CloudAhoy has found a lot of fans among general aviation pilots because of its powerful flight logging and debriefing tools. For anyone who wants to be more data-driven about reviewing training maneuvers, instrument approaches or aerobatics, the app is an invaluable. Over the past six months, the app has grown up a lot, with a focus on making it easier to review flights – no matter how you log them. Here’s what’s new.
CloudAhoy began as a way to log your flights with GPS-derived data, using a free iPhone app. Over the last 12 months, though, it has evolved into a powerful debriefing service, allowing you to play back flights in a variety of formats (as you’ll see below). With that subtle shift towards the debriefing tools, the company has opened up a lot more logging options – going far beyond the CloudAhoy cockpit apps.
Last summer we showed off the integration with Stratus 2 and 2S, which enables not just GPS position but also AHRS attitude to be saved. Now you can import data from ForeFlight’s track log feature, Garmin G1000 and G3X systems, Bad Elf Pro GPSs and a variety of experimental avionics, including GRT and Dynon. This makes it much easier to log your flights, and the easier it is to log flights, the more likely you are to debrief.
The CloudAhoy debrief tool is where the app really shows its promise, and we’ve noticed lots of little improvements here of late. It has long been available for Windows, Mac and iPad; just recently the debriefing tools became available on iPhone as well. This is a nice upgrade – we’ve seen more and more pilots use their iPhones (especially the larger ones) as more than just backup devices.
To play back a flight, you can view graphs (of speed or altitude, for example) or moving maps. The maps allow you to overlay your flight track on satellite maps (good for ground reference maneuvers) or aviation charts (good for instrument pilots). There are also options for both 2D and 3D playback. The 2D playback now has an auto-center feature, so the map automatically follows your airplane position as the flight progresses. This is especially helpful if you play back a flight at faster speeds – something you’ll no doubt do on long flights.
The 3D playback can be done in the CloudAhoy app or in the Google Earth app. For a simple, gee whiz experience, Google Earth is fast and easy. But for more detailed debriefing sessions, we recommend the built-in CloudAhoy 3D view. There are countless options for showing data overlays and multiple views here – even a simulated cockpit view with a glass cockpit presentation. There’s also a declutter tool that allows you to focus on just a single maneuver at a time, removing additional tracks that may be confusing.
CloudAhoy has also released a new set of training videos, which we found to be very helpful. The app is so powerful that it can overwhelm new users with options and windows from time to time – a few minutes watching these videos will give you a major head start.