The Failed Modbook Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) Experiment. John Ewing’s latest attempt to create an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) by converting his Macbook into a Modbook (as recently mentioned on this blog) has failed after a few weeks due to a “jumping” cursor problem. This is apparently a common problem with such conversions and is certainly not a good problem to have while flying! Hence, he is going back to the drawing board. Since the latest news is that the Mac tablet may not be ready until early 2010, John is now considering an inexpensive Windoze tablet computer like an Asus T91, a refurbished Lenovo X61 or a Kindle DX for an EFB.
Tubular Clouds. On a somewhat random but interesting note, Wired Science has posted a brief article about the mysterious tubular clouds known as Morning Glory clouds. These clouds appear every fall over over remote Burketown in Queensland, Australia and they can grow to be 600 miles long and move up to 35 miles per hour which can cause problems for aircraft even on windless days. Every year apparently, a few tourist and pilots visit the region specifically for the purposes of “cloud surfing” these clouds.
Daring Helicopter Landing Rescue. On another interesting note, the AOPA Pilot Blog has posted a link to a story complete with some videos about an amazing series of landings on a VERY narrow and very high rock pinnacle by a Utah rescue pilot. Apparently for the pilot who is also a former Navy pilot, the landings were among the SAFER missions he has performed during his long flying career…
Max Trescott’s GPS Survey Results. For GPS users, Max Trescott has released the results of a survey of roughly 100 pilots about using GPS devices and to no one’s surprise, more than half of all respondents said they have difficulty in getting their GPS device to do what they want it to do. The survey also revealed that Garmin units were the most common GPS device used by respondents and the 496 was #1. In addition, Max has also come out with a series of GPS guides for iPhone users and each guide is US$29.95 billed to your iTunes account. Hence, and if you are like half of the pilots in his survey who have problems using your GPS device, these guides might be worth checking out.
Blame it on…. British Beer. And finally on both an amusing and a not so amusing note, an American pilot preparing to fly a Boeing 777 while twice above the legal alcohol limit is blaming his intoxication on the strong British beer he was not accustomed to. He could have been jailed for two years but instead the judge let him off with just a fine of of £1,500 with £300 in costs. So if there are any non-British pilots reading this who are planning a trip to Britain: Just remember, some British beer might be three times stronger than what you are accustomed to drinking and don’t even ask about the whiskey!