SmartSky's Fast Five with Patrick Van Wie

Posted by Adrienne Fouts on Oct 15, 2018 2:58:11 PM

Coming from a significant background in FAA and STC development and management, Patrick Van Wie joined the SmartSky team in July as Director of Aircraft Certification and Product Assurance. Patrick's work includes managing SmartSky's ongoing and future STC efforts, providing product certification guidance, assisting with quality assurance, and monitoring for aircraft systems failures and returns.

"We are very fortunate to have Patrick on the SmartSky team," said Darren Emery, VP of Product Support. "His extensive experience in avionics certification and product assurance is already paying off and will be an enormous benefit as we rapidly expand our STC effort and quality management initiatives at SmartSky."

Get to know Patrick, and his dog Toby, in the latest installment of SmartSky's Fast Five!

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Topics: Fast Five, Employees

How to Boost Your NPS: IFC for Airlines

Posted by Kerry Radigan on Sep 27, 2018 4:37:11 PM

Using Net Promoter Score (NPS) to prioritize decisions affecting the passenger experience was a theme during the APEX Expo Educational Sessions earlier this week. From ticket prices and flight reliability to passenger comfort and airport lounge experiences, a multitude of factors influence NPS for airlines. How does inflight connectivity fit into your score, and how can you tie a better Internet user experience to increased brand loyalty?

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Topics: Commercial Aviation, Trade Shows

Wi-Fi Speed Tests Are a Thing of the Past

Posted by Brian Rudloff on Sep 26, 2018 2:15:34 PM

In the aviation connectivity industry, we are all striving to provide a better end-user experience, whether that experience is for the passengers in the cabin, the flight crew, or the team on the ground. Our goal is to enable these users to do the activities and tasks that they want and need to do with their devices: send and receive emails, hold calls and video chats, collect and analyze in-flight data. However, confusion creeps in when connectivity is not what one might expect— especially when everyone starts talking about “speeds up to _” as if that is the performance one sees all the time.

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Topics: Knowledge Base

Network Characteristics: Coverage Footprint and Beamforming

Posted by Darren Emery on Sep 21, 2018 10:38:07 AM

As a frequent flyer, my first thought when boarding a flight is often focused around whether there will be space for my carry-on, competing with my fellow passengers for the limited space available. I confess it can be difficult not to be frustrated when several large bags have hogged all the space, leaving me with no option but to check my bag.

Similarly, the aircraft and passengers often experience the same dilemma at 35,000 feet, but for another reason. This competition is for the availability to exchange data on and off the aircraft, or “bandwidth” over the in-flight connectivity service. It is quite likely that you never give a second thought to the physics nor the technological advances that make it possible to connect to the Internet in the sky. But you may ask yourself: given all of these advances, why do we still struggle for “space” in that proverbial data pipe used for in-flight connectivity?

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Topics: Knowledge Base

SmartSky's Fast Five with Rich Pilock

Posted by Adrienne Fouts on Sep 17, 2018 4:08:43 PM

Recently published in Business Aviation Advisor Magazine, Rich Pilock is the Director of Support & Delivery for SmartSky Networks. His responsibilities include leading program and product management, as well as acting as a technical liaison for delivery and support for the Skytelligence program and the Retail Distribution Partner program for Commercial and Business Aviation.

"Rich is an integral member of the SmartSky team," said Blane Rockafellow, VP of Digital Solutions. "His strong background in the aviation industry with cybersecurity has been extremely valuable throughout the development of the Skytelligence program."

Learn more about Rich in the latest installment of SmartSky's Fast Five!

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Topics: Fast Five, Employees

Network Characteristics: The Importance of Return Link Capacity

Posted by Brian Staik on Sep 6, 2018 11:58:54 AM

You might not give much thought to your Internet connection's overall speed, but you probably do pay attention to your overall user experience. Most people think speed tests are the key to putting a measurable quantity on user experience – and most only pay attention to the speed to the user, not the speed from the user to the provider. You might be surprised to learn that in addition to latency, upload speed, or speed from the user to the provider, is key to a great Internet experience.

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Topics: Knowledge Base

Network Characteristics: How Latency Affects User Experience

Posted by Brian Staik on Aug 10, 2018 2:03:51 PM

Everyone agrees that in aviation today, we struggle with connectivity when comparing the Internet service we have at home to that available in flight. What isn’t agreed to is the reason why the experience on board an aircraft is so less satisfying than what we expect. Oftentimes, people point solely to bandwidth, or the “size of the pipe” to the aircraft available to move data from Point A to Point B. If connectivity was basic plumbing with one-way water flow, this may be true, but connectivity experience depends on two-way communication between Point A and Point B. This is when latency enters the equation.

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Topics: Knowledge Base

APEX Board Election: Mary Rogozinski

Posted by Kerry Radigan on Aug 9, 2018 3:16:31 PM

The APEX Board of Directors Election opens on Friday, August 10 and SmartSky's VP of Airlines, Mary Rogozinski, is running. Learn more about Mary's experience and reason for running below. Have questions? Connect with Mary on LinkedIn to start a conversation about what's next for APEX.

I have a broad range of experience in our industry that I will bring with me as an APEX Board member, including:

  • Working in both the airline and vendor communities
  • Managing IFEC hardware and IFE content
  • Managing inflight entertainment and inflight connectivity programs
  • Developing customer products for both airplanes and airports
  • Previously serving on the Board, as President and Board member, representing both airline and vendor companies
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Topics: Commercial Aviation, Employees, Trade Shows

The Internet of Things— That Fly | Oshkosh 2017

Posted by Adrienne Fouts on Jul 23, 2018 11:42:19 AM

In celebration of the 2018 EAA AirVenture Fly-In & Convention this week, we're looking back on last year's event, when Bruce Holmes, our VP of Digital Aviation, presented an overview of SmartSky's 4G LTE network. Read Bruce's remarks from that presentation below and dig into the future of connectivity with SmartSky.

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Topics: Trade Shows, Employees

SmartSky's Fast Five with Nancy Walker

Posted by Adrienne Fouts on Jun 20, 2018 1:00:32 PM

We are very excited to welcome Nancy Walker to the SmartSky team as our first Chief Commercial Officer. A veteran of the aviation industry with over 30 years of aerospace technology and inflight connectivity experience, Nancy will be a valuable addition to SmartSky as she leads our network-related sales and marketing efforts.

“Nancy’s experiences and skills are a perfect complement to the existing SmartSky executive team. Her unique background enables her to understand the intricate details and interdependencies of IFC system engineering, program management, contracts, customer service, and customer support,” said Ryan Stone, president of SmartSky Networks.

Get to know a bit more about Nancy in this special extended installment of SmartSky's Fast Five!

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Topics: Employees, Fast Five


  1. the distance between successive crests of a wave, especially points in a sound wave or electromagnetic wave. 
  2. a person's ideas and way of thinking, especially as it affects their ability to communicate with others.

The Wavelengths Blog is SmartSky's hub of information about our company and industry happenings, featuring profiles of our team members and their accomplishments, as well as thought leadership in the aviation sector.

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