SkyDemon Plan Documentation: The Print Centre
The Print Centre is designed to facilitate getting as much of SkyDemon's comprehensive briefing data onto the printed page as possible, so that when you fly you can take as much of it with you for reference as you like. To open the Print Centre, press the Print button on the toolbar. You'll see a list of buttons at the top to switch between the different types of print output, all of which are explained below.
The SkyDemon iPad app does not have a separate Print Centre button, but there are options to print NOTAM, TAF and METAR briefings, as well as Weight and Balance calculations, airfield plates and the Pilot Log. Just look for the print button (a square icon with an arrow) at the top of each individual window for your printing options.
NOTE: If you do not have an AirPrint printer configured with your iPad it is still possible to share routes using the Cloud Storage facility, so that the files can be opened in SkyDemon Plan on a PC with a connected printer. You can also email the Pilot Log directly from the iPad.
When using SkyDemon Plan on the PC use the Page Setup button to specify the paper size that is loaded into your printer, and to customise the margins where required. This will update the preview displayed. Use the Orientation button to flip between portrait and landscape; the type of output you specify will automatically choose the orientation it thinks is most appropriate when you select it.
Use the Two Per Page button to fit two half-sized sheets onto one full sheet. Most printers are standard A4 so you can press this to print two A5-sized sheets onto one piece of A4 paper. This is very handy for certain types of output like plates, weather brief and NOTAM brief.
Use the Next Page and Last Page buttons to scroll through the output pages in the preview.
Producing a PLOG
A PLOG is designed to give you a quick list of your waypoints and route legs, with every piece of information available to help you fly the route safely. Its output includes the headings to fly, the effective wind for each leg (as obtained from forecasts) and resulting groundspeeds and timings. In fact if you have ever produced a paper PLOG of your own, it's likely that the SkyDemon PLOG will cover the same things (and more), only without you needing to calculate everything manually.
An example PLOG is shown on the right. Colour and typeface variations are designed to highlight types of waypoint and important information. Note that the minimum safe altitude is always shown for a leg alongside the planned level.
Below the list of waypoints and legs are columns containing the enroute ATS services that SkyDemon has determined you might need to use, with their callsigns and frequencies, in roughly the order you'll need them. Next to this is a column of enroute radio navigation aids which you might find helpful enroute, with their frequencies and identifiers (including morse code).
Customising the PLOG
There are many customisations that can be applied to a PLOG; to access these, press the Settings button and refer to the Pilot Log page, or simply press Settings at the top of the Pilot Log when using the iPad.
In the Waypoints section you can choose to display rnav vectors, which adds rnav information to each waypoint in your route for easy entry into an rnav system before flight. You can choose to display magnetic track, which by default is hidden. You can choose not to display output from the wind calculations, leaving you to perform these calculations manually on the day of the flight. You can turn off the ETA and ATA columns if they are not required. You can choose to populate the ETA column, which will fill it with the ETAs as calculated from the date and time of the flight that you have specified. You can choose to show the estimated fuel remaining at the end of each leg, to facilitate a quick cross-reference with an onboard system indicating fuel remaining.
In the Frequencies section there are options to control how the list of frequencies (both ATS and radio navaid) is generated. These are mainly self-explanatory. The option to eliminate redundant radio services will analyse your path through the coverage of enroute radio services (such as LARS in the UK) and eliminate those that fall entirely under the coverage of another service, to save space in the printed output.
It is also possible to save your PLOG on the PC in HTML format to view online, or in CSV format if you would like to make any additions or edit the information contained in the PLOG using Excel. This can be done using the Save HTML and Save CSV buttons on the Print Centre toolbar. iPad users can email the PLOG, which is sent in both HTML and CSV format for further editing or printing on the PC if necessary.
Clicking the Enroute Charts button produces print output of the SkyDemon charts all along your route, so that you can refer to them in flight. The charts will appear just as they do in the main map, albeit at a different zoom level. These charts should be everything you need to fly and navigate a route, though we always suggest you also take the official printed chart as these contain more information, should you choose to divert.
If your route is long enough to require at least four pages of output, an additional index page is generated after the route pages. This index page shows your entire route, with sections highlighted to show the scope of each printed page.
To change the approximate scale of the enroute charts output, click the Settings button and switch to the Enroute Charts page. You can set the map scale anywhere between 1:100,000 (very large scale) and 1:1,500,000 (very small scale). Experiment with this to determine the map scale you are most comfortable with. You can also set the threshold at which an index page is generated.
Note: You can print the main map as it appears onscreen at any time by right-clicking on it and choosing Print Current Chart. The scale will be adjusted if necessary to fit everything onscreen on to the printed page.
It is not currently possible to print enroute charts directly from the iPad.
Clicking the Airfield Plates button produces printed SkyDemon plates for your takeoff and landing aerodromes, and your alternate if selected. These are handy to have when it's time to make an approach as they contain frequencies, runway information and location information.
iPad users are also able to access SkyDemon Airfield Approach information by touching and holding the screen over the airfield they would like to view and selecting 'Information' from the menu. You will see all the runway information you might need as well as useful frequencies and some general information, a map, airfield plates and more. Touching on either of the runway identifiers on the map will cause the circuit pattern to appear. When in Navigation mode your aircraft icon will be shown on the approach plates giving you a good idea of your position during the landing process. It is important to note that the circuits are not to scale and are designed to indicate direction and orientation only.
It is not possible to print airfield information directly from the iPad
PC and iPad users can also print Airfield Plates and other documents in the Plates window, although these are not included in the Print Centre print output. To download the plates you would like to view, open the Airfield Plates window and double click on the relevant plates or textual information for your chosen airfields. You will see that these are displayed in PDF format and can be printed directly.
To access the Airfield Plates on the iPad simply tap the Plates tab to the right of the screen and SkyDemon will generate a list of all the available VFR and IFR plates and information available. A downloaded plate will be highlighted in green, indicating that it is now accessible offline. These plates can be printed direct from an iPad to an AirPrint printer using the print button in the top right-hand corner of the plate. You will also see the option to email a plate in this menu.
Clicking on the Virtual Radar button within the print centre on the PC produces the print output for the enroute features window. This window contains a side-on view of your entire route which includes terrain, airspace, airfields, obstructions and other features of interest. Many customers like to take the print output of this window along with them to follow along as they fly a route.
Output from the Virtual Radar printing function will appear in the same way as the enroute features window, so use the TAF, METAR and Wind buttons on the weather toolbar to choose whether these are drawn alongside your route.
The scale of the enroute features printout is set in the same way as that of the enroute charts: click on Settings, switch to the Enroute Charts page and use the slider to set the scale.
Weather and NOTAM Brief
The Weather Brief print output simply shows all TAF and METAR obtained along your route, complete with headings and weather icons. The NOTAM Brief print output shows exactly the same data as the narrow route brief shown in the NOTAM Briefing window. Look for the print button at the top of the individual TAF, METAR and NOTAM tabs on the iPad.
Weight and Balance
It is possible to print Weight and Balance calculations from the PC and iPad, showing a list of loading points weights and lever arms at the top of the page, with a graph of the acceptable loading envelope underneath.
In SkyDemon Plan on the PC the Weight and Balance print output can be found in the Print Centre. iPad users should open up the Flight Details window and tap the Weight and Balance option to specify fuel amounts, set up their loading point weights and select printing options.