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Simon Hackett buys into Aussie aviation app

Simon Hackett buys into Aussie aviation app

Internode founder invests in 40 per cent stake in AvPlan

Simon Hackett and Bevan Anderson.

Simon Hackett and Bevan Anderson.

Founder of Internode, Simon Hackett, has invested in a 40 per cent stake in AvPlan, an Australian company which develops iOS-based flight planning software for professional pilots.

Why? Hackett himself is a pilot, and began using AvPlan to fly his Pilatus PC-12. The company – which was created in 2011 by Melbourne-based pilot and software developer, Bevan Anderson, to simplify the process of developing and filing aircraft flight plans - is therefore in a realm which he understands.

“When I first discovered this software, I had no idea you could do this on an iPhone or iPad,” Hackett said. “I flipped overnight to using AvPlan after having previously used an old Windows program. To paraphrase Victor Kiam who bought Remington in 1979, I liked this software so much, I bought into the company.”

According to AvPlan founder, Bevan Anderson, Hackett’s investment will enable the company to diversify its product portfolio and accelerate a US expansion.

“We’ve spent the past two years making sure that AvPlan is a function-rich and rock solid product,” Anderson said. “Now, we can accelerate the development of AvPlan, and we can formally launch it in the US where there’s a huge market for this sort of easy-to-use, convenient, and affordable product.”

AvPlan, which turns paper-based processes into digital, automatically maintains the latest available maps and charts on the iPad, and uses Internet access to automatically download and interpret current weather forecasts for optimal route planning and to calculate the most time and fuel-efficient flight altitudes.

It also includes Cloud features that allow multiple devices to share flight plans and aircraft data models.

“AvPlan can take you from an intention to a filed instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan in just a few minutes,” Hackett said. “AvPlan’s moving map capabilities, including the integration of all relevant IFR and visual flight rules (VFR) charts into a single ‘mega chart’ for each flying mode, gives you capabilities that exceed those available on the multi-function device in an advanced aircraft cockpit.”

“You can superimpose weather data from the Bureau of Meteorology, including Radar and SIGNMET areas and pop-up airport weather forecasts. You can even superimpose your geo-referenced instrument approach plate right onto the moving map.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Australia’s aviation industry watchdog, recently certified AvPlan as a permitted ‘Electronic Flight Bag’ (EFB) application which can be used in-flight instead of paper-based aviation maps and charts.

AvPlan’s licensing permits a single subscriber to use the software on three devices. The intent is to allow a pilot carrying a primary iPad to have two backups on standby, be they iPads or iPhones. A one-year subscription starts from $75.

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