June 2012

Looking to convert your iPad Air to a kneeboard?  Check out the AppStrap 1 and Conversion Kit.

AppStrap 1- The mouth of this clip is approximately .5 inches thick (without the foam pads). It fits the following devices without cases: iPad Air, iPad 1, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, 10.1, Tab 3 10.1, and Kindle Fire HD 8.9 It also fits well over most slim-line cases. For example, it fits over the Smart Case for the iPad Air (cover open or folded underneath).

AppStrap 2/3/4- These clips are designed to be used with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Gen iPads. The clips work whether the iPad is in a Smart Case or a Smart Cover is attached. (These clips do not work on other devices.)

AppStrap 5- This clip is approximately .75 inches thick. It works with the Otterbox Defender series, Griffin Survivor Series, and Gumdrop Drop Tech Series. The AppStrap 5 also works very well with the Otterbox Defender case.

AppStrap Gel 2/3/4 – This gel case fits the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Gen iPads.

AppStrap Conversion Kit- The self-adhesive Velcro strip can be applied to the back of any device or case. It mates with Velcro on the leg strap. This product will work on any iPad or tablet with or without a case. The self-adhesive strip is not permanent but removal can result in damage to some material surfaces.

If you happen to buy the wrong product, please call us, and we will be glad to swap out your clip strap for another version.

 

The new iPad Mini with Retina Display has the same form factor as the original Mini so it works with the AppStrap Mini gel case.  The new iPad Mini is only imperceptibly thicker and slightly heavier.  But, it still fits perfectly in our gel case.

AppStrap Pilot Kneeboard Case Matrix

by admin-appstrap on 01/06/2012 · 0 comments

We are working daily to improve our site and make it easier to see which AppStrap is best for which product.

Here is a link to a detailed list of devices that our products fit.

The google docs are editable by you, the user; any notes, improvements or updates are appreciated by us and other other customers.

List of Devices: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ak-ic_616MbCdGc1Y19Qa1JPTXRLWjV6VEdxYUxiMVE&usp=sharing

List of Cases: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ak-ic_616MbCdDJxQkNsbU9UY2txR1NHcy1yTS1ZYnc&usp=sharing

 

 

Summary of the above documents for those who have a severe distate for spreadsheets ( like we do ):

AS5 – fits most tablets ( 8″ – 10″) when used with large protective case ( Not Included )

 

AS1: iPad, iPad2, iPad3, iPad4, Asus tablets, Amazon Kindle Fire 8.9, Samsung Galaxy (depending on case you are using).

AS2/3 : iPad2, iPad3, iPad4 ( Compatible with magnetic covers. Not compatible with any Cases. )

AS-Mini : iPad Mini

AS2/3 Gel : iPad2, iPad3 ( Compatible with some magnetic covers. Not compatible with any Cases. )

AS-CK : Conversion kit can be used with any case

AppStrap – iPad eBook Reading Strap

by admin-appstrap on 01/06/2012 · 0 comments

During the last couple of months we’ve been testing The AppStrap, giving some away to fellow pilots for testing and because we’re nice people, we even gave our family a few samples to try. The latter may have been the smartest test we’ve ever conducted because it brought to life another great feature of The AppStrap – a secure strap for folks using the iPad as an e-Reader.

Whether you’re in bed and want to read your favorite magazine or your new book or just lounging on the patio cruising the web on a lazy Saturday, The AppStrap is the perfect way to keep the iPad situated for comfortable and convenient reading. No more slipping off your lap or the arm of a chair. As an iPad2 user myself, gone are the days of the iPad2 flopping over a rolled-up cover. The AppStrap solves the same problem for pilots and now has legitimate purpose outside of the flight-bag.

With a 150% Money-Back Guarantee there isn’t a single reason not to try The AppStrap. Buy direct from our site not other online retailers to qualify for the 150% Policy!

Mark Pestal : Runway Excursions – Part II

by admin-appstrap on 01/06/2012 · 1 comment

RUNWAY EXCURSION RISKS – STAYING ON THE DECK

by Mark Pestal

Just because the wheels hit the runway doesn’t guarantee they’ll stay on the pavement. Experienced pilots don’t need statistics to know that the risk of a runway excursion is much greater on landing than takeoff – even without the hazards of a cross-wind or contamination. Keep it on the pavement with a planned out defensive strategy.

In brief review, excursions are associated with identifiable risk factors. Once those are identified, defensive tactics can be used to reduce the potential for one triggering an excursion. As with the risk factors for takeoff, those for landing too will always be present and can only be defended against not eliminated.

Excursions, whether on takeoff or landing can be broken into veer-offs and overruns (and in rarer cases, undershoots).

Landing Risk Factors

Common risk factors to a landing excursion include: excessive speed, cross-winds, turbulence (including wind shear), go-arounds (missed approaches), contamination, landing short or long, landing-gear malfunctions, braking problems (including ineffective or asymmetrical braking) and obstacles on the runway, including other aircraft, animals, or foreign objects. The list can include any risks that may cause a loss of control during the landing. Risks are generally increased with the presence of more than one factor, such as ice contamination with a cross-wind.

