Foreflight on iPad mini5 + Bose = Dangerous Annoyance.

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by Revenant, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. Revenant

    Revenant Filing Flight Plan

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    As the title indicates, I'm using an iPad mini-5 running Foreflight as my EFB. I love the combination, but with both the Bose A20 and the Proflight-2, I've been having what I believe is a dangerous, and certainly annoying "unintended effect" happening. In particular, despite careful testing on the ground of the pairing and volume, for no reason I can discern, some time in the first 20 min or so of flight, the volume runs from wherever I've set it, down to essentially zero. The "danger/annoyance" part is that this essentially mutes the alerts which ForeFlight would otherwise be pumping into my headset. Yes, I use my eyes first to see and avoid when flying VFR, but it seems very unfortunate to lose those traffic alerts for no good reason, especially when flying in a congested airspace. The other day, I just happened to catch a visual on a red, "Traffic 12 o'clock, one mile, 500' below" alert which I never heard in the headset. The volume still showed turned up. The Bluetooth showed still powered and connected, both on the iPad and the headset controller. I don't have the issue with other audio (e.g. music played from same iPad to same headset). And in FF itself, the Alerts ON setting remains selected. I've sent the diagnostics dump to ForeFlight and they're looking it over right now. Anyone else seen anything similar? Being fresh out of ideas, I'm all ears!
     
  2. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Cleared for Takeoff

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    Sounds like an oddball glitch. That's a pretty common combination of gear (in fact I run a Mini 5 + ForeFlight + Bose A20) and have not experienced that issue. I would rather expect it to be an iPad issue of some sort, either hardware of iOS-related. You may want to try "forgetting" the bluetooth devices the iPad connects to and start with a fresh pairing.
     
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  3. Doug Reid

    Doug Reid Line Up and Wait

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    You might want to test your BT hookup using the talking checklist in FF before takeoff.
     
  4. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Any chance your ipad mount presses on the volume button?
     
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  5. Revenant

    Revenant Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for the input, but that's almost certainly not it -- the current "mount" is a velcro strap on my leg... ;) I haven't been doing much instrument work in the last few months. When I do, I use a yoke mount. I'll soon be working on my CFII and I'll double check that the mount doesn't aggravate the issue then. In the meantime, I'll be looking for my well-hidden gremlin elsewhere.

    For the others, I've tried a variety of haphazardly done resets repairings and so forth. I'm going to have to get disciplined and start peeling back layers in a more orderly fashion. I'm going to try talking to the Apple support folks to see if they have any ideas, but I'll bet they're going to point the finger back at ForeFlight. Last idea I have for now is a complete dump and reinstall of FF itself (which I REEEEALLY hope to avoid).
     
  6. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Cleared for Takeoff

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    Some kind of combination of iOS reinstall/software reinstallation/network settings reset ought to do the trick. If this unwanted behavior happens consistently and there's no other solution, that's the way.

    I have had the advantage of running multiple iPads with Foreflight at a given time, so in the few cases in which I had trouble, it was always isolated to one iPad despite same versions of software and iOS on all the hardware. In my opinion it will usually come down to some glitch within the iOS. This has been fairly rare for me and I haven't needed a full reset/reinstall in years despite very heavy iPad usage -- basically flying with them every day.
     
  7. Fracpilot

    Fracpilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It does the same thing with my LightSpeed. I had the same scenario the other day as you described. I was trying to figure it out. Sure enough the BT volume for some reason was at zero. I flew the next and connected in the chalks.

    It defaults to zero again. I make the sure the volume was all the way up and this time some what solved the issue. I say some what because the volume was all the way up on the iPad and BT module. It wasn’t a full loud volume as you would expect.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. Barry

    Barry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    think i've had similar issues myself. looking forward to seeing how to fix this
     
  9. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I've never heard an alert from Foreflight ever. Never set it up with my headset. Don't plan on doing it now. If I don't already know what Foreflight is telling me I'm way behind the game and shouldn't be in the cockpit.
     
