Tag Archives: Flight planning

583 Flight Planning with SkyVector

We talk about flight planning with the founder and CEO of SkyVector. In the news, we look at transferring funding for light attack planes to the U.S. Special Operations Command, the Aircraft Noise Reduction Act, Boeing’s Board of Directors’ decision to pause 737 MAX production, and Alaska Airlines ugly holiday sweater promotion. We also have the Australia News Desk from the boys down under.


David Graves, founder and CEO of the SkyVector flight planning system.

David Graves, founder and CEO of the SkyVector flight planning system.

David Graves is the founder and CEO of SkyVector, which provides worldwide aeronautical charts, online mapping, and related flight planning products and services. The company combines its aeronautical mapping capability with weather and data overlays, airport information, FBO listings, and more.

In 2003, David was working as a programmer for a Seattle startup. He took an introductory flight with a small flight school at Boeing Field and his first solo came after 4 months and 20 hours. He earned his private pilot’s license about a year later.

SkyVector.com flight planning went on-line in the fall of 2006 and by the end of 2009, it was experiencing over 100,000 unique users a month.  In 2010, David quit his job to work on SkyVector full-time. The World VFR and World IFR charts went live in 2012. Flight Plan filing went live in 2015, and at the end of the decade, SkyVector is being visited by over 550,000 unique users per month.

David explains some of the discriminators of flight planning services, the SkyVector user interface, and interaction with other flight planning products. We discuss data sources and improvements in accuracy and learn about the Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) project which utilizes an automated system that integrates data from multiple radars and other sources to generate seamless, high spatio-temporal resolution mosaics. (Be sure to see the Operational Product Viewer.)

We touch on the SkyVector map layer with unmanned aircraft Notams (or “Drotams”), compare the new electronic flight planning tools with the “old” paper and pencil methods, and look at future flight planning developments.

Aviation News

Congress may have given the Air Force an exit door for the light attack aircraft program

Congress wants the Air Force to consider transferring some funding allocated for light attack planes to U.S. Special Operations Command.

Congressman Neguse introduces Aircraft Noise Reduction Act

U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse representing the 2nd District of Colorado has introduced legislation that would give local general aviation airports the power to set noise restrictions. Currently, airports must get approval from the FAA if they want to establish curfews or other noise-based restrictions on flight operations. See also, Congressman Neguse Introduces Legislation to Expand Local Control of Airports in Northern Colorado

Boeing will halt 737 production in January, following two fatal MAX crashes

At the Boeing Board of Directors meeting on December 16, 2019, a decision was made to pause 737 MAX commercial production in January 2020. Boeing will not lay off any employees during the production halt. See also, Halt or Curb 737 Max Production? Boeing Faces Difficult Decision.

Ugly sweater time! Alaska Airlines to give priority boarding to people in holiday gear

December 20, 2019, is National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. It’s celebrated on the third Friday of December each year. Sometimes it’s called National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day, or simply National Ugly Sweater Day. In any event, Alaska Airlines has a promotion and passengers wearing a holiday sweater on December 20 will be allowed to board early.

Australia News Desk

Steve Visscher and Grant McHerron bring us a news report from the Australia Desk.


From Jon Ostrower’s The Air Current: Pilot procedure confusion adds new complication to Boeing 737 Max return

‘World’s first’ fully-electric commercial flight takes off

Uber Air & NASA Launch Airspace Simulation To Enable eVTOL Future

Video: Uber Air

Top Gun: Maverick trailers

Voice of NBAA Podcasts Pete Combs Heads West

Episode 210 – Flight Planning


John Burnside and Andy Matthews, two of the four co-founders from iFlightPlanner, join us to talk about flight planning and the software they supply.

John is the Director of Technology and brings computer engineering and custom web application development experience. Andy is a pilot, Director of Business Development at iFlightPlanner, and also happens to be a professional golfer.

iFlightPlanner was formed in 2009 by Andy, John, and their fathers after Andy earned his private pilot’s license. In the process of planning for a flight to do some sight-seeing with his dad Jerry, Andy found it necessary to visit multiple aviation-related websites to gather weather information, plan their route, retrieve a certified weather brief, compute weight and balance, and file their flight plan with the FAA. Jerry noticed the amount of time Andy spent to plan for their flight and suggested there needed to be a simpler and more intuitive way for pilots to complete these critical pre-flight tasks. Andy contacted his college roommate John, founder of Huron One Solutions, and together they laid the foundation for what is now iFlightPlanner.com, mobile.iFlightPlanner.com, and iFlightPlanner for iPad. Find them on Twitter as @iFlightPlanner.

Gavin Werbeloff, the Travel­_Buddha is guest co-host.

If you haven’t yet, consider taking our straw poll on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme at http://strawpoll.me/2169.

Gavin Werbeloff and the GE90

Gavin Werbeloff and the GE90

The week’s aviation news:

In this week’s Australia Desk report:

Air New Zealand subsidiary TAE opens engine maintenance shops in Adelaide & Brisbane, Qantas reports a statutory financial loss but Allan Joyce says the reduction in staff numbers by 2,800 will help return the airline to profit, Qantas also going head to head with the Australian Taxation Office over goods & services tax issues, University of Sydney research shows that big is not always better for airline operations, Qantas A380 flight delayed at LAX after two first class passengers are offloaded over a dispute involving pyjamas….yes, you heard right!….RAAF KC30A tankers operational in Exercise Pitch Black, billionaire businessman Clive Palmer wants A380 services operating to the Gold Coast in Queensland so he can bring more tourists to his resorts and other attractions there.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

Hawker Hurricane

From the recent Test Pilot Reunion at Popham Airfield where they had a Hawker Hurrican visit. Photo Courtesy Peter Holman.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

We return to Popham Airfield in the beautiful Hampshire Countryside to talk to Dick Richardson two years on. We wanted to find out how this GA airfield had done in the past few years and what effect the dreadful UK summer has had on business as well as the nearby Olympics exclusion zone. Dick tells us his thoughts about general aviation and gives an insight into where the airfield might go next. With his retirement due next year, when he will be 76 years old, who will take on the challenge of keeping this great little airfield operating and available all year round. Please support the airfield (or your local airfield) by visiting if you can, preferably by air.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on his blog Alpha Tango Papa, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.

Episode 129 – David the AirlineReporter

Dan's Lego 737

David Parker Brown, the owner/founder of AirlineReporter.com, joins the Geeks to talk about the week’s aviation news, look back on 2010, and predict the aviation future for 2011. Follow David on Twitter as @AirlineReporter.

David Vanderhoof has his This Week in Aviation history segment, and Pieter Johnson provides an Across the Pond installment. We also answer some questions asked by faithful listener Micah on business jets, fighter airplanes, A320 and 737 variants, and the geared turbofan engine.

The week’s aviation news:


Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter and on Facebook, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave a message on our listener line: (361) GEEKS01.

Post photo: Dan builds a Lego 737 while we record the podcast.

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.