First time posting. Wondering about wifi

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by Abe stoklasa, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. Abe stoklasa

    Abe stoklasa Filing Flight Plan

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    Hey everyone! Complete newbie here. Getting my
    Pilot’s license next year and really green. I had a question that I just couldn’t find on the internet anywhere, and I thought it might be tied into avionics and such.

    Anytime I would type in google for an answer, even Including “personal aircraft” and “experimental”, it only showed news about commercial flight wifi.

    So my question is, and I’m a newbie so it may be a dumb one, but do you have wifi and internet capabilities on your plane for you and your passengers? And if so, how does that work? Is it the same equipment used in commercial airliners? Are there options? Isnit stupid expensive? I’m just curious and can’t find anything about it.

    Any info would be great!
     
  2. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Can’t speak for all, but generally, light aircraft do not have onboard WiFi. That mostly comes with much higher end cabin-class aircraft. I suppose if someone is hellbent enough to have it, than they could find some type of third party device to install it.
     
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  3. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    No & Yes:

    No: For internet access - it exists but is crazy expensive. As you are putting around at lower altitudes your phone will get some 3G/4G, but I believe it is not legal (FAA? or FCC?). Anyway, it would suck for watching movies.

    Yes: For onboard wifi (no internet). Whenever my daughter comes with, especially with a friend I bring this all in 1 wifi powerbank that also holds a flash card. We turn it on and each person can stream TV episodes or movies from the flash card to their tablets. And if we need backup power and we draw from it. Its small so we just click it on and drop it back in the flight bag. Good for about 5hrs if no one is also drawing power from it. There are also some avionics (eg some ADSB devices) that use wifi on the plane but once again, not internet.
     
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  4. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    I have a personal rule that as PIC I only surf the web during taxi and runup. Once I start the take off roll I force myself to close down the browser window.
     
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  5. Abe stoklasa

    Abe stoklasa Filing Flight Plan

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    Well that is about 100 times more helpful than anything I found online. Thanks guys for answering!
     
  6. Abe stoklasa

    Abe stoklasa Filing Flight Plan

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    I thought it might be possible, but expensive. But owning a plane is expensive ha so
     
  7. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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  8. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don En-Route

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  9. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    I have a personal hot spot on my phone my pax can use, But I don't use during flight.
     
  10. aggie06

    aggie06 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I usually just download a Netflix movie and watch after takeoff. That’s what the Otto pilot is for.
     
  11. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    I have an onboard WiFi media server with all of the Mayday episodes loaded.
     
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  12. Redpen

    Redpen Filing Flight Plan

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    Like Tom, If nothing else I would say someone in their back could try to use the hotspot on their phone
     
  13. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Your belief is wrong. First the FAA doesn't care. The FCC only still has an obsolete reg on the books for AMPS service, but most of the data is not covered under those licenses anymore.

    The answer however, is it works pretty poorly. The towers are designed not to waste energy sending things skyward where they don't expect users to be.
     
  14. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Well, there is the matter of FAR 91.21. The FAA does care if you don't care. But you are right in that the FAA doesn't care if you care. :)
     
  15. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    Wait till the G5 update comes out... you can stream videos to it!
     
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  16. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Context, Bubba, context.
     
  17. IK04

    IK04 Line Up and Wait

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    I haven't seen an update to the FCC reg that prohibits use of cellular devices not "on the surface." Is there an updated reference?
     
  18. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Understand that not everything that we call a mobile phone is subject to 47 CFR 22. Frankly, the aviation stuff in that reg is obsolete and I've not ever EVER heard of it being enforced even before it was obsolete. Back when it was an issue, the carriers took it on themselves to just shut down those who were causing problems rather than waiting for a federal enforcement action to do something.
     
  19. IK04

    IK04 Line Up and Wait

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    Seems pretty clear to me:

    §22.925 Prohibition on airborne operation of cellular telephones.
    Cellular telephones installed in or carried aboard airplanes, balloons or any other type of aircraft must not be operated while such aircraft are airborne (not touching the ground). When any aircraft leaves the ground, all cellular telephones on board that aircraft must be turned off. The following notice must be posted on or near each cellular telephone installed in any aircraft:

    “The use of cellular telephones while this aircraft is airborne is prohibited by FCC rules, and the violation of this rule could result in suspension of service and/or a fine. The use of cellular telephones while this aircraft is on the ground is subject to FAA regulations.”
     
  20. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    Find me one case where this was enforced.....

     
  21. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    So how do we figure out which laws/regs are there only to make people in government feel important, and which ones are...

    Oh. Never mind.:rolleyes:

    And for the record, I didn’t want to know about @Tom-D ‘s “personal hotspot”.
     
  22. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Again, quoting that regulation is like saying stuff in 91.503 applies to Skyhawk pilots.
     
  23. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There is at least one company that provides internet access. GoGo has plans that start at $6.95/MB. That’s probably affordable for texting and mail, but since the average web page is 3 MB, you wouldn’t want to do a lot of browsing. One particularly egregious site that I visit loads 5 MB when my adblocker is turned on and 7 MB more of ads when I turn the adblocker off.
     
  24. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's AFTER you install the $35,000 radio system it uses.
     
  25. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Oddly, they fail to mention that on their pricing page.
     
  26. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    Actually, there was a diversion when a clown wouldn't shut off his cell phone. Gonna bet it wasn't the only one.
     
  27. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And they used some obscure FCC regulation against him? Doubtful. It's not even criminal.
    Most likely they whacked him with 49 USC 46504, interference with flight crew.