July 2018 SporkNews

If you are new to WeatherSpork, welcome to the family!  This e-Newsletter will be sent out at the beginning of each month to keep you updated on the new features and content provided by WeatherSpork.  We hope the app has made finding the most opportune time to depart a simple and easy process.

The month of July is the beginning of the wave of new features as we continue to add more under-the-hood foundation to the app.  Early in the month we expanded the airport database so you can add any public-use airport to the route.  This also introduced METARs to the Map view.  We are still working on adding forecasts to these other airports so they can also be used for your preflight analysis.  Next month, we will be improving the static Imagery view to provide you with a decoded date-time stamp that will show either Zulu or local time.  More about that new feature in the next release.

Want WeatherSpork to be FREE?

Then, give us a referral.  We’ve gotten several dozen new members through the WeatherSpork referral program we launched in May.  Essentially if you refer a new member and they register to join, we will add an extra month to your subscription.  Or, you can donate your free month to the member you are referring…it’s your choice, so let us know.  Refer one new member each month and you’ll never have to pay for a WeatherSpork subscription.  It’s that easy.  We know the WeatherSpork app is a revolutionary new tool that will help pilots plan safe flights.  Keep up the good work and keep the Spork-speak going!

Patent pending

Perhaps the biggest news this month is that the WeatherSpork Wheels Up Departure Advisor is now patent pending.  We felt that this revolutionary new way to provide pilots with an easy to understand and convenient approach to find that perfect time to depart was worth the time and money to preserve its novelty.  So we filed a utility patent on July 20, 2018.  What you see in the app right now is just the beginning of what we have planned to expand its current functionality.  We know it will save a few lives!

AirVenture 2018

At Oshkosh I got to meet dozens of Sporkies.  I appreciate all of the kind words for those that flagged me down at the show or stopped by on Monday to hear me speak on datalink weather options in the cockpit.  At the show, I was also interviewed on Wednesday in the Lightspeed tent by Max Trescott for his Aviation News Talk podcast.  You can listen to that interview recorded on mp3 here or click here to view the Facebook live recording with Max and I wearing our comfy Lightspeed headsets!  A big thanks to Max for the great interview and Amber at Lightspeed for her help in this production.

The weather was absolutely spectacular during the event, but there were some weather challenges getting there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.   To help those making the decision of the best time to depart, I recorded a series of three YouTube videos on the weather analysis leading up to the event.  I received a ton of feedback from Sporkies and non-Sporkies alike that these videos provided excellent guidance negotiating the weather to get into the Oshkosh area.  Even if you didn’t fly to the event, take some time and view each of these videos to get a good sense of how to use the app for your preflight planning.  You’ll find those videos in our YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/weatherspork.  And feel free to subscribe so you can keep up with the latest WeatherSpork video content.

WeatherSpork in the news!

General Aviation News, that is!  GA News wrote up a nice one page article on the release of the new WeatherSpork app.  This appeared in their publication on July 5th.  You can view the online article here.

METARs and a bigger airport database

Early in the month we implemented phase one of an effort to expand the airport database.  Prior to WeatherSpork version 4.4.0, only airports that had an aviation-specific forecast were allowed to be entered into the route.  Now, you can enter any public-use airport, however, at this time, these “recently added” airports are not used in the patent pending Wheels Up Departure Advisor.  That’ll occur when we implement phase two in the next major release. Also, we added surface observations to the app that are decoded on the Map view.  With the ETD Finder set all the way to the left, those markers represent the latest surface observations.  Tap on the marker to see the raw and decoded METAR.

Newly added videos

This past month we’ve added a few new videos to our YouTube channel.  If you want to learn how to use WeatherSpork in a real flight planning environment, check out my video Using WeatherSpork to find that perfect time to depart.

The Spork Report

Don’t forget to check out my blog, The Spork Report.  This month you can read about an overturning atmosphere and why you might get those mid-morning bumps.  Also, I in this post, I explain why they are changing the METAR code for hail.

Scott Dennstaedt
Weather Systems Engineer

Scott Dennstaedt

View posts by Scott Dennstaedt
CFI and former NWS research meteorologist. Co-founder of WeatherSpork
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