Gaggle has an altitude widget that will show you important information about your altitude.
Altitude: On the left-hand side of the widget is your altitude above sea level, you can change this to display the GPS altitude (Mean Sea Level) or to display the pressure altitude (QNH/QFE) if your device has a barometer built in or connected through bluetooth. Height Above Ground: On the right-hand side of the widget is your height above ground for your current position.
Climb Rate: In the bottom center of the altitude widget you will find the climb rate widget that will show you your current climb and sink rate. Note: If you are using pressure altitude, then pressure changes, like flying through thermals and suddenly throttling up on your motor, can impact this instrument and it will briefly show incorrect values.
Altitude Graph: As you fly, Gaggle will draw a graph showing altitude changes for the past 10 minutes with an indication of the ground level at that time. The graph turn a turquoise color if your altitude changes are less than 1.5 m/s. It will turn a deeper purple color if your climb rate increases to more than 1.5 m/s, or a deeper red if your sink rate is more than 1.5 m/s.
A note about Pressure Altitude When you are on the ground, Gaggle will automatically use your current elevation on the ground as the starting altitude and set your QNH to match the current elevation. Therefore, you start a recording in flight we don't know your exact altitude and Gaggle will default to using the GPS altitude (MSL) instead of the pressure altitude. Since conditions change during the day as you fly, Gaggle will also automatically adjust your QNH every few minutes to make sure it trends towards your GPS altitude and doesn't deviate too much.
By tapping the altitude widget, you can open the altitude settings to make changes easily. You can choose which altitude you want to see (MSL, QNH, or QNE) by simply tapping the correct option. You will also see a quick summary of your max altitude, your average altitude, and your lowest altitude. An estimate of your total altitude gain and loss is also shown here.
If Gaggle has access to pressure values from a barometer then an additional tab is shown where you can quickly configure new QNH values. Tapping a preset value will select that pressure to use when calculating the pressure altitude (QNH). Note: Setting your own QNH values will disable the feature where Gaggle automatically adjusts QNH over time.
If you have airspaces downloaded for your region, then Gaggle will show you an airspace widget when you are close to an airspace. This widget only shows the information for the airspace that Gaggle determines to be the most relevant to show you based on your proximity, direction of travel, and altitude. There is no way to change or configure this behaviour at the moment. To see the information for all airspaces nearby, you can tap the airspace widget.
Class: At the very top of the widget Gaggle shows the class of the most relevant airspace currently displayed. Name: Underneath the class is the name of the airspace that Gaggle is currently displaying to you. Visual Guide: Underneath the name is a visual guide for airspaces. Gaggle will show you vertical area for airspaces above, below, and near you based on your altitude. The widget shows a total vertical area of 1000 meters, so it will show airspaces 500 meters above and below you. There are a few different ways in which Gaggle displays airspaces:
- Side Indicators: When an airspace is nearby, but you aren't directly in the airspace area, then indicators are shown on the side of the widget to show that there is an airspace nearby and if you are within the vertical area of the airspace.
- Striped Indicator: When you are within the area of an airspace, but you are above/below it, then Gaggle will show a striped area above or below the little paraglider icon to show you that you the airspace is above/below you but you are not yet in the airspace.
- Solid Indicator: When you are in an airspace, then Gaggle will have a solid filled color in the widget indicating that you are in the indicated airspace.
Upper Limit: The upper limit for the currently displayed airspace is shown here in 2 possible formats:
- Mean Sea Level: The limit will show in your configured unit of measure for altitude.
- Flight Level: The limit will start with an FL value.
Lower Limit: The lower limit for the currently displayed airspace is show here with 3 possible formats:
- Mean Sea Level: The limit will show in your configured unit of measure for altitude.
- Flight Level: The limit will start with an FL value.
- GND: Airspace starts at ground level.
Along with the airspace widget, airspaces are also shown on the map. When the airspace is closer to the ground it will have thicker border, and the higher the airspace is from the ground ,the thinner its borders will be. Similar to the widget, the airspace is drawn with stripes if you are not in the airspace and it will be drawn with a solid filled color if you are in the airspace.
Operating Hours: Some airspaces have operating hours in which they are applicable. Gaggle will use the configured hours to show and hide airspaces depending on if they are applicable for your current time when you are flying. If you see airspaces that are showing that shouldn't be it might be that their operating hours haven't been configured correctly and you can make the needed operating hour updates directly on OpenAIP.
Tapping the airspace widget when it is shown will bring up the airspace viewer so you can see all of the airspaces near you. At the top of the widget are the details for the current airspace that Gaggle is currently showing on the widget. Tapping on any of the airspaces on the list will then display the details at the top so you can have a better view of the airspace information.
