I decided I wanted to try one of Sporty’s video courses on my iPad. I chose VFR Communications because the DVD version has gotten some good reviews on other blogs lately (A mile of runway will take you anywhere and MyFlightBlog.com for two). The course is a $34.99 download from the iTunes store which is the same price as the DVD. I don’t have the current DVD version to compare but I believe all the video from that course is included in the app.
The app starts on the menu page shown above. Touching a subject area opens a list of videos related to that topic – like the Class D Airport section shown on the right. The course is divided into eight subject areas and twenty three individual video segments.This menu system makes it easy to review specific communication situations. It would probably be impossible for any communication training course to cover every communication situation a pilot will ever encounter but, the information presented in this app covers all the standard communications and some non-standard ones too.
The video quality on the iPad is very good. Sporty’s describes this as a universal app, optimized for both iPad and iPhone, including the iPhone 4 Retina Display. I did not try the app on an iPhone but, I think it would be a little more difficult to view the text screens on the smaller device. It certainly does take advantage of the iPad’s larger screen when installed on that device.
Sporty’s already has a few other courses converted to apps. After my trial with VFR Communications, I am hoping they choose to convert many more of their DVD courses. The portability and video quality make this my new preferred format.