Copyright © 2011, J. R. Goodenough
Spine stands for “Soaring Pilot’s Intelligent NOTAMs Editor”. For use in the UK only, it provides a simple interface to the AIS web site for downloading NOTAMs.
Using its customisable filtering feature, Spine then analyses the NOTAMs and marks those not relevant for deletion. You then browse through the entries, making changes as necessary, then Spine produces a formatted print out of the final selection.
The output can be sorted in a number of ways, including by distance and bearing from a fixed location, such as your home airfield, and ranges can be set to restrict the downloaded NOTAMs to a particular area.
As well as printing NOTAMs directly, Spine’s output can be saved to a file, either as HTML or in OpenAir or Tim Newport-Peace (TNP) format for use with a PDA (running, for example, XCSoar or Winpilot) to display the boundaries of NOTAMed airspace in flight.
Spine was originally designed for use by glider pilots, and that remains its primary focus. However, its filtering feature, using the ‘Q’ line information provided by AIS, can be customised for use by GA pilots.
Spine has a powerful plotting feature, which allows NOTAMs to be visualised graphically on screen. The user can also plot a task in the plot window, and view applicable NOTAMs.