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FAA releases B4UFLY app publicly for iOS

Discussion in 'News' started by Ascender, Jan 7, 2016.

?
  1. Yes I intend to use it every time I fly in the U.S.

    42.9%
  2. No I'm unsure about the legality and usefulness of it

    57.1%
  1. Ascender

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    image.png B4UFLY Smartphone App

    Android still in beta for Q1.

    Supposedly all "heli pads" now create an additional radius and unknown airports are popping up all over. Anyone tried this yet or involved with the beta?

    I didn't like the disclaimer that I was asked to submit to to open the app, so I'm a little hesitant about using it.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Jimmykjimmy

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    I opened and installed the app. Here's the rub, in my opinion with the app. Your supposed to contact the small airports or heliports when you are going to fly. However, your given no information on how to contact them..email..phone number etc. that should be included in the app.
    In addition, I've read elsewhere that when you do contact them, you get a rather short answer ok and then go on. They don't ask where you are etc.
     
    SanCap likes this.
  3. Ascender

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    I thought the app was supposed to electronically notify the nearby towers with merely the click of a button. I could be wrong, but I do know that was the original intent when the idea was first introduced.

    From the FAA's introductory supporting statement on the B4UFLY app ground at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/DownloadDocument?objectID=58104500 :


    3. Extent of automated information collection.

    Frequent calls to an air traffic control tower would disrupt tower activities to such a degree that the FAA anticipates may endanger the safety of the National Airspace System. Therefore, the FAA has developed the B4UFLY app to facilitate a process for electronic notification, thereby reducing the time burden on both users and FAA personnel.


    This data collection would be 100% electronic and automated for the user. The user will be able to quickly tap multiple choice options, and the B4UFLY app automatically pulls the user’s location from their smartphone.
     
    slim.slamma likes this.
  4. RKDauph

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    The app also includes private and occasional use heliports. The helicopter near my in-laws is used twice a year yet the app calls it restricted. Hmmm, the app may notify the FEDs when near an airport but without contact information on private/occasional use locations it is a lot of trouble and will force non-compliance.

    Who at a private operation/company do we ask to speak to for permission or notification. Someone will get spooked about giving the 'Okay' and contact their corporate lawyers who will worry about liability and so no by policy.

    I love it when folks get all spun up:

     
  5. Jimmykjimmy

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    Nope, doesn't notify anyone.
     
  6. Talon Six

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    STClassic01, DustyVisor and SixtyMike like this.
  7. Packetdancer

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    If you follow the replies to the tweet all the way down the chain, the app's "official" Twitter account snarked back at him, too. (Air quotes deliberate.)
     
    #7 Packetdancer, Jan 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
    Ascender likes this.
  8. BostonDronePhotos

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    Apparently there are 7 "heliports" within 5 miles of my house, 6 of which appear to be landing spots for medevac helicopters or someone's backyard not heliports that see regular use and/or have staff or published flight procedures, and the 7th is a US Army installation that has a helicopter landing pad H painted in the middle of a regular car park full of cars.

    I then had to look up each "heliport" separately to determine that none had a control tower to notify and that none had published instrument procedures.

    If anything this app just confuses the situation more by hiding real "no fly zones" in all the clutter.
     
    #8 BostonDronePhotos, Jan 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
    kcobello and STClassic01 like this.
  9. STClassic01

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    I had just created a thread with the same thing. Close to a hospital and a police station. Maybe Editor can remove that thread seeing that it is already here. (sorry for duplicating) I did add some pics though.
     

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    Ascender likes this.
  10. Ragwing

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    I downloaded the app and you're right. It's a mess. Here in Arizona it shows every parking lot helipad, ultralight, and ranch landing strip there never was. What I thought I'd do in the absence of any real contact data provided by the FAA in the app is to use my handheld ICOM aviation radio and make a transmission similar to what the skydiver planes make before dropping jumpers. Something like: "Please be advised there will be quad copter flight operation below 400 feet in the area of_______ for the next 25 minutes. Please do not over fly this area below 500 feet." Or something to this affect. The radios can be purchased for about $200 on Amazon, Sporty's, Wag-Aero, Chief and others. Seems like the most effective way to address this mess. And it calls directly to the folks who would need to hear from you.
     
    Ascender likes this.