Ground Speed, Fuel level, and Compass
On the bottom left of the screen you will find the ground speed widget. This widget gives you the following information:
Ground Speed: Your current ground speed as reported by the GPS is displayed here. Because GPS data can jump up and own a lot depending on phones built-in GPS sensor, the data is smoothed out a bit before being displayed to you. Therefore, it will never be 100% accurate but it will be very close to your true ground speed most of the time.
Compass: Behind the ground speed value is a basic compass for you to see your direction of travel. The red arrow indicates North and Blue arrow indicates South. The direction of travel is also displayed as a text value above the ground speed value. While on the ground the compass will use your phone's internal compass (if available), but once you start flying, this will show you your direction of travel regardless of phone orientation. In high wind speed conditions, the heading obtained from direction of travel would therefore be different from the direction that you are actually facing if you are crabbing sideways.
Fuel Level: If flying a powered paraglider, you have the option of configuring your fuel tank size and average consumption. Before starting your flight you can then set your fuel level and Gaggle will use your configured consumption to calculate the estimated fuel remaining while flying. The fuel consumption you set is used as a baseline, but Gaggle will also take climb and sink into account to increase or decrease estimated fuel burn while flying.
Wind Speed and Wind Direction
Gaggle has a wind speed widget that will you show the current wind speed and direction. The widget displays the current speed and above that the direction that the wind is coming from.
Behind the wind speed is a visual indicator of the wind direction. This indicator will orientate itself based on your compass when on the ground and it will orientate itself based on your direction of travel while flying. When flying directly into wind, the indicator will turn from red to green, indicating the ideal landing direction. Note: In strong wind conditions this can be incorrect due to your direction of travel being impacted based on the wind speed and crabbing. For this reason you should only use the Gaggle wind speed indicator as a guideline and your should always rely on other wind direction signals in your physical environment as well to determine the real wind conditions.
How wind speed is calculated: If you have an active subscription then your wind speed and direction will start with values obtained from weather services. As you start flying, Gaggle will start capturing your ground speed data as you travel in various directions. Using this ground speed data, a wind rose will start to show behind the widget in a light blue color. The more recent the ground speed data for a direction of travel, the more intense the blue color will be. As the data becomes stale, it will turn grey to show you how confident Gaggle is with the data for a specific direction. Once Gaggle has enough data for every direction of travel it will then start using the wind rose data to determine wind speed and direction. The direction that you are traveling the slowest in is subtracted from the direction your are traveling the fastest in to then display the wind speed and your fastest direction of travel is used as the wind direction.
Gaggle has support for routes and also a return home which will guide you back to your take-off location. When you aren't flying a specific route the default behaviour is to make your take-off location your only waypoint that Gaggle will always guide you back to.
The Waypoint widget will show you key information about your next waypoint that you are traveling to. It displays 4 key pieces of information:
Name: In the top center, the name of the waypoint that you are currently routing to is displayed. Distance: The left-hand side of the widget shows you the distance you need to travel to reach the waypoint. Direction: In the center of the widget, the direction of travel that is needed to reach the waypoint is displayed. This will show the direction based on your current direction of travel, so if the arrow is pointing up, your waypoint is front of you. Time to Waypoint: Gaggle shows you the estimated time it will take to reach your waypoint based your speed in the direction of the waypoint. This time will include current wind condition in its calculations.
The map will also give a visual guide of the waypoints on the route with the next waypoint on the route being shown in yellow.
When you are flying a specific route, you can open up the route viewer by tapping on the waypoint widget. The route viewer shows you key information about your route and it also allows you to skip waypoints in the route by simply tapping a waypoint.
For each waypoint in the route the following key pieces of information is shown:
- Waypoint Name
- The distance from previous waypoint
- The total distance remaining to reach the waypoint, when passing through all previous waypoints
- Estimated travel time from previous waypoint
- Estimated travel time to reach the waypoint, when passing through all previous waypoints
Map Orientation: You can configure the map to follow your general heading as you fly or you can choose to have a north up view where the map will not move around.
Map Layer: Gaggle can either show a terrain view or satellite view as the base map. You can choose which one to use by toggling the satellite view on or of in the flight control settings. Maps are cached and will work even when you are offline, you must just make sure that you've viewed the map for your intended route while being online so that the maps can download before you go into areas with reduced network coverage.
Nearby Pilots: If you have friends flying with you then they will have markers indicating their location and whether they are above or below you. Your friends must also use Gaggle to record their flight for this feature to work.
