Stick-On Window Shades

I have Rosen visors in my A36, and they generally work well. But they can be fragile, and I can’t always place them where they are most effective. I’ve been looking for portable, transparent shades (not fabric, opaque shades) that would complement the Rosens.

During a side trip to the Fly Mart at EAA AirVenture 2019, I found JustPlaneTint.

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They make stick-on/peel-off shades for aircraft windows, and I bought a few of the newest model to test on the long flight back to Seattle.

The shades that I bought are in the Universal Plane Tint line. They’re available in small, medium, and large sizes at the company’s home page.

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The shades block UV light and cut glare. They were especially handy when the sun was beaming in the side windows, heating up the cockpit and making it hard to see the iPad and other screens in the cockpit.

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As these photos show, the shades aren’t limo-window dark–I could still see plenty of detail through them. They go on and come off easily when you want to reposition them, and they don’t leave a residue.

When flying into late-afternoon sun, I used a shade to supplement the Rosen visors. Passengers in other seats can position the shades where they need them, without interfering with my vision or visor arrangement.

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Each shade comes with a protective pouch for storage. They seem very well made and sturdy.

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ICAO Flight Plans Mandatory August 27, 2019

FAA announced that the ICAO flight plan format will become mandatory for all IFR and VFR flight plans beginning August 27, 2019.

FAA Notice NOTC9616 provides the details. You can find addtional guidance here at BruceAir at ICAO Flight Plan Equipment Codes for Aircraft with IFR GPS and at the FSS 1800wxbrief.com website.

Most pilots today file flight plans via apps such as ForeFlight, Garmin Pilot, FlyQ, or WingX. Learning how to complete a paper flight plan form isn’t necessary, and the apps ensure compliance with ICAO and FAA standards. The apps also typically provide help with understanding the ICAO codes used for most GA aircraft and operations.

ForeFlight Track Log Review

ForeFlight now includes an enhanced track log that any pilot–but especially flight instructors and pilots in training–will find useful when reviewing and debriefing flights.

The new Track Log Review feature is available in ForeFlight release 11.5. Here’s the ForeFlight video that explains the feature. (ForeFlight has published a series of how-to videos on its YouTube channel.)

ATC Phone Numbers Now in ForeFlight

On June 20, 2019, FAA began publishing telephone numbers that pilots can use to call ATC for IFR clearances and cancelations (see FAA Completes ATC Phone Number Plan). The numbers appear in the airport listings in the Chart Supplement.

Leidos FSS has posted ARTCC clearance/cancelation phone numbers on its website, here.

If you use ForeFlight, you can also find those ATC numbers in the airport listings. As the screen capture below shows, the information is on the Frequencies tab. The number will be either to an approach control facility or an enroute traffic control center, depending on which facility controls the airspace overlying the airport.

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New Airport Info on FAA IFR Charts

The June 20, 2019 update to the Aeronautical Chart User’s Guide explains the new MON designator added to basic airport information displayed on IFR enroute charts

The new label is added to airports that are part of the VOR Minimum Operational Network plan that FAA is implementing as it gradually decommissions about 30 percent of the existing VOR network. (To review the latest update on the MON plan, see Next Round of VOR Shutdowns here at BruceAir.)

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Effective June 20, 2019, IFR US Enroute Charts will symbolize VOR Minimum Operational Network (MON) airports with the VOR Minimum Operational Network (MON) Symboldesignator placed above the airport name in reverse negative text. The intent of the MON designation is to alert pilots, in the event of a GPS outage, of those airports that have retained ILS and VOR instrument approach procedures for safe recovery during such an outage.

More information about the VOR MON program and MON airports is in AIM 1-1-3 (f) VHF Omni-directional Range (VOR):

The VOR MON will retain sufficient VORs and increase VOR service volume to ensure that pilots will have nearly continuous signal reception of a VOR when flying at 5,000 feet AGL. A key concept of the MON is to ensure that an aircraft will always be within 100 NM of an airport with an instrument approach that is not dependent on GPS…If the pilot encounters a GPS outage, the pilot will be able to proceed via VOR-to-VOR navigation at 5,000 feet AGL through the GPS outage area or to a safe landing at a MON airport or another suitable airport, as appropriate.

Garmin Updates GTN Trainer App

Garmin has updated the free GTN Trainer app for the iPad. The new version reflects system software 6.62, which includes features added since version 6.5, such as vertical navigation, along track offsets and more.

You can find a detailed discussion of some of these functions at New Garmin GTN 750 Features.

Next Round of VOR Shutdowns

At the April 24-25, 2019 session of the Aeronautical Charting Meeting, FAA noted that the following VORs will be decommissioned in 2019 (to see each VOR on a VFR chart at SkyVector.com, click the links below):

1. [ASP] Au Sable, in Oscoda, MI – June 20, 2019
2. [CSX] Cardinal, in St. Louis, MO – June 20, 2019
3. [LSE] La Crosse, in La Crosse, WI – June 20, 2019
4. [MTO] Mattoon, in Mattoon/Charleston, IL – June 20, 2019
5. [BQM] Bowman, in Louisville, KY – Aug. 15, 2019
6. [CZQ] Clovis, in Fresno, CA – Aug. 15, 2019
7. [FRM] Fairmont, in Fairmont, MN – Aug. 15, 2019
8. [GRV] Grantsville, in Grantsville, MD – Aug. 15, 2019
9. [GTH] Guthrie, in Guthrie, TX – Aug. 15, 2019
10. [HUB] Hobby, in Houston, TX – Aug. 15, 2019
11. [IKK] Kankakee, in Kankakee, IL – Aug. 15, 2019
12. [ISQ] Schoolcraft County, in Manistique, MI – Aug. 15, 2019
13. [TPL] Temple, in Temple, TX – Aug. 15, 2019

These shutdowns are part of FAA’s Minimum Operational Network (MON) plan to decommission 311 (about 35%) of the existing VOR network by 2025, leaving some 585 VORs in operation. As of early June 2019, 42 VORs have been shut down.

You can review the latest update from the MON program office here (PDF) and find general information in AIM 1−1−3. VHF Omni−directional Range (VOR), paragraph f. The VOR Minimum Operational Network (MON).

More details about the FAAs plans are available at BruceAir: VOR Status–Another Update

A key part of the MON program is increasing the service volume of remaining VORs to 70 nm at 5000 AGL, as described in the program update.

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