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About Steven Sokol

Founder, CEO, test pilot, assembly line worker, QA tester, and janitor at Falken Avionics.

Alive And Well In Austin

Just a quick note to let everyone know that the move is complete and we are now located at Breakaway Airpark in Cedar Park, a suburb of Austin Texas. Our new address is:

Falken Avionics
2901 Kenai Drive
Cedar Park, TX 78613

Production has resumed on the FlightBox and FlightView lines. We’re currently running about 10 days on a FlightView Core Kit or FlightBox Pro. FlightBox portables are expected to be back in stock the week of June 15. Apologies for the delay. It seems that there has been a bit of a run on Raspberry Pi computers as a result of the pandemic.

By |2020-06-12T17:16:49+00:00June 12, 2020|Blog Post|Comments Off on Alive And Well In Austin

Falken Avionics Moving To Austin, Texas

So if you’ve been following this blog for the past several years you might recall that we moved from Liberty, Missouri (a suburb of Kansas City) to Cupertino, California in 2018. That move was the result of a fantastic career opportunity for my wife Amy. Well, two years later she has been offered a promotion with a relocation to Austin. There are few things worse than moving, but in this case I’m looking forward to it. The Bay Area is beautiful, and the weather is fantastic, and it’s so absurdly expensive that growing a small “bootstrap” (i.e. self-funded) business is a significant challenge. The move to Texas will reduce costs (like my $630 / month T-hangar) and make it much easier to grow.

The down-side to the move is that it will disrupt things for a couple of weeks while everything is in transit. Orders for FlightView systems, FlightBox Pro systems and […]

By |2020-05-04T18:06:31+00:00May 4, 2020|Blog Post|1 Comment

FlightView Simulator Now Available

We’re getting close to a 1.0 release of the FlightView app. I just pushed the latest beta version to Apple’s TestFlight. It should be approved and available to all beta testers in the next 24 – 48 hours. I’ve had several users ask for a way to see FlightView in action without actually having to install all the hardware. Understandable. Fortunately, using off-the-shelf gear makes that pretty easy.

You can now download an image file that works with any Raspberry Pi 3B or 3B+. Unzip the file and write it to a micro SD card, pop it into the Pi and power it up.

The demo flies a continuous circuit around California through heavy air traffic (300 random simulated targets), through a rain storm, and over some challenging terrain. The emulator sends a constant stream of data for all the key […]

By |2020-02-21T01:33:37+00:00February 21, 2020|Blog Post|2 Comments

How Not To Install ADS-B Out

Ironically, you might think, I waited until the very last minute to get ADS-B Out installed (well, re-installed) in my RV-6A. The RV arrived back in 2017 with a Dynon system which included Dynon’s (which is actually Trig’s) Mode S transponder. Within a few weeks I swapped out the standard GPS for the 2020-complaint version (SV-GPS-2020) and was fully legal. That worked great until this past summer when I went and ripped everything out to install FlightView. Transponder integration was a long way down the FlightView feature list, so I punted and installed an old but reliable Garmin GTX-327.

Late this fall I finally got around to working on the transponder. It turns that it uses a rather complex low-level protocol called TMAP which both configures and remote controls the transponder. Fortunately, I have friends who are much smarter than I am. With a huge amount of help from Eugene (thanks, […]

By |2020-01-18T23:41:31+00:00January 18, 2020|Blog Post|Comments Off on How Not To Install ADS-B Out

Introducing Chekov: Voice Checklists for Pilots

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on an interactive checklist feature for FlightView, our iPad-based EFIS. This checklist feature lets you create lists containing items which FlightView can display and also play as an audio prompt. (Think: “Flaps to 20 degrees.”) You acknowledge the list item by either tapping a button or by saying an acknowledgement word. (Think: “Check” or “Twenty”.) I wasn’t sure how well this would work out, since in most cases speech recognition requires an Internet connection, which can be hard to come by at 10,000 feet.

Fortunately, Apple managed to surprise and delight by introducing a new feature in iOS 13. Offline speech recognition is now a standard feature available on all iOS devices equipped with an A9 or newer processor. This is a game changer: the same technology will ultimately allow us to build a comprehensive voice assistant into FlightView. (Think: “Artoo, plot a […]

By |2019-11-27T22:04:11+00:00November 27, 2019|Blog Post|Comments Off on Introducing Chekov: Voice Checklists for Pilots

Installing FlightView Beta From TestFlight

A quick post to cover the process of installing the FlightView app on your iPad. The process is as follows:

1) Install Apple’s TestFlight app on the iPad.
2) Click this link (in Safari, on your iPad) to join the FlightView beta.

Then follow the instructions in TestFlight to install the app. Once it has finished installing, start it up and follow the setup assistant to install base maps, the aviation database, and terrain.

The beta is open to the public and totally anonymous – we don’t get contact information or anything else when you join. The only things that get sent back are your feedback and debug logs.

By |2019-09-13T17:34:37+00:00September 13, 2019|Blog Post|Comments Off on Installing FlightView Beta From TestFlight

To Oshkosh With FlightView

I’ve been flying with various versions of FlightView for nearly two years now. When I moved from Kansas City to Cupertino in July of 2018 I had an alpha version running on a RAM mount next to the Dynon system that came with my RV-6A. This gave me a safe and reliable way to test, tune, and validate FlightView. If something didn’t work as expected (which happened occasionally with the early versions) I had a set of instruments to fall back on.

That was a great way to start out, but eventually you have to “eat your own dog food” as they say in the tech world. Over the course of the past year the FlightView software and hardware had matured to the point where I was ready to take off the training wheels, so early this summer I took out the original panel – the Dynon, the steam gauges, and […]

By |2019-08-01T19:13:01+00:00August 1, 2019|Blog Post|1 Comment

FlightView Training Videos Up

In response to the blast of questions that have been coming in, I’ve created a video playlist on YouTube that covers some of the more interesting features of FlightView. The library also contains a longer-form video that walks you through the process of upgrading a FlightBox with the 2.0 beta, and installing the FlightView app beta on your iPad.

Check out the FlightView Video Library.

By |2019-07-14T19:12:38+00:00July 14, 2019|Blog Post|Comments Off on FlightView Training Videos Up
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