Flight Path: As you fly, Gaggle will draw a snail trail on the map showing where you've flown. The snail trail has the same color coding as the altitude widget and will show the path for the last 30 minutes of flight.
Take-off Indicator: The map will show an indicator marking your take-off location which will help you to find your way back to your take-off location.
Airspaces: If you have airspaces installed for your region then the airspaces would show on the map giving you and indication of where you are allowed to fly.
Waypoints: When flying a route, the waypoints will show on the map indicating your route and where you need to fly to next.
Gaggle comes with a built in variometer (vario) that can be used to identify lifting and sinking air. The variometer comes with some default settings that should work well for most pilots but it can be changed to suit your own needs. You can change the following settings for the variometer from the Flight Recorder settings:
Free Flight Enabled: Toggle this on to enable the variometer for free flight aircraft where you need to identify thermals, ridge lift, or other lifting/sinking air. By default this setting is on. Powered Flight Enabled: Toggle this on if you want to enable the variometer for your powered flights. By default this is setting of off. Play In Background: If you only want to the variometer to make a sound when Gaggle is running in the foreground then you can toggle this setting off. Only In Flight: By default Gaggle will only turn on the variometer sound when are in flight and it will switch it off while you are on the ground. You turn this off if you want the variometer to be enabled while on the ground as well. Use With External Vario: If you have an external variometer connected through bluetooth then Gaggle will not use the built-in variometer. You can disable this setting if you want the Gaggle variometer to make a sound even when another variometer is connected through bluetooth.
Volume: You can change the volume of the variometer. The variometer is dependent on your phones volume, so if your phone is at 50% volume then the variometer can only go up to a maximum of 50%.
Thresholds: You can change the thresholds for when Gaggle starts making sound with the variometer. If you want to be notified of weak lift you can set the climb rate threshold to 0. Thresholds can be configured for climb rate and sink rate.
Responsiveness: Everyone has different needs from their variometer. New pilots might want a very responsive variometer that sounds the moment lift is encountered and more seasoned pilots might want a calmer variometer that only indicates average lift over a longer period of time. On Gaggle you can configure the responsiveness of your variometer through the responsiveness slide. The more the slider is moved towards the right the more rapidly Gaggle will indicate vertical movement.
Gaggle has a thermal assistant that can help you to visualise thermals while you paraglide. While flying it shows your flight in a simulated 3D space giving you a great mental model for where the thermal core is and the direction that it's tracking. It's also a great way to see where past thermals were if you need to hunt for a new thermal. The map automatically zooms in when you start thermalling so that you can better visualise the core and it will automatically zoom out when you start gliding so that you can better see past thermal locations.
To open the thermal assistant you can tap the climb rate widget or, if enabled, it will automatically open when you start circling in a thermal.
The thermal assistant shows the following instruments: Thermal Map: The thermal map visualises your flight path in a simulated 3D space. Every dot in your flight path represents a second in your flight and the color indicates lift/sink intensity. The more red the color the higher the climb rate and the more blue the color is the higher the sink rate was. The map also shows a wind indicator to give you an idea of where the wind is coming from. Climb Rate: The current climb rate determined by your variometer. MSL: The current altitude reported by the GPS. Pressure altitude can vary a lot as you move through different air masses so GPS altitude can give you a better indication of your true altitude while in thermals. Glide Ratio: The current glide ratio based on your estimated sink rate and travel speed. Wind Speed: The current wind speed and direction.
At the bottom of the display you will get access to the flight controls and settings.
Recorder Status: On left-hand side is the flight recorder button. This starts off as orange while Gaggle is waiting for you to take-off. Once you start flying and the flight recording is started, the button will turn red, indicating that Gaggle is busy recording your flight. Tapping this button will show a dialog asking you if you want to stop the flight recording.
If configured correctly, Gaggle will automatically stop your recordings once Gaggle has determined that you landed. If a flight was recorded, Gaggle will go into an idle waiting state waiting for another take-off once you land, if no take-off is detected for 5 minutes then the recorder will shut down completely. This means that you don't have to remember to shut down Gaggle once you finished your flight since it should shutdown automatically while you pack up your gear. Note about one-wheels: Because of the auto start/stop and idle behaviour of Gaggle, one wheels can trigger the flight recording to start and then stop causing Gaggle to shut down before you start your flight.
Distance Flown: Once your flight has started Gaggle will show you your total distance travelled in the top center of the widget.
Duration: Once you start flying your total flight duration for the current recording is shown in the bottom center of the widget.
Settings Toggle: On the right hand side is an easy access button to bring up the flight control settings where you can configure the widgets that Gaggle shows and also where you can access settings for units of measure and map orientation. Dragging up the flight control panel will also show the settings.