This Year's Gadget Crop Was Amazing
Final Compilations by ANN Editor-In-Chief/Gadget Hound, Jim
When it comes to the
people, planes and products of the aviation business, ANN firmly
believes there is no such thing as an embarrassment of riches.
2009, as usual, saw a spate of new products, programs and 'gadgets'
designed to separate a pilot from his flying dollar... fortunately,
the vast majority of them are quite worthy of foregoing the
occasional $500 hamburger or two.
In fact, for 2009 (even more so than last year) we really had to
struggle with the list in order to pare it down to a manageable
assembly and if we hadn't, we'd have easily had to increase the
size of our annual 'Best Of' list to several dozen, or so, to
accommodate them all.
From established products that continue to impress, to new and
exciting developments across the range of general aviation... here,
to our eyes, are some of the most worthy 'gadgets', products and
programs of 2009.
As previously noted; we've spent considerable time checking out
the state of IFR-oriented educational materials over the past
year... both for our own interests as well as for a solid look into
the current state of the art as far as teaching one of aviation's
most complex subjects. It pains me to admit that I earned my IFR
ticket and my CFII DECADES AGO (ouch, damn it, OUCH!)... and in the
interim, much has changed and keeps changing... both in terms of
the equipment, its capabilities and the system we work within...
the workload has never been more complex and the capabilities never
so impressive... but I have to admit that its getting harder and
harder to keep up... especially with the other job I have... namely
keeping ANN on the straight and narrow. As I looked over the
materials available, two tomes kept my attention and impressed me
with each consult... this is one of them:
Max Trescott's GPS and WAAS Instrument Flying Handbook
Many of the books currently available haven't kept up with the
times (with the exception of Rod Machado's outstanding works on the
topic) and we're pleased to see our good friend and trusted
contributor, Max Trescott, take the matter on, as well.
Max tells ANN that he feels that most current works treat GPS as
a subtopic and don’t tell the reader everything you need to
know about using GPS -- and we quite agree. Max’s new GPS and
WAAS Instrument Flying Handbook recognizes GPS is at the center of
modern cockpits and not just add-on equipment. Designed for VFR and
IFR pilots, the book tells you what you need to know to safely
operate modern GPS systems, including step-by-step instructions for
the Bendix/King KLN 94, Garmin GNS 430, 430W, 480, 530, 530W and
G900X, G1000 and Perspective glass cockpits.
The book is exhaustive, well-organized and reads well... and
it's one of those books that once read will become familiar again
and again as it is consulted throughout one's flying career. It is,
simply put, an indispensable tool for today's IFR pilot and if you
don't have it, you're nuts.
The book is soft cover, 272 pages, (with 40 in color),
illustrated with more than 275 computer screen shots and
photographs, and possesses a glossary and index. Max is also author
of the Max Trescott’s G1000 Glass Cockpit Handbook and of
G1000 and WAAS CD-ROM courses. Max Trescott’s GPS and WAAS
Instrument Flying Handbook has a suggested list price of