Newsletter - May 20th, 2013|
More about FltPlan.com's PDC Delivery Service
In our last FltBrief we announced that FltPlan.com now offers PDCs for Jet & Turbo Props that are NOT equipped with a datalink box on board their aircraft.
Pre-Departure Clearances (PDCs) are text clearances issued for an IFR flight plan. They are available at 70 airports throughout the U.S.
The PDC will include:
Your Filed Route
Any amendments to your route
Your Cleared Altitude
Your Transponder Code
Your Departure Frequency
Any Special Instructions
Your PDC is equivalent to receiving a verbal clearance from Clearance Delivery. Unlike our Planned ATC Routes, the PDC is your ATC Clearance.
ATC generates the PDC approximately 25 to 30 minutes prior to the filed departure time. The PDC will then be forwarded to FltPlan.com. Once received, a PDC Available message will automatically be displayed on your Active Flight Plan List. The PDC can also be distributed to the Pilot and Co-Pilot via email addresses or text messages, as setup in your User/Pilot Info section. In order to receive your PDC clearance by email or text message, you MUST file the flight plan through FltPlan.com.
Please don't confuse a Planned ATC Route (already available through text message and on the web) with a PDC. The Planned ATC Route is what ATC is planning for your flight, but it is not your actual clearance.
Here are a few important reminders about the PDC program:
Once activated, PDC use will be required at all airports where they are available. (Please reference the list online.)
It is the responsibility of the person who enrolled in the PDC program to notify ALL pilots that are filing flight plans for this particular N# that it has been enrolled in the PDC program and is required to be used.
The flight plan for this aircraft MUST be filed with FltPlan.com in order to receive the PDC.
To help you out, we have also added an alert to NavLogs for flight plans departing a PDC airport with PDC enrolled aircraft.
For more information or to sign up for PDC notification through FltPlan.com, please Click here.
New Edition Charts Available at FltPlan.com's Chart Store
If you're using paper charts for your flight operations, FltPlan.com can meet your needs and save you money. Check out our Chart Store at http://store.FltPlan.com for 20% off all FAA paper aeronautical products. Now's a great time to order, since the following charts have been replaced by new editions:
All Airport/ Facility Directories
All Terminal Procedures/ Approach Plates
All High Altitude Enroute Charts
All Low Altitude Enroute Charts
Please visit http://store.FltPlan.com to view our inventory and complete your order online. Please note that recurring subscriptions are also available to all of our products. Subscriptions apply to our paper charts only. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please call us at 203-262-9200 or email us at Store@FltPlan.com.
MEDEVAC Replaces Lifeguard in ICAO 2012
The 'Lifeguard' designation (LN) is already a thing of the past in other parts of the world. While we in the U.S. are still transitioning to ICAO format flight plans, other countries require compliance. When flying to Canada, for instance, all civilian air ambulance flights are required to file as STS/MEDEVAC in Item 18 of their flight plan. Lifeguard (LN) is simply not recognized in Canada. However, there is a benefit: When Canadian ATC computers note the term STS/MEDEVAC in your flight plan, a red cross is displayed on the controller's radar screen providing priority for your flight.
Because of the priority afforded air ambulance flights in the ATC system, extreme discretion is necessary when using the term 'MEDEVAC'. It is only intended for those missions of an urgent medical nature and should be utilized only for that portion of the flight requiring expeditious handling. 'HOSP' flights will receive priority handling only when specifically requested. When communicating with ATC, use the call sign 'MEDEVAC', followed by the aircraft registration numbers or call sign (e.g. "Oakland Center, MEDEVAC N1234A, level at 350" or "Denver Ground, MEDEVAC FLYFAST123, ready to taxi").
FltPlan.com makes it easy to use the new 'MEDEVAC' designation. Just go to the Default Settings page (bottom left side of the Main Menu page) and select the appropriate STS/ Indicators as an option. You can then select the categories you wish, such as 'MEDEVAC' (a flight for a life critical emergency evacuation) and 'HOSP' (a medical flight declared by medical authorities). These two items will then appear as an option to select when creating a flight plan.
You should also remove any LN profiles in the Edit Aircraft section (bottom left side of Main Menu), and use the registration number when creating the flight plan. On the page that you enter your Altitude, ETD, Route etc., just select 'MEDEVAC' in the STS/ section when appropriate.
For U.S. air ambulance companies this has been a painful transition with communication with U.S. controllers. But the bottom line is:
File STS/MEDEVAC in item 18
Call yourself MEDEVAC (and not Lifeguard) in front of your tail number or call sign
Hold your ground with communications with ATC. You are a MEDEVAC flight and not a Lifeguard flight.
Check out FltPlan.com's New Sectionals
We're excited about our new, improved online/offline sectionals. In fact, we think they're the best available. These new sectionals offer the ability to toggle TAC charts on and off, and include options such as Weather Radar, Airspace and TFRs, State Outlines, Airports, Victor Airways, and Jet Airways. Another great feature is that they work on a large size screen, so you can really plan your long range flights. To view sectionals, click on the Charts and Maps link on the log-in page, the left side of the Main Menu page, or directly on your NavLog.
Our latest Android App feature: Pressure & Density Altitude Calculator
The newest addition to our FltPlan.com Android App is the Pressure Altitude and Density Altitude Calculator. This is an easy to use, professional grade tool for all pilots who need accurate information when calculating Pressure and/or Density altitude.
Our calculator offers a multitude of options and features:
You can enter an altitude in feet or meters, a pressure in inHg or millibars, and a temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius.
In addition, you can enter in an Airport ID in the altitude text field. This will automatically populate with the appropriate altitude. For example, typing in "ASE" will provide an altitude for KASE (7838 ft). You can view this in feet or meters.
This Tool will display ISA for the altitude entered and the ISA deviation for the actual temperature entered.
Can be used online or offline
We also provide a quick link to view the weather for that airport. Once you type in an Airport ID, a "View Wx" button will appear. Selecting this button will allow you to quickly view the weather for the airport.
After several uses, you'll soon find this an indispensible part of your flights.
You can find this new feature in the Tools section of the Android App.
This feature will also be available in the near future on our iPad and Blackberry Apps.
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