.
    • Mapping page now can show METARs for airports.
    • Direct import from Foreflight and LogTen Pro
    • Support for ICAO (day-by-day) medical expiration vs. the FAA calendar-month model
    • Web, iOS, and Android codebases are now all opensource on github.
    • Cleaned up user interface for viewing flight details, viewing images for flights
    • Ability to download visited airports
    • Limits in custom currencies (i.e., instead of "at least X actions in Y time period", have "no more than X actions in Y time period")
    • Search for flights with images (iOS/Android too)
    • Auto-highlight/translate approach descriptions in form "2-ILS-RWY16R@KSEA" to be "2 ILS Approaches to Runway 16R at KSEA"
    • iOS/Android: Show signatures for signed flights
    • iOS/Android: Approach Description helper (makes it easy to create the approach descriptions as described above)
    • iOS/Android: High-resolution recording (useful for CloudAhoy, for example)
    • And of course, oodles of small tweaks, bug fixes, and enhancements.
    Probably more, but those are the things that come to mind right now. I've got a new version of iOS/Android more or less ready to go, but will wait until I get back from vacation to release those.
     
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  13. iamtheari

    iamtheari Cleared for Takeoff

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    Eric: Is there a particular format for approaches that MFB expects? I have never been sure exactly how to enter approaches, and if you have a specific format that the code is expecting I will start using that.

    Thanks for the big update. And for making it all open source. There are precious few real mobile apps with the source code available for those of us who want to dabble in coding apps to learn from. I’ve never been a good UI coder and I think MFB has a pretty good, and obviously custom, interface, so sooner or later I’ll check out your repo and learn.
     
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  14. EricBe

    EricBe Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well, anything works. There's really no requirement for the code to be able to parse it; you're just required to describe them somewhere. That said, the mobile apps have a tool to generate these, making it so that you don't have to select airports (it gets them from the Route field), or switch between alphabet/numeric to type in the runway, and you can select the approach type from a list.

    The format that the system "recognizes" is {#}-{Approach name}-{Runway}@{Airport}. In particular:
    • # is an integer (1, 2, 3...) that says how many of these approaches you did
    • - is a separator between fields, but it can also be ":", "/", or "." or even a space should work
    • Approach Name is something of the form "VOR" or "ILS" or "RNAV/GPS", with an optional suffix of -A, -B, -C, -X, -Y, or -Z.
    • Runway is 1-36 with an optional R,L, or C suffix.
    • @ is literally "@". I.e., "At"
    • Airport is a 3- or 4- character alphanumeric airport code.

    E.g., today I flew the RNAV/GPS-Y to Runway 16R at Paine field (KPAE), so the "approach helper" in the iPhone app created it as "1-RNAV/GPS-Y-RWY16R@KPAE", and if you hover over it (website), it will display this as "1 RNAV/GPS-Y approach to runway 16R at KPAE")

    But note that it's also perfectly fine to record it any way you like, such as "Paine: two ILS approaches to minimums"

    So very kind...if not at all true. :) I learned to code in the 80's and I've always said that I can do a really good "Windows 3.0 User Interface." Very functional, not at all "clean."
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  15. iamtheari

    iamtheari Cleared for Takeoff

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    Forgive my incompetence. How does one get to this magical, mythical approach helper?
     
  16. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So - I thought MyFlightbook did something in the past that I cannot get it to do now.

    I have a checklist item to tap “engine start” in the myflightbook app. And I do. Then I have another to tap “engine shutdown” after shutdown. And I do.

    And it stamps a great start and end time. But then it doesn’t do anything with it - I’m still manually entering Total time and whatnot.

    Did this change?
     
  17. EricBe

    EricBe Pre-takeoff checklist

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    On the mobile apps, there's a button next to the Comments field. there's no particular data-entry UI on the web because the web assumes you have a keyboard.
     
  18. EricBe

    EricBe Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Go into your settings (locations differ slightly between Android and iOS) and make sure that (a) you have auto-detect on, but more importantly that (b) you have it set to auto-fill total time based on engine time. It should work OK for you; I just used this functionality today (iOS)
     
  19. iamtheari

    iamtheari Cleared for Takeoff

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    Aha, the comments field. I always use the Approach Names property.
     
  20. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sure enough!

    Thanks Eric.
     
  21. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I guess the mobile app always did it, but I’m usually awful about tapping the engine start and takeoff times and just enter stuff manually later, but tonight I did it the @EricBe way, and the mobile app knew how many T/O and landings were legally day and night all on its own.

    Since they were all stop and goes it counted up all of them, too. Nice! (No, I didn’t trust myself doing night T&G during the “day” portion of the flight as it got dark quickly this time of year from the “wrong” seat in my airplane. Haha. Stop and goes kept the whole thing quite sane. LOL! Think that was my first night currency laps from the right seat in my airplane and I can switch seats in anything else, but in my own airplane I was all screwed up over there at first. Hahaha. Much better now, of course, but it was a hot mess. Too much butt time in the other seat.)

    Anyway, pretty impressive. As always. I just have to be better about using all the features. Haha. For the moment, I’m night current until right about the time the usual March blizzard shows up. Hahaha.

    And those limits for airplanes are nice. I already had a VOR check in there for the airplane but I now can add oil change and some other stuff. Neat!
     
  22. TommyG

    TommyG Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have been having problems with my galaxy 7 detecting takeoffs sometime. It works one flight, not another flight. Anything I should be looking at to tweak?
     
