Learning to Fly Fish

Helped a local volunteer organization to build a website. They are Project Healing Waters – the Denver Program, and they help returning vets who have experienced some damage. They help by teaching the vets to fly fish, and organizing outings for them. If you are interested in the subject, see http://projecthealingwatersdenver.org.
As a thanks for the help, their head coordinator gave me a fly rod, and one of their other officials is giving me fly casting lessons, and has offered to take me Fly Fishing next week. I’m very excited about this. I’ve always wanted to learn to fly fish. It looks very therapeutic.

Adding maps to my java flying apps

Just for fun I explored the Google Maps API and put maps into the flying apps. The google maps aren’t FAA charts or course, but on a multiple leg trip it is quite handy to be able to see the various stops laid out on a map. I also added maps to the page that shows the list of checkpoints. I think this is pretty handy in flight planning, as the alternative is to mark up a hardcopy chart.

Another nice new feature is airport lookup. This is a jquery enabled box on the pages that are asking for an airport ID. If you are planning to fly to some city but don’t know the ID of the airport there, you can just type in the name of the city. It is an autocomplete thing which does an ajax lookup in the airport database as you are typing, giving you a progressively narrower list of airports in cities that match what you have typed. Once you select an airport the ID is automatically put into the field.

Try the flight planner to see these new features.

Flying Apps updated

I finally got around to writing the code to decode TAFs. A lot of the code for decoding individual terms is shared with the Metar decoder. Metars are actually a bit more complex. The only complexity with TAFs is dealing with a sequence of forecasts for different time periods.
I also updated the ADF Tester applet a little to bring it into this century. It is quite an interesting thing to note how much java’s internal mechanisms mutate over a period as small as 5 years.
The flying apps are on the Flying page.