Thursday, April 24, 2014

TEDx Aviation Introduction

A few weeks ago, I was selected to speak at my school's TEDx Youth conference. I got help from my good friend Connor Lifson, director at Broken Slate Productions, to create an introduction video for my talk. The best way to show people what flying is like, is to show them. It's something that words alone cannot describe. 

The video shows what I do in aviation today, how I got started, and what some of my goals are for the future. In this light, I hope the video will inspire aspiring pilots to take their passion to the next level. 

"I Started My Career At 15. It's Already Been An Amazing Ride" is the title of the video, which can also be accessed through this link: click here

The video of my actual TED Talk will be on YouTube shortly; I'll make sure to give you guys an update when it is! 

Thanks for watching,
-Swayne Martin 
Twitter: @MartinsAviation

Thursday, April 10, 2014

An iPad For The Cockpit

General aviation pilots have experienced a great revolution over the past years, one that will only expand in the future. For many, gone are the days of plotting upon paper sectionals, and having to order current issue charts and directories multiple times per year. Enter the iPad. 

The iPad and its associated apps, if used correctly, can greatly lessen your workload, allowing you to quickly and efficiently do things in seconds that would normally take much longer. I've been using Foreflight and CloudAhoy on my iPhone for a few months now, and am really excited to give them a try from the much larger iPad. It's honestly been like a second pilot's Christmas over here for me. With money coming in from my new work position, I'll able to fly once per week and afford some cool things for the cockpit. 

So how will I fly with the iPad? I have a three-tier system for flight management in case of equipment failure, batteries running out, etc. 
  1. The iPad: the primary data collecting, management, and GPS device
  2. The iPhone 5S: a backup for when and if the iPad fails (I have the same apps on each device)
  3. Old school sectional charts and AF/Ds: even if not 100% current, you should always have paper copies of the sectional maps and AF/D for your area. In the event of an electronic failure, they're great backups!

Over the next few weeks, I plan on delving into individual product reviews for the iPad and its associated accessories. Until then, here are a few pictures of what's ahead and what's new in my pilot bag! 

One important purchase choice I made was to buy an iPro Aviator Kneeboard for the iPad vs. a suction cup mount, which people often mount on the windscreen (both methods are shown below). The mounting of an iPad in the cockpit creates a dangerous blind spot, so I opted for the kneeboard. 

I'm headed out for a flight on Saturday in N9525V, and will be using my iPad (with accessories) for the first time. It will take a lot of setting up and getting used to, but I'm sure it will all get easier!

Thanks for reading,
-Swayne Martin 
Twitter: @MartinsAviation

P.S. Sorry about the lack of posts recently, Junior year has been crazy-busy. It only gets worse as AP Exams, SATs, ACTs, and more tests come in the coming weeks.