  23. EricBe

    EricBe Pre-takeoff checklist

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    which you can use too. A flight can only have one property of a given type, though, so I stuck stuff into the Comments Field.
    I can think of a couple of things to try:
    a) Most importantly, make sure your Galaxy can get decent GPS reception. I report it ("in the cockpit") as good/poor/excellent based on the error reported by the GPS (i.e., 100m means you're approximately within a football field of where it says, which isn't very good, but 10m is much closer).
    b) I use speed to determine takeoff/landing, but different aircraft obviously fly at different speeds. And, since it's GPS, it's by definition ground speed. So if you're flying a Piper Cub into a 20kt headwind with 90kts as your "takeoff" speed, it could miss that because you never quite hit 70kts ground speed. The tradeoff is that a higher takeoff speed is better for detecting touch-and-go landings (I pick a "stop flying" speed that is 10-15kts below the takeoff speed) but could miss takeoffs in the cub/head-wind scenario; but a lower takeoff speed misses fewer takeoffs but could miss touch-and-go landings.
     
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  24. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    My nose wheel was shaking last night. You could use the accelerometer in most Cessnas to determine when they’re on the ground by that. LOL.

    If below 70 and accelerometer registering small earthquake...

    Hahaha. I guess when we get the plane back from the avionics shop we’ll have to start the Cessna nosewheel shimmy steeplechase... Always something on airplanes...
     
  25. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That’s crazy talk. But it is what I do in Birdie.
     

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  26. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now offering reverse discounts.
    Looks like @EricBe has been busy making some visual improvements to the main site in addition to updating the spells and potion and wizardry that happens behind the scene.

    39CC317A-8AEC-473D-9723-6312C8256BEB.png

    From his Facebook post...

    "Well, I pulled the trigger today and migrated to the new look and feel. Thanks, Zul, for your help with all of that!

    "New versions of iOS and Android today as well, with the new branding (much more subtle difference on those apps). Some minor new functionality, but I think I got the Android 8 background GPS thing working (just bought a new phone to test on and used it today; worked like a charm for me.)"​
     
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  27. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    Looks nice!
     
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  28. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Very cool. I hadn’t been to the website in a while, the apps work so well.
     
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  29. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    Looks great. The website really looks great, but like Nate I haven't been there in quite a while because the app works so well for me.
     
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  30. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Looking good!! Thanks, Eric!
     
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  31. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Saw the iOS app update changed the graphics to a nifty new logo, too. :)
     
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  32. iamtheari

    iamtheari Cleared for Takeoff

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    Feature request: Allow negative numbers for engine overhaul tach time. Reason: My tachometer was replaced long after the overhaul.

    Also: Add maintenance/inspections entries for the dates and/or tach times for major overhaul, top overhaul, propeller overhaul, and airframe zero time. That will let me, along with putting in the right negative numbers, get an at-a-glance picture of my plane's times when it comes time for me to sell it. (At least the propeller overhaul hours and date items would be nice for those who overhaul based on hours and/or years.)
     
  33. EricBe

    EricBe Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Negative numbers on the tach: not a bad idea, I’ll put that on my list, although my suggestion below for your other requests may work just as well for this.
    The other items start getting into the slippery slope of becoming an aircraft logbook, which I have resisted doing. But note that you can set up deadlines for aircraft that are tied to tach/Hobbs, so you could say at what tach each of these is due (as opposed to when it was “last done”). E.g., if you replaced the tach at 200 hours into the new engine, and you have an expected TBO of 2,000hrs, you could create a deadline for 1,800 for TBO.

    You can also put a lot of this into the notes for the aircraft, either private or public. All you lose in doing that is the math.
     
  34. iamtheari

    iamtheari Cleared for Takeoff

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    Eric: If "aircraft logbook" is not an intended use for MyFlightBook, then I defer to that philosophy and would suggest following your heart on aligning features accordingly.
     
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  35. EricBe

    EricBe Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It’s really just a matter of not wanting to be half pregnant (probably too late, since I track maintenance already). But a full fledged aircraft logbook has all sorts of requirements that I haven’t really thought through, nor do I have particular expertise around it.

    Of course, I’m open source; anybody have expertise here and desire to help implement it, I’d be game to get it in!
     
  36. iamtheari

    iamtheari Cleared for Takeoff

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    My vote is to focus on being a pilot's logbook with some handy features to track things on the plane, as you have it, rather than to try to be an airframe or engine logbook. Realistically, the world isn't ready to convert to electronic logbooks for aircraft so you don't have the same likely userbase buy-in as you have for a pilot's logbook.

    Where to draw the line is of course the issue. Frankly, what you have works just fine to remind a pilot of how long it's been since an oil change, when the annual or 100-hour is due, etc. Anything else (mandatory overhauls) is really not relevant to the pilot since those are only going to exist in certificated operations that have maintenance departments.

    And in that vein, I retract all of my feature requests from today. :)
     
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  37. EricBe

    EricBe Pre-takeoff checklist

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  38. Mike Blackburn

    Mike Blackburn Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi.
    Just recently changed to MFB form that other logbook. I love the ratings progress feature but I'm struggling to categorise my IFR training flights so it picks them up. I need 10h of IFR instruction but despite logging time using IFR and DUAL RECEIVED it isn't increasing. I couldnt' find a category for IFR dual? Is there something I'm missing?
    Keep up the great work
    Mike
     
  39. iamtheari

    iamtheari Cleared for Takeoff

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    The "IFR time" property seems to be for your own personal use if you want to track that. The fields that seem to matter are "Sim. IMC" and "IMC."
     
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  40. Mike Blackburn

    Mike Blackburn Filing Flight Plan

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    Yeah, maybe. I read Sim. IMC as being IN THE SIM, but I guess it could mean hood time?