Frequently Asked Questions

My iPhone has a GPS antenna?

Yes it absolutely does!* Believe it or not, iPhones as old as the 3G model came with their very own, dedicated, GPS antenna! However, the devices do not have a switch in the "Settings" menu devoted to the GPS antenna, so many people believe that all location services are provided through their cellular network. If your device is connected and within range of a cellular network, then location services are provided from both the cellular network and GPS satellite data. If your device is too far from a cellular network, then location services are provided only from GPS satellite data.

Don't believe us? We can prove it!

1. Download the "GPS Status" App (it's free). The great thing about this app is that it ONLY receives data from the GPS antenna, not Cellular or Wifi location information.

2. Ensure that "Airplane Mode" is in its normal position
(Remember: turning "Airplane Mode" on shuts off all antennas, including the GPS antenna).
3. You must now disable "Cellular Data" (it will only be for a few minutes, we'll turn it back on).

4. Load the "GPS Status" App. You should see the note depicted below. This means the only source of data for the app is actual GPS satellite data!
Note: You must be near a window, or outside, to receive full signal strength.

6. Now simply hit your "Home" button, re-enable "Cellular Data", and resume normal use.

*Note: Not all iOS devices have a built in GPS antenna, however, those that do not have a built in antenna are capable of receiving signals from an external GPS antenna. Visit The App page to read more.


What Does Aviate, Navigate Communicate Mean

It is the opinion of MyFlight3D that this common phrase sets the fundamental foundation of airmanship. It is a list of priorities a pilot may be wise to apply while airborne.

1. Aviate: The notion of keeping the aircraft safe and flying first. Returning the metal on the ground will inherently return the souls on board to the ground, safe and sound. Legalities will protect the pilot in the case of actual legitimate emergencies.

2. Navigate: Once the aircraft is under control and the threatening situation is contained, determine a path to safety.

3. Communicate: Arguably the lowest priority. Consider communicating only once the aircraft is safe, under control, and the pilot is aware of the situation with a vector toward safety.

Consult our Terms & Policies page for our stance on flight instruction.


Is This A Flight Simulator

No. This system is meant to be a training/demonstration/debriefing tool for aviators of all disciplines. Your flight data is gathered with your iOS device, then uploaded from the app to your free online account. Once the flight is complete and you're ready to analyze the details, your online account will compose the data into a virtual 3D tour, able to be relived and customized within Google Earth.


What Is Required To Run MyFlight3D

Please visit The App page to explain all questions regarding the MyFlight3D app.


Is MyFlight3D on Android

No, sorry, not yet. We'll get there. MyFlight3D for Android devices is high on our To-Do list!


Is Google Earth Enterprise Required

No way! MyFlight3D is not affiliated with Google Earth Enterprise and the features of that application are not required for MyFlight3D replays.


Do I Need An Account First

No, start recording now! Your iPhone/iPad will store the flight information until you delete it. It will stay secure and compressed on your iPhone/iPad until you're ready to create a free online account, then upload the data from your iPhone/iPad to your account. We highly suggest storing those precious flights on your online account and let them stay there for as long as possible. As the website develops, new algorithms will continue to enhance the accuracy and realism of your flights, and you'll be able to re-create the replay years from now.


When Can I Watch The Replay

Many people have assumed that a replay is only available right after a flight is complete. The GPS data will stay on your online account, always ready and available for a replay to be created from the GPS data. Lets discuss a few examples:

1. You just flew your solo pattern, recorded the whole thing, and uploaded it to your online account. 5 years later, you want to watch your VFR pattern work. You can absolutely select the GPS data, re-create the replay, and watch those wide bomber-patterns and feel the stress like it was yesterday!

2. You'd like to prepare to fly into an unfamiliar airfield, and a fellow student pilot has previously recorded, with MyFlight3D, his flight into this airfield. Ask your counterpart pilot to make a replay of the flight, and send you the ".kmz" file that is created. Google Earth will open the ".kmz" file, and you'll be able to thoroughly chair-fly into that unfamiliar airfield over and over.


Can We Watch Replays on Mobile

Yup! The Google Earth Mobile App is completely free and will allow you to view your virtual replay.


Can We Share Replays

Absolutely! The ".kmz" file that you download is able to be emailed/uploaded/transported/copied/backed-up in any way you can think of. The ".kmz" file is a native Google Earth format, there is nothing proprietary, dangerous, costly or copyrighted about it.


How Much Does The App Cost

5 USD. No subscriptions, no charge for your online account, and basically no storage quota (see our storage policy page).


Is There A Free App Version

There sure is! Simply search MyFlight3D Free on the App Store. The free version will only record 30 minutes of GPS trails.


What Similiar Apps Exist

We are aware of only two other competing devices designed to achieve the same goal we are. The first company does not list a cost, and on their FAQ page, their answer to "How much does it cost?" is simply "Contact Us". The other competitor is a subscription service.