  10. Revenant

    Revenant Filing Flight Plan

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    With all due respect, you miss the point entirely. Recheck my original post. Of course, see and avoid is supposed to be, first and foremost, a matter of using one's vision to see other aircraft.

    That said, let's not forget that both Boeing and Airbus build verbal/aural warnings, notices etc of all sorts right into their aircraft. And Foreflight (Boeing) builds it into their product (as do at least several of the other EFB programs out there). So why leave money on the table ignoring a capability that could save the bacon of even the very best of pilots.

    I began flying in 1979. I've seen pilots of every description, best to worst and all in between, fall behind the airplane for any number of reasons. That's precisely when such a capability pays for itself. If you're already distracted, upset or whatever, and are unable to compartmentalize effectively, then no, you don't belong in the cockpit. IMSAFE check yourself and admit your limits. If you start out OK, don't pretend to be such a Superman that you're beyond having a moment of distraction in which you could miss something critical.

    Me? I'm going to bring together every capability I can find to assist in avoiding hitting something other than the aim point on my destination runway. AND finally, Foreflight users pay for the capability, so why not make sure it works. If you don't want to use the capability, don't. But don't pretend it's because it can't do anything for you -- it can and you're only kidding yourself if you insist otherwise.

    p.s. if you're not interested in receiving alerts from Foreflight, why exactly did you bother to post in this thread at all?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  11. Revenant

    Revenant Filing Flight Plan

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    It's interesting to see that some others have seen similar "results". The guy at Foreflight is trying to be helpful, but says he's never heard of this happening before. I believe I'll send him a link to this thread. Of course, I'll pass along anything they have to offer.
     
  12. Indiana_Pilot

    Indiana_Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    I’ve never had this happen ever and I use a mini 5 and A20.. something has to be turning your volume down. I suggest you make sure all other apps are closed and see if it still happens. If it does try the following:

    - Unpair and re pair the a20 to the iPad and make sure no other device is paired to the a20 (phone ect) and retest

    - make sure your iPad is not connecting to anything else such as an audio panel and only is connected to the a20

    - if still not working reset your iPad to factory settings and try again.. could be hardware issue with iPad but would check with other Bluetooth headphones first..

    Hope that helps!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. Doug Reid

    Doug Reid Line Up and Wait

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    Alerts like : Terrain/Obstacles , TFR Alerts, Sink Rate, Traffic, Runway Proximity Advisor, 500 Feet , Final Approach, Destination Weather Frequency, Ipad Overheat....they have been in affect several years now.

    It will play on the ipad speaker or you can Bluetooth to your headset or audio panel.
     
  14. Doug Reid

    Doug Reid Line Up and Wait

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    Close all apps and do a hard reset before flight... hold down home button and power button together .....wait until you see the apple logo before releasing buttons.
     
  15. Revenant

    Revenant Filing Flight Plan

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    UPDATE: I tried multiple restarts and repairings, one at a time, without change. Then it occurred to me that I’ve got my iPhone in the cockpit too. It’s a 12 pro max with Foreflight installed. I keep it handy and powered up, with FF running in case of iPad overheat, crash etc. So after the earlier failed resolutions, I decided to kill the Bluetooth on the phone. Presto! This SEEMS to be the solution. I’m going to try some more experiments so as to rule out coincidence. Maybe it’s just a case of two Apple siblings not playing nice while sharing one headset via BT. Thanks for everyone’s input. I’ll report any changes, and more fresh ideas/observations are welcome.
     
