Helping newly minted solo pilots move on to flying cross country is perhaps a bigger hurdle than learning to fly in the first place.
New pilots embarking on free flights are limited by the lack of a goal and a way to analyse their performance and measure their improvements.
It is well known that taking off with a proper goal in the form of a task, however simple, means the pilot lands back with a sense of success not found after an aimless free flight.
To help with this transition to cross country, taskPilot is based around the concept of gliding clubs running leagues amongst their pilots, scored using racing and AAT style tasks set up for varying experience levels and weather conditions.
A pilot can choose a suitable task, then access information created by experienced pilots about possible ways to do the task, review landout options and so on, and create a goal and a plan for the flight, rather than taking off and free flying and not going anywhere in particular.
On return pilots load up the igc file from their flight which is scored automatically using a simple time and handicapped distance scheme, then displayed on the club league table.
Pilots can opt for privacy if they want. Unless set to private, all flights are available for anyone to view.
Pilots then have a way of measuring how well they performed. Traces can be reviewed and compared with other pilot’s traces to seek ways to improve.
Where clubs have a single seater which is flown by a number of pilots for an hour or so each, then short local tasks can be set up for, e.g. the ‘LS4 class’, which are speed only, again so pilots take off with a plan.
It is believed that by giving pilots these tools to measure and improve their performance, and enabling them to land back with a sense of achievement, will maintain their interest, hopefully moving on to longer flights, even competitions.
And keep them in the sport.
Click on ‘Help’ on the top menu bar and choose ‘Help with demo’ This will take you to log on details along with a walkthrough of the main features.
If gliding clubs want to get access to this app, use the contact menu bar option and send in your details.