The pilot in command is responsible for ensuring a flight can be carried out safely. GPS navigation devices undoubtedly help pilots to avoid controlled airspace. For obvious reasons, it is very important to use up to date airspace files. Warning: regardless of any navigation devices installed or carried, you should always fly with a hard copy 1/2 mil chart showing the current airspace.
Choice of GPS navigation devices and software…
Affordable devices designed for GA with VFR 1/2 mil chart software include Airspace Aware. Gliding specific software, which can be used on a variety of devices, includes additional capability and detail that is specifically useful to glider pilots. A commonly used example is Seeyou. Open source soaring software provides other options. An example is XCSoar. Other software is available. You are recommended to seek advice before you decide which to use.
Manufacturers usually provide updates for their commercially available software. A number of hardware and software resellers, for example Navboys, provide airspace file updates from their websites.
A small number of talented volunteers do fantastic work in producing specific airspace files for use with a variety of software applications. You can view a list of airspace files, including a link to the ‘soaringweb’ site, in the Airspace Files section of the website forms and publications library.
To assist with navigation when flying gliders cross-country there are a growing number of cockpit devices which can display a moving map to help you to track your progress. In order to keep you out of trouble it is necessary for areas of controlled and restricted airspace to be displayed on the map. Unfortunately these data change all too often so the moving map devices need to be updated with the latest airspace files from time-to-time. Air Space Select (ASSelect) is an application which enables glider pilots to download a customised airspace file for loading into their gizmos. Its important to have current data in your device – ASSelect updates airspace data every four weeks and now includes RA(T)s.
ASSelect Changes in 2017
For some time ASSelect has been a downloadable application that could be run only under Windows. In summer 2017, Alan Sparrow took over responsibility for its maintenance on a voluntary basis and decided to re-engineer the application so that it would run on many more environments than Windows. To do this he has made it a web based application. Functionally there are very few changes from the PC version, which is no longer being maintained, although the look and feel has been updated. Probably the main difference is that whereas the PC version allowed one to choose between None, Class G or Class D for some items (e.g. unlicensed airfields) the Class D option has been dropped in favour of Class F.
The web version of the program is available at: https://asselect.uk/ If you’re not sure how to use it, there are tips on how to use and set up your device here.
The small print…
Please note that data contained in the files linked from this site is provided with the best of intention but without guarantee as to completeness or correctness. Any conclusions drawn from the data and information are the sole responsibility of the user.
Finally, regardless of any navigation devices installed or carried, always fly with a hard copy 1/2 mil chart showing the current airspace.