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  16. Indiana_Pilot

    Indiana_Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    They both should work though at the same time


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. penaltyvectors

    penaltyvectors Filing Flight Plan

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    Just came in to say this. I fly with an iPad and iPhone, both paired to my Bose A20s. For short flights I often don’t bother with the iPad and just work from the phone. While both are connected to Bluetooth and will route to to my headphones, there’s often a 1-2 second gap when switching between devices. From the little research I’ve done, this seems to be an issue with the Bluetooth protocol, and it’ll also happen with my non-aviation Bluetooth headphones when I switch between my laptop and phone. The Bluetooth can only play one source at a time, so if it’s listening to your phone (even if it’s silent) and the iPad starts talking, it’ll take it a second to realize that the other source is now making noise and switch over. It’s very noticeable if you swap between two devices while playing music, as the first several seconds will be cut out, but with short foreflight alerts, it’s likely that the message is so short that the alert is over by the time the Bluetooth switches back. To the best of my knowledge, the only real solution would be to only pair one device at a time and manually switch if you ever had to, since I don’t believe there’s a way to assign “priority” to Bluetooth devices.
     
  18. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    For years I flew with a down rev version of FF because my iPad was ancient. I had no idea that they had added audio alerts until I put it on my phone. I had just landed on an airline flight and turned on foreflight to watch the taxi progress when it suddenly screamed "ENTERING RUNWAY 5." I hadn't known it would do that.
     
  19. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

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    I was going to ask if your phone was in the mix. Not because I've had that specific issue, but will share this story real quick.
    Got a couple of emails from our company CEO that were dated months back. Weird...and kept happening. Then received a phone call from him that others were getting them as well.
    After much troubleshooting frustration, I noticed his cell phone was sitting between his wireless keyboard and mouse. Being out of ideas at this point, I asked him to keep it at least 3 feet away..and it's never happened since. That has solved a couple of other folks odd issues as well. So when those pop up, I try to get the phone out of the mix first just to make sure.
    Hope it works out for you. Good luck.
     
  20. Barry

    Barry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’m going to try to eliminate the phone being the issue for me, good idea. I have my iPad connected to my garmin 175 and 345, as well as A20, so all that might be conflicting for me
     
  21. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Very helpful. :rolleyes:
     
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  22. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I can see these alerts on the screen if I'm looking. I've seen. few come up, like the one that comes on when I enter the runway. If I need Foreflight to tell me I've entered an active runway its time to hang it up.
     
  23. Revenant

    Revenant Filing Flight Plan

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    Noooo, of course you really don't need FF to tell you when you're entering a taxiway. IT IS EXTREMELY VALUABLE, however, when giving traffic warnings to SUPPLEMENT basic see and avoid in VFR. I'm a CFI flying in EXTREMELY congested airspace. I have the Pensacola/Whiting "three-legged Charlie" to the west and over my airport (2R4). To the east we have Eglin/Hurlburt/Duke/Crestview complex. In a typical 1.2 private pilot lesson, I might see a dozen Navy TH-57 helos, as many or more T-6s (think almost Warrior-sized trainer zipping around with nearly 1000 hp driving the prop), a couple of USAF C-130s (usually low-level and not talking), and once in a while, a couple special ops V-22s. Our airspace is such a mess the FAA has blessed us with our our custom SFAR to deal with the congestion and confusion. We need every advantage we can get. Hearing, "Traffic 12 o'clock, one mile, one hundred feet below" is a VERY HELPFUL reminder to redouble one's traffic scan. Turning one's back on an easy-to-use defensive capability, that's already being payed for, is simply foolish. There's just no more polite way to put it.

    In my 33+ year career as a U.S. Marine, the absolute WORST assignment I ever had was leading the investigation of a mishap involving the destruction of two F/A-18s and tragic death of two experienced Marines (both of whom I knew to have wives and children). If I live to age 100, I'll never be able to extinguish the memory of the stink of kerosene and burned flesh in roughly even proportions. What happened? An easily avoidable mid-air collision. Respectfully (to everyone), no amount of arrogant complacency on the part of any fellow pilot will EVER convince me to give up an easy tool in the unending fight to maximize aviation safety.
     
