SkyDemon Mobile Documentation: Flying a Route
When you are ready to go flying, just create a route using the instructions in the previous section, or open a previously saved route. To do this on your Mobile MD open up the menu then Choose Route View and Open. Select the route you'd like to use from the list and tap Open again. Then tap Back to return to the main map where your selected route will now be displayed. On the iPad tap the Route menu, then Open, or Open from Cloud.
Start your device a couple of minutes before you leave to give the GPS a chance to acquire a fix if necessary.
SkyDemon looks for the route segment closest to your position and assumes it's the one you are navigating, highlighting it with a white line down the middle, and displays several cues to help you get to your next waypoint. The name of the next waypoint is always shown at the top of the Mobile MD screen, e.g. "Next: Sheffield City". When the next waypoint indicated is an airfield you can touch this heading to bring up the dynamic airfield plate.
Instead of seeing the next waypoint, iPad users can see their current position report at the top of the screen.
If you are using the direction indicator instrument (the large compass rose at the bottom of the main map) you will see that a purple bug attaches itself to the outside of the rose, marking the course you must fly to reach your next waypoint. Simply fly so that the bug is aligned with the marker at the top, and you'll get there. If you are not using the full direction indicator rose then a course correction figure is displayed in its place, which just tells you to turn left or right by a specified number of degrees to maintain your course.
iPad users will find that they can toggle between the Direction Indicator and a small course correction indicator simply by touching on that part of the screen. In addition users can pull out the DI from the bottom of the map turning it into the HSI/ILS which can be moved around and adjusted as desired for improved situational awareness.
The DST NXT instrument shows the distance to either the next waypoint or the end of your route. Touch the instrument to cycle between these two display modes. The distance units can be configured in the Change Units screen under the Settings menu.
The ETA NXT instrument shows either the ETA at or the ETE to your next waypoint or to the end of your route. Touch the instrument to cycle between these four display modes. Estimated Time of Arrival shows the real time in hours and minutes at which you'll arrive (zulu or local depending upon setup), and Estimated Time Enroute shows the length of time in hours and minutes before you arrive. If the time is 12:20, you are doing 120kt and there are 20 miles to your next waypoint, your ETA will be 12:30 and your ETE will be 00:10.
The Moving Map
The SkyDemon chart follows the position of the aircraft, aligning itself so that most of the map covers the path ahead of you. When you drag the map around to explore it, it will revert to following the aircraft when you have left it alone for 20 seconds. You will notice that once you have moved the map around so that the aircraft itself is no longer visible, there is a yellow arrow pointing to it showing its distance away from the edge of the map. You can touch this arrow to force the map to immediately revert to following the aircraft position.
TIP: You can stop the chart from following the aircraft position by selecting Follow Position from the Chart menu. If a green bar is displayed then the map will revert back to your aircraft position after a few seconds. If there is no green bar then the map will remain in whichever location you choose. iPad users can simply toggle On/Off.
The orientation of the chart can be changed so that north is always up (the default), track is always up (so the map rotates as you turn) or your course is always up (so the map rotates for each leg of your journey). To change the orientation, open the Chart menu then the Orientation menu and select your preference. iPad users can also press and hold the orange north indicator in the top right-hand corner of the screen to select their preferred map orientation when in Go Flying mode.
SkyDemon can give you a plain-English position report at any time. To obtain it, simply touch the aircraft symbol on your Mobile MD. The nearest significant waypoint to your current position is found and an 8-point compass bearing from it is taken and shown onscreen. This is very useful when asked to provide such information by ATC as you would otherwise not have it to hand. This information is always displayed at the top of the map on the iPad and gives quick access to the Live Pilot Log when tapped.
The position report on the iPad will show nearby waypoints such as airfields when switched to VFR mode, while in ATS Routes mode the position report will indicate the nearest significant airways reporting point or navigation aid.
Live Pilot Log
The Route View, which you have used previously to plan routes on your Mobile MD device using the keyboard, changes its appearance slightly once you are in flight. It becomes a live pilot log, showing your progress through each leg of your journey, when you arrived at each waypoint you have passed and when you will arrive at each waypoint you have yet to reach.
When you open the Route View while in flight you will see your list of waypoints but without the buttons for editing the route. You can switch back into editing mode if you wish by pressing the Edit button.
TIP: Remember that the waypoints in this window can be touched to reveal more information. If you therefore need to look up a frequency for an airfield or radio aid later on in your journey just go to the route view and touch it.
The leg you are currently navigating is highlighted in green, with a progress bar in the background showing your progress along the leg.
As previously mentioned, iPad users can access the Live Pilot Log by tapping on the position report at the top of the screen or via the main menu. Android users can access their static Pilot Log in this way.
Dynamic Airfield Plates
SkyDemon charts have a wealth of information not normally displayed on the map while flying, including detailed plates for many airfields. To show the plate for an airfield, bring up the map context menu by pressing and holding your finger over the airfield, select it from the list then press View Plate or View Approach Info on the iPad. The plate contains much of the information you need to make a visual approach to any field.
TIP: You can also access airfield plates by touching the airfield name where it appears in the Route View on the Mobile MD or from the Live Pilot Log on the iPad.
