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PocketFMS Message 61.

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Message 1, valid from 09FEB2007 00:00z to 31MAR2007 00:00z - Outdated message.

The Dawn of a New Era!

A New Era is dawning for PocketFMS!

PocketFMS has come a long way from its humble beginnings where Rob Weijers started to write a small tool to help him with his flight training. In the years since then, PocketFMS has grown to become the leading Pocket PC based aviation navigation and flight planning solution - but inadvertently it has developed into so much more than just software! We're extremely proud of our warm and friendly international community of dedicated aviators, and we were absolutely delighted to have our first fly-ins in 2006 - friends meeting friends.

DAFIF has been withdrawn from public access per October 2006. This means that almost all available flight planning programs will no longer have an unrestricted and free supply of up-to-date NavData and Airspace data! Several of these projects have already decided to close shop. Others are still available, but with ever more outdated or incomplete NavData and no clues on how to proceed. This, however, does not apply to PocketFMS - on the contrary!

Being well prepared for this, we have seen our NavDatabase make very significant improvements in the past number of months, through the dedicated work of our Volunteers and ourselves. The Airspace database for much of Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and many other parts of the world has been completely reviewed and updated - it contains entries that are found in no other NavDatabase, even in databases produced by leading NavData providers.

It is with great excitement that we now see PocketFMS take the next leap forward in its development, with the appointment of its first fulltime staff member. Marcel 'Nosegear' Knol, co-founder of the PocketFMS Foundation, is the first to leave his daytime job so that he can concentrate his fulltime efforts on the development of PocketFMS and its NavData. We're convinced this will bring many significant improvements such as having an even more accurate and reliable NavDatabase, quicker support, and more frequent and larger improvements to the functionality of PocketFMS.

The Dawn of a New Era. In spite of popular gossip we're human and are therefore faced with some of the banal facts of life – like having to buy beer & MapData and paying the mortgage. In this perspective, PocketFMS can no longer remain Donationware. Since only about 5% of our users have ever made a donation over the past 3 years (thanks again if you're one of those generous souls!), we'll have to switch to a subscription based system where you can become a Member of the PocketFMS Foundation. But rest assured we're definitely not about to forget the people that brought us to where we are right now, our Donors and Volunteers.

Life long benefits for Donors. The programs, hi-resolution background maps, 2-hourly NavData updates and all other benefits will remain free to Members of the Foundation, but PocketFMS will cease to function once the yearly subscription has expired. This subscription will have to come at an annual price of €150 (approximately US$ 190) – for most pilots about an hour or less worth of flying. However, since many users have made a donation over the years and/or have contributed to improving the quality of the NavData, we feel obligated to have a special reward for these loyal supporters. We have therefore decided that everyone who has become a Donor before March 31, 2007 will have a 50% discount on the yearly subscription price – for the rest of their life!

More information? The future of PocketFMS looks better now than it ever has before. We are about to see major improvements in all aspects of PocketFMS. Via the Content Delivery System (CDS) that's built into PocketFMS Desktop, via the forum, the website and the mailing list we will provide you with further details. Many things will still have to be made up as we go and it's a really exciting adventure for us, turning this great hobby into a living. We trust on your continued support over the years to come, since it's the one thing that drives PocketFMS!

  Blue skies,
   
  The PocketFMS Crew

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