Q: What is CloudAhoy?
A: It's a system for pilots, designed to help in post-flight debriefing. It collects your aircraft's flight data during the flight, sends the data to a CloudAhoy server, and helps you debrief your flights when you're back on the ground. CloudAhoy is currently available only in the United States.
Q: Why isn't CloudAhoy available outside of the U.S.?
A: Currently the CloudAhoy app is only available in Apple's U.S. app store. The debriefing relies heavily on access to aviation and weather information which is country-specific, and currently CloudAhoy receives such data only from the FAA, i.e., only in the US. In the future CloudAhoy will be available in other countries as well.
Q: What type of aircraft does CloudAhoy support?
A: CloudAhoy's flight analysis engine currently supports powered fixed-wing planes, gliders and helicopters.
Q: What hardware do I need?
A: To collect data you need an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 5 or above. If your device does not have an internal GPS, you also need an external GPS.
Q: What about privacy?
Q: Can I debrief a flight on my iPad?
A: Yes. However, since the Google Earth plugin is currently unavailable on iPads, only two-dimensional debriefing is available on the iPad. Some features, available on CloudAhoy running on Macs and Windows, are currently not available on iPads. The iPad version does not have 3D display of the flight path, cockpit view, aviation charts, and 3D instrument approaches - all of which are available on a desktop.
Q: What should I know before using CloudAhoy for the first time?
A: Read this.
Q: I hate users' manuals. Can I get a brief intro to using CloudAhoy for debriefing flights?
Q: I have an iPhone and an iPad. Can I use both?
Q: I am a CFI. How do I use CloudAhoy with multiple students?
A: One way is for each of your students to use his/her own individual account, log their flights with their private iPhone/iPad, and share their flights with you so that you can provide inputs. A better way would be to create a school/club account, which supports multiple devices and multiple users.
Q: What types of accounts are available in CloudAhoy?
A: Two kinds: an individual account and a school/club account. An individual account is limited to four iPhone/iPad devices and one user. A school/club account supports multiple devices and multiple users. Typically you set a school/club account such that students have access only to their flights, CFIs have access to their private flights as well as those of their students, and an administrator has access to all of the account's data.
Both individual and school/club accounts are free. Contact us if you want to setup a school/club account.
Q: Can CloudAhoy be used for non-flight situations, like tracking my walk with the dog or my weekend car trip to NJ?
A: Sorry, but no. CloudAhoy is designed for debriefing flights, and flights only. When using it you must be actually taking off from a real airport, climb, cruise and then descend and land on a real airport.
Q: Can you tell me about the iPhone/iPad's GPS?
A: The internal GPS is enabled only when Airplane Mode is off. It has a reasonable lateral accuracy, and so-so altitude accuracy. Luckily, CloudAhoy's digital filters significantly enhance the internal GPS's accuracy, so when you debrief your flight the lateral and altitude values are pretty accurate.
Q: When I tap START, I get a blinking red light in "GPS Signal" and it won't log any flight. Why?
A: two possible reasons. One: you are using the iPhone/iPad's internal GPS, and you have Airplane Mode. If so, simply turn Airplane Mode off. Two: you declined to let CloudAhoy access the GPS data. To check if this is so and to fix the problem, open your iPhone/iPad's Settings, Tap Location Services, and verify that Location Services is On, and that CloudAhoy is also On.
Q: What about an external GPS?
A: If you don't have an internal GPS (e.g., using an iPad without 3G), then you have to use an external GPS.
Q: Can I use CloudAhoy with my iPhone in Airplane Mode?
A: Yes. You will have to use an external GPS.
Q: Can you tell me more about using an (optional) external GPS?
A: An external GPS with WAAS has significantly better accuracy than the iPhone/iPad's internal GPS. CloudAhoy supports Bad Elf (not recommended for iPad), GNS 5870 MFI, Dual 150, and Garmin GLO - all under $100. It also supports the more expensive Bad Elf GPS Pro and Garmin GDL-39. When properly positioned, all these GPS devices provide excellent tracking even in cases when the iPhone/iPad's internal GPS fails to provide good tracking, such as during steep turns and unusual attitude maneuvers.
Q: Can I run simultaneously CloudAhoy and another location-based app?
A: Yes. For example, you can run ForeFlight Mobile HD or WingX Pro, and run it simultaneously with CloudAhoy. To do so,tap START on CloudAhoy, then switch to your other GPS-based app. CloudAhoy will keep running in the background and will log the flight.
Problems in Debriefing a Flight
Q: I got a message that Google Earth did not load, or a message about an "API key". How do I fix it?
A: You have an old version of the Google Earth plugin on your computer. Check this link from Google.
If this link does not show the earth, it will tell you what to do. The page displays the version number of the installed Google Earth plugin. The latest is 7.0. Upgrading both Google Earth and the Google Earth plugin will fix the problem. From the experience of many users, the quickest way of upgrading is to uninstall and then re-install -- both Google Earth and the Google Earth plugin.
Note: the Google Earth plugin is only available on Macintosh and Windows machines.
Q: After clicking "debrief" I can see the flight details on the left side of the page, but the right side is blank. How do I fix it?
A: You have an old version of the Google Earth plugin on your computer, and you need to upgrade it per the instructions in the previous question.
If you are using the Firefox browser on a Macintosh computer, please note that Firefox versions 10 and below do not work well with Google Earth; If needed please upgrade Firefox/Mac to the latest version.
Q: When should I start logging using the CloudAhoy app?
A: We have added a "Start CloudAhoy" item to our checklists, just before engine start. In this way, the sum of ground and air times reported by CloudAhoy is approximately the Hobbs time. So just before starting the engine, start the CloudAhoy app on your iPhone or iPad, verify that the flight information is correct, tap START and if needed, secure the device in place. Then forget about CloudAhoy until after you land.
Q: When should I stop data logging?
A: Don't worry about it -- the data logging stops automatically after you land, taxi to the ramp and park. You can always stop the logging manually using the STOP button.
Q: When does the app send data back to the CloudAhoy server?
A: Normally the app does not communicate with the server during flight. Instead, it accumulates data locally in memory. After you land, the app will automatically send the data to the server -- you don't need to do anything special to make it happen. Obviously, to do so the app needs to be able to communicate with the server, either using cellular data connection, or WiFi. The app displays the communication status, so you always know what's going on.
We are always delighted to answer your questions via email, and hear any comment and suggestion you may have.
Talk to us: support@CloudAhoy.com .