The airfield plate shows a detailed map of the runway layout, depicting location, orientation, surface and dimensions (where available). Overlaid on the map is an aircraft symbol or an arrow pointing towards the aircraft location. This map, which also includes radio navigation aids that are situated at the airfield, can be dragged around and zoomed just like the main map. You can also touch the runway identifiers to display the landing circuits of each runway.
Use the Pg Dn and Pg Up buttons to move between pages of the plate. The first page is always a map and subsequent pages include textual information, such as sunrise and sunset time, where it is available.
SkyDemon includes a Direct To functionality to help you quickly replace your route with one from your current position straight to an airfield of your choice. Before using this, you should first configure the feature in Preferences under the Navigation section by indicating the minimum length of runway that is acceptable to you in a diversion. To configure these preferences on the iPad or Android tap Setup and Navigation Options.
To activate Direct To, open the Flight menu and select Direct To. A list of nearby airfields is shown whose longest runway is at least the length you have configured. The information includes the airfield name, longest runway length, surface type and a rough bearing to the airfield from your current position. The colour of the airfield indicates ownership (red for military, blue for civilian and green for private).
If you would like to fly direct to an airfield or waypoint that's not included in the list you can use the 'Find' button to specify a different point. You can type the name of the airfield or waypoint, the ICAO identifier, the OS grid reference, or even a postcode and SkyDemon will produce a list showing that point and any nearby airfields and waypoints. Those with SkyDemon Mobile can even use raw lat/long coordinates to find a waypoint, although this feature is not available to iPad users.
TIP: You can also trigger the Direct To screen on your Mobile MD by double-tapping the SkyDemon button or swiping your finger to the right along the Virtual Radar instrument. iPad users can quickly access the Direct To list by pressing and holding on the main SkyDemon icon. It's a good idea to become familiar with doing this in case you ever need to do so in an urgent situation.
Selecting an airfield from the Direct To list that already makes up part of your route has the effect of routing direct to that waypoint, but does not affect the remaining route extending beyond that point. In this case the function serves as a shortcut. iPad and Android users can quickly locate and shortcurt to one of the waypoints along their route by tapping Direct To, then using the Turning Points list.
The other way to route direct to a waypoint that is not part of your route is to press and hold that point on the map, then select the airfield from the menu and choose 'Route Direct'. This will remove your previous route from the map and plot a course direct to your chosen waypoint.
Adjusting your Route In Flight
When you're in flight you'll find that it's no longer possible to adjust your route by simply dragging your magenta line to create a new waypoint. The iPad screen itself is fairly sensitive and can be easily knocked when you're flying, and so to avoid making accidental adjustments to your route the function is disabled. Instead you can adjust your route line by pressing and holding on the map to bring up the context menu. Just choose the waypoint from the menu, and select 'Append to Route' or 'Insert between Waypoints'. To remove a waypoint in the same way, just press and hold on the one you want to delete and tap the red 'Remove Waypoint' button at the top of the window.
You may have plotted your route in order to skirt around a piece of airspace for which you may or may not have permission to transit, and so it may be necessary (or preferable) to adjust your route in flight after obtaining clearance to enter that airspace. In this instance you can use the Direct To feature (above) to create a shortcut to a waypoint further along your route, provided that this next waypoint is a known waypoint within the SkyDemon database. Known waypoints contain a green dot, whereas unknown points along your route have a white dot (see image).
Nearby Air Traffic Services (or "Who you gonna call?")
You can bring up a page showing everybody that you can talk to on the radio based on your current position. To do this, bring up the Briefing menu (or the main menu on the iPad) and choose Nearby Air Traffic Services. The list of nearby air traffic services is usually quite a long one (available data varies by country) and is divided into the following sections:
Journey Logging and Statistics
SkyDemon automatically keeps a log of every flight you undertake. These logs are stored permanently in the device memory and they are available for detailed inspection from a PC running SkyDemon Plan, and you can also view the statistics for any completed journey (but not its breadcrumb trail) on the device itself.
To view journey statistics on the device, open the Flight menu and choose Journey Logs. You'll see a list of all flights you have taken along with the date of the flight and the size of the file. Touch one to highlight it then press the Load button to load the log and view its statistics. On the iPad tap the Logs button on the toolbar in Planning mode then select the log you'd like to view.
TIP: You can also permanently delete logs by touching one then pressing Delete. This is done on the iPad by swiping your finger across the box you wish to delete in the Logs menu.
As you fly, you will see a breadcrumb trail stretching out behind you for the current flight. This can be hidden from the Flight menu if you do not want to see it. The breadcrumb trail will stay onscreen after you've landed, until your next flight begins or until the device is powered off.
SkyDemon will normally start to log your flight when you reach 30 knots, however if you'd prefer to start logging from engine on, for example, you can use the manual logging function. You will find the Start/Stop Logging feature in the main menu, by tapping the blue SkyDemon icon on your iPad. On your Mobile MD open the menu and select Flight then Start/Stop Logging.
iPad users also have the option to send a saved log via email, which can be imported into SkyDemon Plan on the PC for further analysis, or to be saved with other journey logs if required.
Your logs can also be backed up to the Cloud from your iPad, Android or PC. You'll find the Cloud button in the Logs library on your iPad/Android and your options for backing up and loading to the Cloud from the PC are found in the Analysis menu on the SkyDemon Plan toolbar.