Why Is The App So Simple

Every aspect of the MyFlight3D app has a purpose.

1. The black background is designed to save battery power. Bright colors and animations will very quickly drain the battery. Fewer colors to emit saves power significantly.
2. The simplicity of the interface is designed to discourage use during flight. The app is not for use as a navigation tool.


Will The App Run In The Background

Yes it will, but "the background" has varied definitions for different users. The app will not record if the screen is locked. The screen must stay awake to continue recording the GPS data. The app will automatically keep the screen active while a recording is in progress. If you define "the background" as meaning "Can I use other apps while recording?", then please continue to the next question.


Can I Use Other Apps While Recording

Yes you can. We understand there are apps approved for aviation. All tests so far have proven that the GPS data recording will continue while you use other apps on your iPhone/iPad. As explained in the previous question, the screen must stay awake to continue recording. If for some reason you're recording a flight, and need your iPhone/iPad for a temporary purpose, you must return (ie: re-open) to the MyFlight3D app. The app will automatically keep the screen active while a recording is in progress.


How Do I Save Power

The screen will automatically stay awake during a recording. With that being said, about the only option left to conserve power is to dim the screen brightness, which actually does make a big difference on power savings. Use the brightness slider within the MyFlight3D app to increase/decrease brightness as you see fit.

We have had great and consistent success with flights as long as 3 hours on iPhone 4's only draining the battery approximately 30%. iPhone 5's and 6's have no problem with their increased battery size lasting a full flight whatsoever.


Does "Airplane Mode" Change Anything

Yes. iPhone/iPads do not have a dedicated switch for the GPS antenna. If your iPhone/iPad is in "Airplane Mode", the GPS antenna is inherently off, and thus not receiving a signal. Therefore, your iPhone/iPad must not be in "Airplane Mode" for your location to be properly calculated. This actually works to our advantage, due to the fact that the cellular network will provide location information to your iPhone/iPad while within range. Once the aircraft transitions beyond cellular coverage range, only GPS signals are providing location information. Having the cellular coverage for the beginning and end of a flight helps conserve power and enhance location precision.

In order for the MyFlight3D App to connect to your online account, a Cellular or WiFi data connection is required. You may continue to record multiple flights without a data connection, but in order to upload the flights to your online account, a data connection is required.


How Can GPS Accuracy Be Improved

The best way to improve position accuracy is to place your iPhone/iPad in a position that has a clear view of the sky. Normally this is by a window, on a dash, on a passenger seat, or in a pocket next to a window.

If you decide to place the iPhone/iPad in constant direct sunlight, you risk excess heating of the device. Always place it face-down, attempt to vent some airflow over the device, and covering with a simple rag or towel, etc, will significantly reduce the heat imposed on your iPhone/iPad.


How Can I Remember To Record

Don't feel bad, this system of recording your flights is outside of the normal checklists and habit patterns we're used to. We suggest two methods to remember to start and stop your recordings:
1. Set a timer for when you expect to step to the airplane. Start the recording and just let it stay protected in your pocket. If you remember to set it by a window, great, if not, it should still gather a GPS signal.
2. Pencil a note in your "Before Starting Engine" and "Engine Shutdown" checklist. This is not a formal step in your checklists, and is considered "Gouge". Use caution: some evaluators may look quite negatively upon this method.


Can I Use My Device While Airbone

The only answer we can possibly give to this question is: It Depends. Every civilian, military, corporate and private institution has their own specific rules, in addition to the FAA and ICAO regulations. You are solely responsible for knowing where to reference this information, and what the rules are.

Now for civilians, we'll just answer that question for you now: Yes, if you have determined that the device in question will not interfere with any of the aircraft's systems (read more here).

Always Remember
Aviate | Navigate | Communicate


Can I Make More Than One Flight Replay

Storing replays that you've created is your responsibility, your online account will only save the most recently created replay. However your GPS flight data always stays on your account, so you can re-create replays any time you like. The culmination of this process is a ".kmz" file. The ".kmz" file is a native Google Earth format that can be stored and shared any time you like.


How Much Storage Does My Account Have

We have a storage policy described here.


What Models Are Available To Choose From

We have a stock of free models available for all users. They range from airliners to military to small trainers. Soon we will be implementing a feature to upload custom models. Already available are the Starship Enterprise and the Millennium Falcon...we like to have fun.


Does Google's Imagery Change Over Time

The imagery will in fact change over time. This system uses free the Google Earth application, and the free OpenGIS format, so we are subject to their updates. Fortunately, Google has already set the precedence that storage is cheap & easy, and they have already implemented a feature to display imagery from years past.


Can Helicopter/Aerobatic Pilots Use This

Algorithms for hovering, autorotation and aerobatics are not yet implemented. To be honest, we don't have any data to even work with yet. We still highly suggest that you begin recording flights now, and be ready as updates and features are released.