Case in point – high-altitude landing excursion

The contribution of a risk factor to an excursion is exemplified in the crash of a Cirrus during an attempted go-around at Bob Adams Field in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, on February 14, 2009. The SR22 hit a snow berm at the departure end of the runway after attempting a go-around. The decision to abort came after, the pilot hit a patch of ice causing a yaw to the right. The contamination was not Notamed for the single 4,452-foot runway. The pilot reported touching down at between 80-90 knots after shooting a GPS approach to Runway 32 that sits at 6,882 feet MSL, situated with rising terrain on three sides. Winds were calm. Potentially compounding matters was the pilot’s admitted overly conservative braking to which he had been conditioned. He was at 50 knots when he encountered patches of ice and decided to go-around. The aircraft failed to clear the snow berm at the end and flipped over. Fortunately, only one of three passengers sustained a minor injury despite substantial damage to the aircraft.

Landing Metrics

Before considering specific tactics to combat against a landing excursion, a template of a good landing should be kept in mind – one that sets the bar higher than just being able to use the airplane again. On final approach that means positioned with adequate spacing from the touchdown point do fly a normalized descent path (roughly a 3 degree glide path) at a rate between 500-800 feet per minute depending on winds. Airspeed should be kept no more than 10 knots above the book approach speed. The aircraft needs to be tracking the center line and configured for landing, no less than the final approach fix for an instrument approach or the roll-out to final for a visual. Over the numbers through the initial flare, speed must be within five knots of book and descent path must be on line to the touchdown zone. Without a good picture of what is considered your target parameters for approach and landing, fending off risk factors is much more difficult.

Playing defense

Although many runway excursion risk factors may not be on your radar as you brief an approach, those that can be identified (e.g., cross-wind, contamination) should be discussed. On the approach, monitor it for deviations your prescribed metrics, and employ the predetermined defensive tactics to reduce identified risks detailed below.

On the approach . . .

If the risk assessment you’ve done before starting an approach reveals several significant risk factors, the question should be asked if another field should be selected. Don’t be lulled into landing just because the guy in front of you made it in. If conditions are deteriorating or you’re flying less capable equipment, choosing an alternate destination is a small price to pay for removing one or more risk factors.

Of course prepping for an error-free landing requires review of any pertinent Notams and Pireps. But those can be hours or more old. It doesn’t cost anything to query a controller about reported conditions. In fact, I’ve gotten reports from the plane I’m following even as it exited the runway. In one case where the reported winds were strong but down the runway, I asked for a ride report from a just-landed Citation that revealed no turbulence or gusts. Without that report, I would not have been comfortable attempting a landing.

Dealing with a change-up

While having your landing clearance canceled and being sent to another runway is not ordinarily a source of concern, it does change the play – such as a side-step to a parallel runway. The same can be said for the tower’s request for you to keep it tight for an arriving Gulfstream, for example. In both scenarios, the key is not to be rushed or pressured. Don’t allow this risk factor to remain when saying “unable” or “Cessna 768 is going around.” At a minimum, don’t change you’re SOP to adhere to the prescribed metrics because you’re looking out for the G-IV. Fly your plan.

Speed control

Examples abound of excursions where excessive speed likely played a role. In the Cirrus case, using the pilot’s recollection that he touched down at between 80-90 knots, he was at least 10 knots above the optimum over the numbers for touchdown on a 4,500 foot, high-elevation field. To be sure, excess speed will need to be lost in a prolonged flare, braking, or both at the severe costs of reducing available runway.

Extra speed also places greater strain on the landing gear as apparently was the case for a Piaggio P180 on March 20, 2007, that experienced a left landing gear collapse landing at Hollywood International (FLL), in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. After a go-around occasioned by alignment with the wrong runway, the first officer was cautioned several times by the captain about being too fast on the approach. His final approach speed over the numbers was at least 10 knots over the reference speed. Reading between the lines of the CVR suggests a hard landing that may have popped a tire and then led to a loss of directional control, high torsional loads that over-stressed the gear.

Landing Long

Next to speed control, positioning for a normalized descent to the runway is key to avoiding an overshoot, particularly when flying into an unfamiliar field without the known landmarks of home. Several years ago, I had a right seat perspective of turning final from more than 500 feet but less than a half mile from touchdown point. The pilot flying the turbo Mooney (known for their float over the runway if fast over the numbers) unwittingly crowded the approach into the relatively short unfamiliar field. After a runway-eating float, I was calling for maximum braking as the end of the runway came into sight. The lesson learned – take an excursion around the pattern rather than off the end if out of position.

The point is to identify that you’re out of position and take corrective action or go missed. Again, spectating from the right seat on a high approach after a delayed handoff from approach, the Cessna 172 was out of position on final to hit the aim point. The situation provided me an opportunity to demonstrate the 172′s benign slipping characteristics to a lower-time pilot. While slipping is not always an optimal solution (particularly since slips in some airplanes are prohibited with certain power or landing configurations), in the instant case, it avoided landing long or a go-around at the busy field.

