New Features in Q1 2019
After gathering requirements from new users of the system I have been hard at work making improvements. The goals driving each of these improvements are easier use of the system itself and giving you the tools needed to enforce policies that drive a culture of safety in your organization. Using Trackhobbs to help manage scheduling and billing in my own partnership helps me discover and attempt to correct user experience problems.
Aircraft Currency Checking
The larger your group gets the more important it can be to make sure that currency policies are enforced. Each aircraft in your organization can have a currency rule applied to it and each rule can have a list of additional aircraft that can fulfill the currency requirements. If you have a fleet of Cessna 172s you can add all of the aircraft to your 172 currency rule so that when you fly any of them it counts toward currency for all of them. You can also setup rules so that flying a larger 182 contributes credit to 172 currency, but flying the smaller 172 does not contribute to currency in the 182.
Currency rules are evaluated at checkout time and the organization member's checkout will be denied if their currency has expired because they failed to fly the required number of hours in the currency period. When this happens a currency exception can be requested. Once the request is approved it will allow the member to checkout the aircraft.
When you checkout or on your organization member page you can view an audit log of your currency so you can see what rules were applied to declare you current.
Disable Manual Ticket Entry for Members
Paperless checkout is required to enforce policies around maintenance tracking and aircraft currency rules. Removing the option to manually enter tickets helps make sure that organization members don't skip paperless checkout when recording flights. You can limit ticket creation to CFIs or only admins.
The first iteration of scheduling only provided a month calendar view per aircraft. Now a day schedule has been added so you can see all of the aircraft, CFIs, and other resources in a single horizontal hour view.
Fly Now Button
A new button has been added to the main organization page that will allow you to see what aircraft are available now and make impromptu reservations. As soon as you create the reservation it takes you directly to checkout. This was designed with two use cases in mind. First, if you are in a club and decide that it is a great day to fly when nobody else seems to be out it is still best to reserve the airplane so others can know whether or not it is worth driving to the airport when they have the same idea. Second, it is handy for individual pilots that want to take their airplane flying. This creates a record in your history so you can see on the calendar which dates you flew and it lets you get the benefits of checking maintenance and currency status and recording new usage without too many steps.
Flight School Support
In order to help our first flight school customer I added billing for resources, CFI flights, and CFI ground time. Resources can be anything you want to charge for with a flight such as tablets, headsets, or ADS-B receivers. While Trackhobbs was initially designed to handle monthly billing for clubs and partnerships it became apparent that not everyone likes to only bill on monthly intervals. To enable schools and clubs that want to bill after each flight any tickets in a billing cycle that has not yet closed can be manually selected and invoiced.
There is a long list of things I want to add to Trackhobbs to help pilots stay safe by making it easier to track their usage and progress toward required maintenance and inspection intervals. If you have anything that you wish the system would do you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can start a conversation about your requirements and where your use case fits in to the overall product road map.