Summary: Today on the show I chat with Bas Scheffers who is a Recreational and Private pilot, Aircraft owner and developer of the well known aviation app called OzRunways. In the interview we talk about a number of things including aircraft ownership, getting his Instrument rating and some of the new features of the OzRunways App available which is available on Apple and Android devices.
Cross Country Flying in Light Sport Aircraft – Discussion about the light wing loading and the fact that the aircraft is more susceptible to turbulence. Bas notes that when you fly aircraft (Such as the SR22) with a higher wing loading you can notice the difference.
Starting to Fly the DA-40 – Bas enjoyed renting the DA-40 and got his PPL in the aircraft. At the time the aircraft owner was keen to sell. The diesel engine had a bad reputation which tended to drive the price down. Bas did his research on the diesel engine to put his mind at ease (By talking to other operators). Bas entered into a syndicate of six members obtaining a significant discount compared to a similarly capable aircraft. The new DA-40s retail for around $400,000. 1/6th share of the DA-40 was $20,000.
The DA-40 – Has a Thielert common rail turbo charged engine diesel engine with no mixture control with two engine control units. Up to 6000 ft you keep the engine at 100% power. It does around 130 TAS at 80% power at 7/8/9 thousand feet for 6 gallons of fuel (Jet A).
Air Services Charges – Bas explains the Air Services user fees for the DA-40.
Aircraft Syndicate – In Australia it is common to form a Pty Ltd company where each owner has shares. There is a fixed monthly fee for hangarage, insurance, subscriptions for the GPS ($150 a month) and also there is an hourly fee which includes fuel, scheduled maintenance and engine overhaul ($170 a month). This does not include unscheduled maintenance which is shared equally. Bas notes there was an Airworthiness Directive (AD) issued on the nose gear which cost $5,000 to comply with which was shared between the members of the syndicate. Bas notes that most pilots don’t do more than 50 hours a year. He mentions that the DA-40 only did over 200 hours for 6 owners last year. There are rules in the syndicate for gaining permission for longer flights from the members.
Instrument Training – Bas enjoyed his training and wrote about it for AOPA magazine. He did his training at Redcliffe in Queensland at Avalon Air Services. His Instructor was Cameron Ross who is an experienced IFR instructor. The course can be completed full time (1 week of theory and then 2 weeks of flying). Bas did his lessons in the DA-40.
IFR Rating – Bas note that the rating is not only about flying in cloud. He mentions that its highly procedural and that with the IFR rating it easier to get through controlled airspace. He notes that flying in uncontrolled airspace under IFR is similar to VFR flight following.
OzRunways App – When the iPad came out Bas mentioned that it was obvious that it would be useful for flying. Bas joined up with Rowan Wilson to develop the app. The first iteration of the app was very basic and had En Route Supplement Australia (ERSA), Departure and Approach Procedures (DAP) and the Aeronautical Information Package (AIP). At that point Bas assumed that a large company would come into the market with a superior application. Neil joined the team and they put out the first version with maps in June 2011. That is when the app started to make a reasonable level of income.
A sample screen shot of the OzRunways App from the OzRunways Website
New Features of OzRunways – Last year they brought in the new weather manager which shows weather overlaid on the map.
Recently they introduced two new features:
1. Live Restricted Areas on the Map – shown in Red on the map.
2. Traffic – makes the 3G network send position reports from the app to the servers back to other pilots apps. It means that family and friends can track aircraft in real-time and pilots can maintain improved situational awareness. If an incident occurs this could speed up the process of finding an aircraft in distress.
A sample screen shot of the RWY App from the OzRunways Website
There is a 30 day free trial for the application.
An example of the Evektor Sportstar aircraft that Bas owned
An example of a Diamond DA-40 which Bas is a part owner of
RWY (Android) by OzRunways Promotional Video
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