We’ve written before about the many benefits of the CloudAhoy app, with its robust post-flight debriefing tools and easy ForeFlight integration. They moved to a subscription model last year, which annoyed some pilots, we remain impressed by the app’s functionality and the continuous addition of new features. In some ways, the app is almost too powerful now, with a lot of buttons and menus. But with practice, you’ll find a lot of good stuff.
Here are some of the upgrades.
The most interesting feature – a glass cockpit instrument overlay – is still in beta, and is rough on the iPad. But it points to some interesting possibilities down the road. Choose a flight and select Debrief. Then, from the Viewing Options menu, choose Glass Cockpit. CloudAhoy will display your groundspeed and altitude as tapes, your track as an HSI and your calculated pitch/roll as an attitude indicator. On the iPad, the overlay can look confusing because it’s in 2D. On a PC or Mac it looks quite good, presented in 3D with a terrain view.
The next addition is option to “fly” your flights in Google Earth with a simulated pilot’s-eye-view. From the Viewing Options menu, select the Cockpit View… button. If you have the Google Earth app installed on your iPad, it will open up and begin playing the flight back (up to 10 minutes, starting at the point in the flight where you pressed the Cockpit View… button in CloudAhoy). Again, it’s a calculated pitch/roll number, but it’s a helpful visualization for training maneuvers or mountain flying.
This is in addition to the traditional Google Earth overlay of your flight.
A smaller, but no less helpful, feature is the intended flight path overlay. You can either enter your filed flight route manually or import it automatically from a ForeFlight track log. Then, you can compare your planned route (in magenta) to your actual route flown (in blue).
Two other features that can come in handy are video sync and G1000 support. The video option allows you to play back your flight with both the traditional map overlay and a video window, with the two views time synchronized. It takes some work to get it set up, but it’s a very powerful feature for reviewing a flight – especially in the training environment.
The ability to import flight data from Garmin G1000 glass cockpits is another helpful feature. Besides saving time, debriefing a flight includes engine data in addition to the typical flight path and performance information. This opens up a number of interesting options for tracking the health of your engine and the operating practices of the pilots.
The CloudAhoy app is free to download and try for 35 days. After that, pilots must choose either the Free plan, with basic playback features, or the more complete Standard plan ($45/year). Visit the CloudAhoy website for more information.