FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
LICENSE, UPGRADES AND PRICE
Can I try the software first before I buy it?
Yes, if you download the software, you will be granted a 30 day license to evaluate the software. If you wish to continue after the 30 day period, then a registration fee is required where upon you will be issued with an unique unlock code for you computer, granting you unlimited use. After the 30 day period, if no valid unlock code has been entered, then the software will cease to work.
How much is the registration fee?
The current fee is £20 for Private Pilots and £50 for Commercial operators/Flying training organisation/Clubs. This is a one off fee which also allows future versions of NOTAM Check to work when they become available.
Why is the cost so cheap? There must be a catch.
The software project was initially for my own use to reliably check the NOTAMs. Since then fellow pilots, with lots of ideas and suggestions, have made NOTAM Check what it is today. From the early days, my dream was to give something to the flying community that can save lives. The only way this would reliably work is to keep the cost very low so it is affordable to everyone.
How do I get the upgrades?
Every now and then, a new version will appear on the website. Download it as normal, uninstall your previous version and then install the new one. This can be done any time during the 30 day evaluation license and also any time after a valid unlock code has been entered.
How do I find out when a new version is available?
You can join the mailing list for news of an update or if your software is V2.20 or later, an automatic check for new versions is carried out when you are online and downloading a PIB. If a new version is available for download, you will receive a message telling you so.
Will my licence work on more than one computer?
No, the licence is for the specific computer only, although that means an unlimited number of users can use that one computer. If the intention of the computer is for commercial or club use then the registration fee is slightly higher at £50. This is the only satisfactory way to control software piracy.
NOTAMs IN GENERAL
Why do I need to check the NOTAMs?
The pilot is required by law to self-brief before a flight and to check numerous items, i.e. Certificate of Airworthiness, valid license, valid medical etc. One of these requirements is also to check for 'Notices to Airmen', or NOTAM. These are contained within a Pre-Flight Information Bulletin (PIB) and can alert pilots to a variety of dangers and changes. The NOTAMs may be a closed taxiway, a firework display, Red Arrows display or even live weapons testing for example. You cannot guarantee a safe flight without secure knowledge that the NOTAMs have been checked and understood fully.
Why do I need software to check NOTAMs?
A typical PIB will be around 30 pages of A4 paper, most of it being a mass of numbers with the occasional names of places or aerodromes. The only way you can guarantee that each NOTAM does not affect you is for you to find and plot the information onto a map and compare with your intended flight. This would take many hours.
What is the difference between a narrow route brief and a full plot of all NOTAMs?
Using the free AIS website, you can obtain a narrow route brief which is a filtered version of entire PIB leaving you with around 3 or 4 pages of A4. The disadvantage of this system is you still need to read and fully understand the text and it only applies to flying in a straight line. Plotting the NOTAMs from a full PIB graphically on to a map allows you to gauge the general area you wish to fly. You have a better appreciation of how close the NOTAMs may be to you flight and which ones are irrelevant.
Why can I not see any weather information?
You must first register with the Met Office website using this web address only www.metoffice.com. When you logon make sure you check the box which says "Remember me next time I logon". Your computer must have cookies enabled for it to remember your Met Office logon password. Do not logout, just close the browser. This process only has to be completed once.
To enable cookies in Internet Explorer, click 'Tools' and select 'Internet Options', Select the 'Privacy' Tab, Click 'Advanced'. Place a tick in the checkbox by 'Override automatic cookie handling'. Accept 'First-party Cookies' and 'Third-party Cookies'.
Do I need an internet connection?
Although it is preferred, a current PIB can be pasted into the text window and then processed as normal. You should be aware, that if you do this, you may not be processing a current or valid PIB. You will not be able to get any weather information without an internet connection. You will also need Internet Explorer 4 or later installed as NOTAM Check uses its resources to download from the web.
How fast should my internet connection be?
A typical PIB is about 100kB. A connection speed of 56K will download the PIB in about 20 seconds and a further 20 seconds for the processor to process it.
How fast should my processor/computer be?
NOTAM Check will work on a 200MHz computer but the main processing of the PIB will take around 1 minute. A processor speed of 1.8GHz reduces this to around 15 seconds. If you find the map takes too long to redraw, then try selecting the lower resolution map from the menu Tools->Options
Why does my cursor flash between the arrow and the hourglass continuously?
Some versions of Windows cause the cursor to flash between the hourglass and arrow after a PIB download. Install the latest service packs for your version of Windows to remove this problem.