Flying has been slow recently, with it being winter and all in the mid-west. Mostly my time has been occupied with a personal software project I've called Preflight Pro.
This project came from a need to address a major headache in preflight planning, Notices to Airmen (or NOTAMs for short). Currently there are three ways to retrieve NOTAMs so far:
1) Obtain a preflight briefing by calling 1800-wxbrief
2) Through DUATs
3) Or through the FAA's PilotWeb
Number 1 is hands down the best and most accurate way to get up-to-date NOTAM information before you fly. I'd like to repeat that, getting a preflight briefing from an approved FSS briefer is the best and most accurate way to get up-to-date NOTAM information before you fly.
But what if you're just checking out NOTAMs just to stay informed about the area you currently fly in? Or what if you're planning that dream flight to the Super Bowl this Sunday? You don't want to call up a flight briefer and harrass them if you're not actually going to fly in the next two hours are you?
So the only alternatives to access NOTAMs online are either through DUATs or PilotWeb. Let's be honest here, DUATs is an out-dated system that was designed to present text information on 300x150 monochrome terminal screens, and PilotWeb is nothing more than a screen scrape of that same text dumped out on a webpage.
I'm not denying that DUATs and PilotWeb are not informative; in fact they are excellent resources for information. But this is 2006, if you're going to present information on the web you're going to have to go a step beyond in HOW that information is presented.
That's where I hope Preflight Pro will fill the niche. I'm not going to say anymore except provide you a link to my site, I want you guys to see for yourself and make the call if I'm on the right track.
Preflight Pro: The alternative to DUATs for NOTAMs and TFRs.