Q: What is Avilution AviationMaps?
Avilution, LLC is a developer of applications for Android™ devices, for use on cell phones and tablets. AviationMaps, developed by Avilution, is an in-flight information source for pilots including moving maps or charts, NOAA weather, terminal procedures or plates, airport and taxi diagrams, A/FDs, flight plan filing, and more.
Q: What Android devices do you recommend?
AviationMaps works on a wide range of Android devices running Android 2.2 or later. Many of our customers use us on their phones as a backup to their primary source of information. We regularly test our applications on HTC, Nexus, Motorola, various Samsung devices including the S4 and occasionally on other phones and tablets. We have a ton of users using various devices from ASUS as well.
There is a wide range of tablets and phones out there. In general, any tablet from a reputable manufacturer will work just fine; if you’ve heard of the maker it should be safe. Low end tablets from no-name manufacturers often don’t have enough RAM in them to work properly, however. At a minimum, the device should be WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth capable with at least 16GB internal storage.
Smaller 7” and 8″ tablets are very popular as they seem to fit into many people’s cockpits. We fly with the 7” Galaxy Tab and Motorola Xyboard 8.2 regularly, so they are very well supported.
We also test on 8″ and 10” Motorola Xoom devices, and a number of our customers have reported very good luck with 10” Samsung tablets. The ASUS Transformer is known to work well, but don’t get a second generation one with a metal back as the GPS has known problems; there is a version with a plastic back which is reported to work fine. Toshiba and Acer tablets have poor GPS reception as well.
Q: How much storage space does AviationMaps use?
The AviationMaps application itself is only a couple MB in size and we recommend installing it on Internal Storage. You can specify a path to External Storage (SD, Micro SD) in the AviationMaps preferences. After specifying a path to external storage, restart the application for changes to take effect. Depending on how many states worth of charts and plates you want to store for offline use determines the amount of storage space you need. It’s hard to give precise numbers but if you downloaded our full data set, including sectionals, low altitude charts, high altitude charts, and a full set of approach plates for the United States is around 8 gigabytes. So any device with external storage of more than 8GB should suffice. Otherwise we wouldn’t recommend anything less than 16GB of internal memory. View our manual for instructions on setting up a path to external storage in AviationMaps.
If you don’t fly outside of your home region, you can download fewer States/Territories for offline use and use substantially less storage space.
Q: When are you going to get FAA approved? Why can’t I use AviationMaps for navigation?
No portable electronic device can be used as a primary source of navigation information; only panel mounted, TSO certified devices can be used as navigation sources. This applies equally to any portable, hand-held device. AviationMaps is for situational awareness use only. Please reference AC91-78 and AIM Chapter 1 for more information regarding removal of paper aeronautical charts from the cockpit and restrictions for use of hand-held devices for navigation.
Please note that Avilution, LLC does not check the chart and database information nor do we guarantee that any device used will not interfere with equipment or systems required for flight. Thus, it is the PIC’s responsibility to verify all available information before flight and determine suitability of device being used, including completeness and accuracy of data presented.
Q: How can I improve my GPS reception?
We have had reports of success using various Bluetooth GPS receivers, including the Dual XGSP150/A and Garmin GLO. We’ve also had quite a few people report that Tether GPS works well. Tether is an application which broadcasts an Android phone’s GPS position over WiFi and allows other Android devices to use that for location. For Kindle Fire devices, which include neither GPS nor Bluetooth, this allows them to have location information. While we don’t test any of these approaches, they seem to work well for our customers. We recommend installing “GPS Status and Toolbox” to improve the performance of in-phone and in-tablet GPS’s.
Q: What geographies do you cover? What about Canada?
We cover areas which the FAA charts through its AeroNav division. That primarily means United States (including Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico) and its territories. We do have chart coverage (sectionals and enroute) for portions of Canada and Mexico but approach plates are not available. If you live in an area where electronic charts are easily available please let us know and we’ll look into supporting your region.
Q: Do you support real time weather or ADS-B? What about TIS-B?
Yes! We are currently supporting Baron’s MobileLink product for weather delivered over XM Radio by WxWorx, SkyRadar and iLevil via WiFi for in flight weather through ADS‐B transmissions and the Dual XGPS170 via Bluetooth. With AviationMaps, ADS‐B provides NEXRAD Radar, METARs, TAFs, NOTAMs and PIREPs.