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  24. Revenant

    Revenant Filing Flight Plan

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    And back to the original discussion, I've got some more testing to do, but the issue may be, as suggested by penaltyvectors, the switching time. That is, the alert has come and gone by the time the switch from one device to the other is done. Still, my ipad volume is changing from max to lower, uncommanded (not intentionally anyway). At least by allowing only one device to be connected to the A20, I get the alerts just fine. Now it's just going to be fun to see if I can extract any other meaningful info.
     
  25. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    First, and foremost, thank you for your service defending our great land. I can't agree with you more, the traffic alerts that come in through Foreflight can be a real lifesaver. Too damn many times I've told controllers "I've got the traffic on the box but not in sight". Airplanes can be really hard to spot. The box gives unparalleled situational awareness. And it does allow you to think about strategic flight planning, knowing what's ahead.

    I shouldn't need it to tell me I've entered a taxiway, or that there's a rock in front of me. I should have figured that much out long before.
     
  26. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Turn off terrain & runway proximity alerts if they annoy you; no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
     
  27. Revenant

    Revenant Filing Flight Plan

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    It occurs to me, Steingar, that indeed, we’re really talking about two different things, and the “conflict” (if any) is resolved as George suggests. If a particular type of alert becomes a nuisance or distraction in your type of operations, then I’d agree, it’s a problem and I’d recommend deactivating it. I’ve done exactly as George said with the FF terrain warnings. Trying to talk through ground ref maneuvers is a pain with unwanted/unnecessary warnings babbling on. Even the sexy Australian girl voice I have loaded up becomes annoying...:rolleyes:

    I have, however, left the “Cabin Altitude Alerts” selected. You never know when your trusty 1975 Skyhawk might lose cabin pressure...;)
     
  28. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Please post what FF answer is to this. I pretty much ignore FF announcements from my IPAD to the point I'm not sure they are working, but the info coming from FF keeps getting better and better so I might change that.
     
  29. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    A good preflight item is toggling the "Speak All Alerts" setting, which causes it to speak, which allows you to test your device/headset connection and levels.
     
  30. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Alerts don't bother me in the slightest, I only hear the one for entering the runway because I haven't spooled all the way up. I've never tried to integrate them with my headset because I just shouldn't need them. Call outs for traffic are a different deal though.
     
  31. penaltyvectors

    penaltyvectors Filing Flight Plan

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    I don’t know if this is your workflow, but another quirk of iOS devices is that the volume will change when you connect a different device. For example, if you turn your volume all the way down one day while not in the plane, and then you go to fly and connect your A20s, the volume will go up to whatever you had it at previously. Then when you shut down and leave the plane, the volume will go back to zero for your iPad speakers. If you’re saying it’s changing mid-flight, then I have no clue unless your mount is touching the volume adjustment buttons.
     
  32. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    You may have well said, "My birthday is coming up and I want a pony." Controller don't care if you have traffic "on the box." Tell them you're looking/searching and let them know when you see it.
     
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  33. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Only an idiot controller doesn't want to know you have some degree of situational awareness.
     
  34. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Are you calling Tim an idiot, or are you ignorant to what he does for a living?
     
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  35. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    If the shoe fits...
     
  36. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    In the immortal words of Barbara Billingsley:

    [​IMG]
     
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  37. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Apple iDevices are known to have volume interface problems. Without changing anything except plugging in my phone, I can get Waze to dictate directions at a good volume only about half the time. Apple says it's an app problem, which I might buy if it didn't happen on Apple Maps too.
     
  38. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Ah, the irony. Maybe you should find out why Tim said what he did. But then that would require you to admit you didn't know something.
     
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  39. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

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    I cringe every time I hear "we gottem on the fish finder" or similar on frequency. As if it absolves the pilot of the responsibility to get eyes outside.
     
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  40. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Plus it doesn't help the controller out at all with what can happen once you get visual confirmation.