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Testimonials to SkyRadar

Are you a SkyRadar user?  Please provide us with This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it on what you like about the SkyRadar Application and/or ADS-B Receiver and what we can do to make it even better.

Dec 2010 Greg Kress PDF Print E-mail

Hello, this is Greg Kress reporting on the use of my new Skyradar receiver and software.  I am an aeronautical engineer, private pilot, and aviation been my life for over 30 years.

First of all, I want to thank you for the free return next day shipping to exchange my receiver.  Sorry that it ended up just being the power cord, but I appreciate the “next day” return shipment.  I would like to take a few minutes to provide some feedback on the use of the equipment.

I would like to mention that I use my C172 primarily for business to commute between Atlanta, GA and Pensacola, FL.  With my frequent business trips in the Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, and annual flights to Oshkosh and Sun-N-Fun, I log between 200 and 250 hours a year.  I consider myself a wise and knowledgeable pilot, I easily resist the “get home-it is” urge to fly in bad weather, but I do fly in less than desirable weather by using preflight weather reports, in-air Flight Following, and am in constant communication with air traffic controllers and FSS who have always been excellent in providing guidance on the current weather.  However, flying at night makes it nearly impossible to see and avoid rain, and even in the day certain conditions make it very difficult to fly safely.

I have always resisted subscribing to XM weather, since it would require that I upgrade my yoke-mount GPS, in addition to the expense of the $34.99 to $54.99 monthly subscription.  Many of my pilot friends who annually fly much less than I do, and seldom ever in less than desirable weather, who are XM subscribers have been telling me or years that if anyone should be willing to pay for XM Weather, it would be me.  As a matter of principle and owing to my pilot skills, I have resisted an in-cockpit weather service.

At Oskosh 2010, I decided that I would breakdown and finally purchase something that would allow me to receive weather updates in the cockpit. I was shopping for an XM capable GPS, when someone told me about ADS-B and directed me to your booth.  You may not remember, but after hearing your presentation, I went to find a pilot friend of mine, who is also pilot for a major Atlanta-based airlines, and own and flies has a Twin Comanche.  He is a very skeptical consumer, so I asked him to return with me to your booth and convince me why I shouldn’t buy your system, despite how good you made it sound.  His exact words were, “This equipment is amazing and will put XM out of business within 5 years.”

You convinced him, so I made the purchase.  It has been a few months since Oshkosh, but the receiver finally showed up via FedEx, and I purchased my iPad.  Last night was my first flight with the receiver and iPad fully operational.  I was flying from Pensacola back to Atlanta with a co-worker of mine.   By the time we reached 1000’ AGL we noticed the WAAS indication, time since the last NEXRAD download indication, and the FIS-B indication popped up on the screen.  Before we realized it, there METAR circles showing up everywhere.  We quickly discovered that the co-located blue dots meant that wind information was available at those locations.  We were almost hoping that there was some bad weather out there so we could see some good NEXRAD displays showing up, but the skies were clear for the entire flight.  We were not receiving any TIS-B traffic because I believe that the FAA has not implement this broadcast in our flight area.  We worked with the system for the entire 2 hour flight.

Our only wish, would be that the Skyradar software have FAA sectional overlay.  Although the surrounding airports, MOA’s, Class C, and Class D airspace boundaries were readily displayed, it would be nice to pull up a chart overlay.

In closing I just want to say that I could not be more please with my choice in purchasing the Skyradar receiver.  I cannot think of any negative attributes at all.  All of your future customers need to realize there are three major benefits:

  • The combined purchase of the receiver and iPad is less than a comparable GPS with XM capability.
  • There are no monthly service fees to receive the ADS-B service.
  • Owning an iPad has many more amazing benefits for the pilot with all of the available aviation related apps.

On one last note, I would recommend that the purchaser pay the extra expense to get a 32G iPad with 3G service, which is what I have.  I was told that only the iPad with 3G service comes with a built-in GPS (which does not require that 3G be activated or running to use).  I know that your Skyradar has (and needs) it own GPS puck.  However, if a pilot is using the Skyradar app, without the receiver plugged in and operating, the iPad will use its own GPS to update the aircraft’s position with Skyradar.

 

August 4, 2010 Kenneth Chatham PDF Print E-mail

The SkyRadar was phenomenal!!! You are brilliant! We are glad that we did not face the bad weather coming home that we ran into on the way to Oshkosh, but felt that we were better equipped for it. It was GREAT being able to see the wind direction right on the map and also to be able to touch a nearby weather reporting station for the weather update. It was also great to pan ahead to our home airport to check the home weather report while we were still hours away. In that way, we were able to check to see if we were going to need the IFR approach plates! They were great, also! Being able to enlarge parts of them (i.e. radio frequencies, step downs, etc.) so they were large and clearly visible were extremely helpful! The IPad stood right up on top of the glare shield between the vertical card compass and the regular compass without obstructing our view.

Brandon Suarez, private pilot and aviation enthusiast, March 6, 2010 PDF Print E-mail

The most noticeable change is the enhanced situational awareness that comes from having a more complete world view then possible with eyes and ears alone. This in and of itself is not what’s impressive, since it’s simply a feature of ADS-B, but the ease of use and flexibility of the system are its real advantages. One of the big complaints, and an area of ongoing research at universities like MIT, is within this realm of Cost/Benefit for GA adoption of ADS-B. From what I can tell, SkyRadar attempts to solve these problems. With a hand held device that is portable and inexpensive enough for the average GA enthusiast to buy, the market is opened tremendously. By using an architecture that is very open and standard, SkyRadar is inherently flexible to upgrades or expansions and could offer price points for different levels of functionality. The device could easily be transferred between aircraft, making it ideal for clubs.

My general impression of the flight was the ADS-B is extremely powerful and seems to enhance the level of safety of the entire national airspace. The resistance to the technology, at least in GA, is coming from the idea that the government is forcing people to buy things to put on their aircraft without an acceptable level of benefit in return. SkyRadar seems to solve this problem in a very unique way. It offers all the capabilities envisioned for the lowest level ADS-B users, namely, the ability to receive weather, terrain, and traffic information. At the same time it offers a level of flexibility that will be extremely attractive to GA pilots and aircraft owners. The system is portable so that it could be moved between a number of aircraft, this seems especially attractive for aviation clubs. It is much less expensive then estimates have place GA ADS-B system at before. In general, I would say that people are skeptical about ADS-B because they haven’t experienced it but after using the system first hand, I’m a firm supporter of ADS-B in general and SkyRadar as the best way to spread the technology to GA.