Bulky books, maps and charts could be a thing of the past for recreational pilots if air safety authorities approve the use of new iPad software.
And Bathurst aviators will have the chance to hear about the revolution first-hand when software developer Rowan Wilson speaks at a meeting of the Bathurst Aero Club on Saturday.
Mr Wilson and business partner Bas Scheffers have developed the OzRunways software which features online maps, GPS and airport listings for pilots.
Bathurst Aero Club webmaster Errol Chopping said the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) was currently considering a proposal to approve the software for flights.
He said it would be interesting for local pilots to hear Mr Wilson speak on Saturday.
“Rowan will be demonstrating the software - although a lot of people are already using it - and demonstrating new versions that are just around the corner,” Mr Chopping said.
“CASA has given the software the OK for the planning papers and may be just about to give it the OK for flying papers.”
Mr Chopping said pilots currently have to carry a range of flying papers including a flight plan, weather reports, change notices, plus maps and charts.
They also carry with them the bulky En Route Supplement Australia, which lists information about every airport and airfield in Australia.
All these charts and lists are now available online.
Mr Chopping said neighbouring aero clubs had been in contact about Saturday’s talk, and he was expecting a crowd of up to 70 people.
“Normally we would get 20-30 people for one of our seminars, so we will probably double that,” he said.
“And people don’t have to be members of an aero club to come along. Anyone interested in navigation or aviation is welcome.”
The Bathurst Aero Club, with about 140 members, is one of the biggest and oldest in regional NSW.
The club has its own modern Cessna which members can hire out for use, though Mr Chopping said many members also have their own aircraft.
“Bathurst is quite a busy airport, with about 20,000 movements a year and a lot of members in the aero club,” he said.
“Bathurst is also a favoured place for CASA to hold safety seminars because it’s a central location with a strong aviation community.”
Rowan Wilson will be speaking at the Bathurst Aero Club headquarters at Bathurst Airport from 5pm on Saturday. For more information, phone Errol Chopping on 0412 218 345.