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Flight Assistant Academy #3: The Flight Folders

13/03/2017

  Welcome to the third training session of the Flight Assistant Academy!

With the first session we saw the basics of Flight Assistant, in the second session we learnt how to create a flight plan, both on the web and with the mobile application.

In this session, we will see how to create and use a printable flight folder that you can generate with Flight Assistant.

Flight folders are not only a backup navigation log that you can print.
They are really built to increase your safety in flight with better fuel planning and to help you to comply with regulation (specifically the new PART-NCO rules for fuel planning).

They include as well en route TAFs & METARs and en route NOTAMs.

Creating your first flight folder

If you already know how to create a flight folder, you can jump directly to the section where we explain their content.

…with the mobile application

If you are using a tablet or a mobile phone, the access to create a flight folder will be marginally different, but after that, it is really the same thing.

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On tablet, click the “Flight Folder” button on the home page.

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On mobile, first “tap” “Flight Preparation”, and then “Flight Folder”.

The creation requires a few stages that must complete one after the other.

First, you need to define your flight.
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In zone A, the current plane (that you can change from the home page).

In zone B, the definition of your flight.
There are 3 types of flight that match the final fuel reserves defined by the PART-NCO:

  • a flight where you will always be in sight of your departure airfield. Typically for pattern practice
  • a circular flight, coming back to your departure airfield, but losing sight of it
  • a flight that is based on a navigation (possibly coming to your departure as well).

For the 2 later, PART-NCO strongly suggest that you account for an alternate arrival airfield.
We will be able to define this alternate AD in the interface.

As the final fuel reserve is as well impacted if you fly by night, you can define if it a daytime  or a nighttime flight.

As PART-NCO requires to account for the wind impact in fuel planning, you can use the slider (3) to select you planned take-off time.

In zone C you can set the fixed times that will be added to you fly time.
Though there are no strong controls here, PART-NCO requires that those times are set.

If you set zero as taxi time or approach time a warning in the flight folder will remind you that they both should be set.

The next stage is to define the plane loads including available fuel on board.
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Then you can check that your weight and balance is within the defined bounds for your plane and that maximum weights are not exceeded.
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In zone A, the CG graph where you can see how the CG evolves during the flight.
B contains the fuels planning details with fuel burnt per stage in the flight.
Finally C will contain any alarm or warning if something requires your attention.

You can now create your flight folder on the last tab.
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– 1: select the format of your flight folder (if you have an Advanced subscription, you are only allowed the “basic A5” format.
– 2: you can chose to include NOTAMs and TAFs and METARs in your flight folder.
– 3: click this button to generate your folder.

 

Creating a flight folder with the web application

The process to create a folder is very similar on the web.

Once logged into the flight preparation application at https://app.flightassistant.aero, click the “My flight folders” button at the bottom left of the page.
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You will then go thru the same stages that we have seen on mobile.

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First, you will define your flight, then you will enter or check plane loads and on board fuel in order to verify weight and balance and fuel planning.

The last stage lets you create your flight folder.

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Understanding the content of the Flight Assistant flight folders

There are a few different flight folder formats, but they do contain the same information:

  • a cover page summarising your request and as well highlighting the possible issues with your flight
  • a detailed navigation log
  • a detailed fuel planning matching the new PART-NCO regulatory requirements (see NCO.OP.125 section in this document from the EASA)
  • a weight and balance calculation including fuel consumption variations
  • en route TAFs & METARs (that you can chose to include or not)
  • en route NOTAMs (that you can chose to include or not)

The most important piece of information in the flight folder is probably the alarms and warnings (or list of …) about your flight (if there are any). Please pay attention to those alerts if there are any. They are clearly explained in the flight folder itself.

As the A4 landscape format is the most comprehensive, we will explain its content first.
Download this annotated example to understand the content of the A4 landscape format.

This extract of A5 detailed log highlights the differences with the A4 landscape format.

Another format available is the weight & balance only summary.
It is specifically designed to be used when you need to account for last minute changes just before a flight.

There is a last format that is “Excel friendly” and that you can use if you want to have your very own navigation log format (using formulas to pick data from the export).

Since version 2.5.1, we have made a new flight folder format available: the “foldable A4” format.
With clever page folding and cutting, it allows you to take advantage of the information normally displayed on an A4 log, but still fitting on an A5 kneeboard.

More details on the dedicated page for this format.

We have now seen how to create and how to read a Flight Assistant flight folder.

With their PART-NCO compliant fuel planning the Flight Assistant flight folders will help you to be compliant with the regulation, but more importantly they will help you to make sure your fuel planning is right.