There are still limitations of ADS-B and TIS-B. Per the FAA, the cockpit display of ADS-B/TIS-B traffic is NOT intended to be used as a collision avoidance system and does not relieve the pilot of responsibility to “see and avoid” other aircraft. The cockpit display of traffic information is intended only to assist pilots with the visual acquisition of the other aircraft and will not be used for avoidance maneuvers during times when there is no visual contact with the other aircraft.
Presently, no air traffic services or handling is predicated on the availability of an ADS-B/TIS-B cockpit display. A “traffic-in-sight” reply to Air Traffic Control (ATC) must be based on seeing an aircraft out-the-window; NOT on the cockpit display.
Q: Do I have to have an internet connection to use your application?
Though airport and chart data is visible while logged in and connected to the Internet, it must be downloaded for offline use. Once downloaded, the data is stored locally on your devices internal or external storage and is fully accessible in flight without an active Internet connection. Downloading data is a 3 step process, requiring the user to first select the States/Territories for which data is to be downloaded followed by selecting Update Airports DB then Update Charts. If a State/Territory is selected in Preferences but is not downloaded, a notification will appear to alert the user.
Q: How do I get AviationMaps? Is there a difference between the Google Play version and the version on the Avilution web site?
The only difference between the Google Play version and the version available on our website is the in app data purchase options. If a subscription has already been purchase either through Google Play, our website or in app, you can run either version of the application. You can even install both versions, if you prefer! The Google Play version has a play store logo on the Avilution launcher icon. If you’ve purchased a data option through Google Play or a subscription through our website, your Google ID credentials will work with either version of the application. The Google Play Store version offers purchase options in year long increments with no recurring component whereas our website version offers automatic monthly and annual recurring billing options (We do this due to limitations in Google’s in app billing model). All billing, whether in app or via our website, is handled through Google Wallet. If installing from the Avilution website, a prompt will appear for changing the Android device settings to “allow installation of apps from unknown sources.” This can be changed back after installation is complete. You can also get our application via the Amazon App Market if your device supports that.
Q: If AviationMaps app crashes, how do I send you a crash report?
If you installed through Google Play, please use the automated crash report functionality. If you installed directly from our website or via Amazon, add the application “aLogcat” from Google Play. Reproduce the crash or forced close with aLogcat running in the background then immediately after the AviationMaps crash, reopen the aLogcat application and send the debug log to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How do I know if my charts and plates are up to date?
When starting AviationMaps, the data expiration date is briefly shown. If the data is expired, you will also get notification prompting you to begin the update process. If no notifications appear, then your charts have successfully been downloaded to match the States/Territories and chart types you selected within the preferences. If you change the States/Territories you want, you’ll need to “Update Charts” again to make sure it lines up.
Q: How do I file a flight plan or receive a flight briefing?
After starting AviationMaps, you can access the “Flight Pad” feature using the drop down menu in the upper left. Within Flight Pad, the tab farthest to the right is “Briefing” and from there you can receive your flight briefing and file FAA flight plans. The first time you use it, you’ll need to select the “configure” button and enter your DUATS username and password which you can obtain at http://www.duats.com at no charge. Please note that DUATS and DUAT are different services. Once you’ve configured your DUATS information, just click on the “Request” button. All fields (except “Remarks”, “Close With” and “Alternate”) must be filled out and should be blue when finished. Please note that when filling out the pilot information, all fields there need to be filled out and the pilot phone number must be exactly in the form “256-555-1212″ (dashes and all). On smaller devices such as phones, completing the form in landscape mode is significantly easier.
Q: Where is the manual?
Avilution’s AviationMaps manual is a PDF document and can be downloaded here. Feel free to contact us at anytime if you have questions, comments or feature requests. We are typically able to respond to Email with 24 hours.
Q: How do I make suggestions or feature requests? What if I have an issue with the data or the application?
Feel free to contact us anytime if you have questions, comments or recommendations for making our product better! Service is everything and we want to hear about your experiences: good, bad or otherwise. If you experience any issues whatsoever, notify us right away so that we can correct the issue and notify other subscribers that may be effected. Avilution is a small company that values each and every user and we strive to make our product as complete and reliable as possible!