Short final . . .

A common short-coming of many pilots is not having an aim point while on final. Many pilots appear satisfied that they are going to touch down somewhere on the first half of the runway. As the appearance of speed increases closer to the ground, there’s a tendency for pilots to be distracted by that visual effect. This may contribute to an aim point is moving around more than a scrambling quarterback. After turning final or getting a visual after breaking out, identify an appropriate touch-down point for the aircraft you’re flying and stick with it. If you’re current path will not put you within a couple hundred feet of it, something else is likely out of the zone. Go-around if you can’t get back on target without exceeding the parameters for airspeed and descent rate – especially coming into a shorter runway, such as the Cirrus faced landing at Steamboat.

The same rule should apply to gauging your flight path based on a VASI or PAPI. If you’re not on, it’s signaling a potential risk factor. Diagnose the problem, and if not quickly treatable, go around.

Another risk factor associated with a reported cross-wind or wind shear is the potential for conditions to change just as you cross the numbers. While reported winds are helpful – as is a request for a “wind check” on final – there can be some variation from actual conditions depending on where the sensor source is located. If it’s located for the prevailing wind runway, there still may be considerable lag or inaccuracy. (If you want to know for sure, telephone the tower.) Another option is to punch in the AWOS frequency on final to ensure you didn’t just pick up a tailwind. Don’t blindly accept the reported wind numbers, check the math with the closest wind sock.

Not too short . . .

While runway undershoots are rare, the risk factors associated with them are worth consideration. The key risks for landing short are dragging in a low approach, a serious sink rate (potentially from wind shear), or speed below book. If you’re out of the box on short final with any of these present, the best option is a quick decision to go missed. On short final, there’s little time to

get back in the box and stabilized which will increase workload over the runway, assuming you get there.

Over the numbers? . . .

For most landings, wheels down at the touchdown zone or aiming point marking is appropriate. But for shorter or contaminated runways, hitting the numbers should be the goal. For example at Steamboat, there’s a displaced threshold. Assuming adequate terrain clearance prior to crossing it, my goal would be to put the rubber just past the end line since there’s little down side to contacting the pavement earlier compared with an overrun.

Rolling out . . .

As one 747 instructor pilot told me, there’s no place to be but on the center line when landing. If there’s a loss of directional control from a cross wind or other cause, getting back on line may require tapping one brake. Braking action is also improved by retracting the flaps to put more weight on the wheels. When flying an aircraft with speed brakes, popping them after touch down can offer some marginal drag as well. (They should not be deployed, however, until after a go-around is no longer an option.) Finally, remember that to make the book landing distance, maximum braking will be required, which means application immediately without skidding.

Contamination

In the Cirrus accident, although the runway was contaminated with patches of ice, the fact was not reflected in a Notam. While Notams should pick up an icy runway, query whether a call to the FBO before launch may have yielded a more accurate or up to date condition report

On the go . . .

Although there are many keys to a successful go-around, three stand out: decisiveness, situational awareness, and speed control. Too many go-arounds have failed from delayed decisions. If you know you’re behind the power curve, the best option may be to pull the power and lose as much speed before going off the end. A good decision can’t be made without situational awareness of available runway, margin above stall, and acceleration performance. Once the committed, maintaining a safe airspeed above stall is paramount to avoid departure stall, which is likely worse than the obstructions on the departure end. Lastly, accelerate in ground effect to provide an extra margin.

As a student pilot practicing touch-and-go’s on a patchy snow-covered runway, I opted for powering up after a cross wind (or my lack of cross-wind technique) started sliding me toward a snow bank in a Cessna 152. With full flaps and the needle in the white arc, I gained just enough height to miss plowing snow with the gear. Being able to fly just above stall comes only with knowing the plane’s stalling slow-speed characteristics.

Finally, to keep your balked landing skill-set sharp, have an instructor call one when you least expect it as one recently did to me. The practice was worth it once I realized it wasn’t a reflection how I had been flying the approach.

Mind your margins

Unavoidably, risk factors for a landing excursion are present after every takeoff. As with knowing the existence of a patch of ice on a runway, awareness of a risk factor is the first step to guarding against it. Employing a ready arsenal of defensive tactics against those risks will ensure the largest margin of safety – and pavement – is available when touching down.

___________________________________

Mark Pestal, a Denver attorney and commercial multi-engine pilot, prefers the runways at Denver International Airport for his landings.

AppStrap on a Mission!

by admin-appstrap on 01/06/2012 · 0 comments

10% of our profits support www.AeroAngel.org – A Denver based air charity providing transportation to those with compelling needs. Compelling need….meet smiling faces!

RoundUpRiver Ranch near Eagle, CO called on AeroAngel to fly numerous missions to get these kids to camp, who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to attend. (we will repost phots and video once our new site is completed)

Our thanks to Marty Higgins for the fantastic video. Video will be reposted soon!

Visit www.aeroangel.org to donate now!