Blog

This is our general news and announcements page.

New fuel columns for aircraft

Most of the development focus is on the new billing system at the moment, but we did have some time to add a small feature which may be useful.

When you use the system to record all your flights, the system collects the fuel added (in Litres). The total fuel and the burn rate are now shown on the Aircraft tab, and they look something like this:

Aircraft list showing new fuel columns

Ever been distracted before saving your training notes?

Imagine you've spent a few minutes with your student, writing their training notes for the last flight. Right at that critical moment when you're nearly finished someone else needs your attention. Perhaps it's the phone, or maybe someone has just arrived for their air experience and you want to make them welcome.

It's easy to get distracted and forget to click Save, which means all those notes you've spent time working on are not stored in the system. You may have even logged out of the computer, or closed the browser window.

However, all is not lost!

Booking on small screens

iPhone home screen with booking system icon

More than half of all internet browsing is now on a mobile device such as a phone or tablet (as compared to a desktop or laptop).

So it was important that we create a booking system that would run on mobile devices as well as desktops. Typically flying schools have access to computers in their offices, so while on site it isn't such an issue, but I still wanted as much as possible of the system to be mobile-friendly. I'm pleased to say the entire system works on mobile!

Air Experience Vouchers: Selling Online

Do you want to sell air experience flights online? Perhaps you already do, but it isn't fully automated.

Some schools sell vouchers online, but the fulfilment process is hard work. For example, perhaps you print and post vouchers manually. All the costs of stamps, paper and ink all add up, not to mention your time travelling back and forth to the Post Office. Nowadays, most people have access to a printer so can print vouchers themselves. Even if they don't, they probably know someone who does, or of course they could still phone and ask you to print it for them!

Waiting List

Have you ever wanted to book an hour someone else has already booked? What if they cancelled their booking; wouldn't you like to know?

We thought it would be nice if the system could keep track of which slots you'd like to book and could let you know if they become available. This really only applies to students and members because instructors will generally want to guarantee their bookings with students can go ahead.

Message displayed when a booking clashes with another booking

User Privacy

As a student or member looking to make a booking, you may have seen "Busy" in the booking form. When you see this, it means someone has booked these slots, and they have not opted in to be contacted by other members.

Booking form showing "busy"

Adding notes before a flight

In some circumstances you might want to add some additional notes when booking out. This is an optional text field, and you can use it for any purpose you like. For example, you might want to give additional information about your intended route or include your total fuel on board.

The Booked Out screen shows all aircraft currently booked out.

Flying in someone else's aircraft?

If you fly in someone else's aircraft - perhaps when you revalidate a pilot's license - you probably want to record this in the booking system. But you won't want to create an aircraft record for use just once, or clutter the system with aircraft details you don't use regularly.

Can one booking be used by more than one pilot?

Yes, certain bookings can be used by more than pilot. Here is some background on the problem we've attempted to solve. Flying For Freedom have been busy training at our local flying school, Kemble Flying Club. In partnership with Help for Heroes, they are planning to fly across Antarctica to the South Pole in microlight aircraft. The pilots taking part in the expedition are eight wounded and injured servicemen who will fly in open cockpit 'flexwing' microlights. This has never been attempted before - able-bodied or not - and we wish them all the very best in their challenge.

How to make overnight bookings (or longer!)

Instructors and office staff can now make bookings spanning several days instead of hour slots!

But don't worry, members and students are still limited to same day bookings, which allows you to keep tabs on aircraft availability. You can make the booking for the member if you authorise their request for an overnight booking.

This might benefit you if you hire aircraft for longer periods. It will also help if a group of people hire the aircraft for (say) a week with more than one pilot flying.