Q: I only see the $74.95 and $149.90 data subscription option on Google Play. How do I get the monthly $4.95 or annual $54.95 and $114.95 options that are automatically renewed?
We recommend using a “regular computer” while accessing Google Wallet, for ease of use and access while managing your billing and data subscription information. AviationMaps uses an integrated browser to associate your data purchase with your Google ID. The same Google ID may be used to log in to multiple devices, such as a tablet or phone, running AviationMaps. To see additional subscription options, including a 30 day free trial for new users, visit http://services.avilution.com/services. If you would like to bypass the option for a 30 day free trial and purchase the standard annual subscription directly, visit http://services.avilution.com/services/purchase-annual.cgi. If you would like the premium annual subscription with Geo-referenced approach plates and airport diagrams, visit http://services.avilution.com/services/purchase-geo.cgi.
Q: Can I install AviationMaps on multiple devices?
Yes! Your AviationMaps subscription is authenticated using the Google account on your Android device and can be associated with multiple devices, such as a tablet and mobile phone.
Q: How do I setup my Android device to use an SD card?
The AviationMaps application can be moved from your local directory to an SD card if desired. To set the location preferences for AviationMaps, touch Main Menu > Preferences > Device Settings > Path to external storage. Once the path has been specified, restart the application for the settings to take effect. These settings will be retained during application and data updates for the device. You can delete the duplicate AviationMap and RunwayScout folders on internal memory once the external path has been specified.
There are known issues with using SD cards where during application install, users will experience what some describe as an “endless loop” and AviationMaps keeps asking to install the data files. This is typically caused by a corrupt file or file allocation table on the SD card and needs repaired prior to continued use.
Q: Some labels, altitudes, etc. are cut off. Where can I find the legend and Special Use Airspace information?
The vast majority of our users have requested that charts be “stitched” together rather than switching from one chart to another. Unfortunately there are some side effects to this process where the borders meet or overlap that can occasionally cause labels to be cut off. We are working to support an alternative view that would include charts with full borders but there is no ETA yet. In the meantime, Terminal Procedures and Sectional Charts with legend may be downloaded digitally from the FAA Aeronav division.
Q: Why does AviationMaps crash every time I select Main Menu or try to edit Preferences?
This will occur if “do not keep activities” is selected in developer options of the Android device being used. Selecting this option will kill an activity as soon as a user leaves it. To check the setting and turn it off, select System Settings > Developer Options > Do not keep activities.
Q: Why does AviationMaps close after opening with new update?
We are continuously improving AviationMaps and occasionally, we introduce new features which for one reason or another may be incompatible with your device. We can fix this with your help! Report all force closes and include contact information along with anything you may have noticed which may be causing the issue. Feel free to follow up with Email if you’re curious about the status of the issue you’ve reported! Worst case scenario, we can Email you a previous version of AviationMaps, which you can use until the current issue is resolved.
Q: How do I upgrade, modify or cancel my subscription?
Feel free to change your your standard monthly to an annual subscription or upgrade from a standard to premium subscription with Geo-referenced approach plates and airport taxi diagrams at any time. Just remember to cancel your previous purchase, in order to prevent duplicate billing! Need help or have questions about a refund for an unused portion of a purchase? Contact us and let us know you are changing your subscription information.
If for any reason, the subscription doesn’t meet your expectations, please let us know what we can do to improve the product! If you still wish to end your subscription, however, it can be cancelled at anytime through Google Wallet using the link provided in the original purchase receipt from Google. You can also contact us with your Google ID or original subscription order #.
Note: Whether purchasing through Google Play, in app or via our website, all transactions are redirected to Google Wallet.
Q: Avilution says I need Google Play Services. Google Play Services is not available, please get it from the Play Store? Google Play Services is already installed on the device?
We use Google Play Services to authenticate your Google account on your device, which is also associated with Google Wallet. If you get this notification, use https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.gms from your device browser to install the most up to date version of Google Play Services! Even if your device says Google Play Services is already installed.
For more information or installation and user assistance please view our online user guide.