Ipad overheating during flight?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by DMD3., Apr 25, 2017.

  1. DMD3.

    DMD3. Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This past weekend I went on a cross-country flight using Foreflight on my ipad, and enroute to my destination I noticed it was very warm, and on the way back it got downright hot. Thankfully the ipad did not stop working. At 5,500 and 4,500 feet msl, the wind coming in through the ventilation was just like an air-conditioner, so it was not hot at all in the cabin (I was flying a Cessna 172).

    Once I noticed how hot the ipad was, I took it out of the kneeboard and placed it on my left leg so that the outside air from the vent could blow down on the ipad. I'm not sure if it being in the kneeboard kept it from 'breathing' (like the Stratus, that has a built-in fan for circulating air to keep it from overheating) cause it, but shortly after placing it in the cooler air it cooled off.

    Has anyone else had this problem?
     
  2. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    Which ipad is it? If the kneeboard is warmed by your leg that could be causing the overheating as it's not able to cool the ipad as much. I have an ipad mini 4 and use the yoke mount and don't have any problems.
     
  3. Volzalum

    Volzalum Pre-Flight

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    Did you have it charging off of the airplane electrical system while you were using it? Could be a problem with the power source or the cabling.
     
  4. Rebel Lord

    Rebel Lord Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just got my private last month and ordered my stratus and got my ForeFlight. I was reading the day before about iPads over heating but figured would t happen to me. Went up for my first flight after getting my private and about 45 minutes into the flight my iPad over heated and shut off. :oops: Took it out of the case and held it infront of the air vent until it turned back on.

    Basically the lesson is don't use leather cases on iPads.
     
  5. Cooter

    Cooter Pattern Altitude

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    I've had them over heat several times because of the sun hitting it. I've never had one overheat unless the sun was directly on it. Now I just keep an eye on it and if I need to, I'll throw something over it to block the sun. And if it's really warm, I'll put it in front of the vent every so often to keep it from over heating. I wear mine on my leg with a kneeboard. I learned the hard way and had it overheat at a bad time so since then I've been more vigilant in keeping it cool.
     
  6. Tantalum

    Tantalum Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have not had mind over heat yet, however it does get remarkably hot. I do not keep it in a kneeboard I keep it out by itself and it still gets crazy warm. Glad I'm not the only one!
     
  7. Clip4

    Clip4 Pattern Altitude

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    Yes, if you wrap them up and expose it to the sun, an IPAD over heats.
     
  8. MichiPilot

    MichiPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    same here. don't let it sit in the sun
     
  9. pburger

    pburger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yep. Only a problem in direct sunlight. Keep it out of the sun. If it does overheat, put it next to an air vent to let it cool down.
     
  10. Vaflier

    Vaflier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If they are in a case they will overheat in the sun in an aircraft. Took mine out of the case and placed it in a RAM yoke mount and have had no more problems. The back of the case acts as a a radiator to cool it so anything covering the back can cause it to overheat.
     
  11. rtk11

    rtk11 Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Kind of pricey, but I've been considering this X-Naut cooling case for my iPad. I had an iPad mini 2 in the cockpit, likely in sunlight, turn off in flight. It was not a happy moment, but luckily it was redundant to the GPS in the center panel.
     
  12. DMD3.

    DMD3. Pre-takeoff checklist

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    No. It was not charging.
     
  13. DMD3.

    DMD3. Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ipad Pro (9.7 inch).
     
  14. BarryCooper

    BarryCooper Pre-Flight

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    ^^^This^^^
    I keep a rag handy to shield it from the sun until it cools off
     
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  15. arnoha

    arnoha Line Up and Wait

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    Yeah, I've had mine overheat in flight a couple times and shut off with an overheat warning. Like others stated, it's usually because it's in the sun and running ForeFlight at the same time. I've had it overheat on my lap and once, when I threw it on the glareshield (not doing that again). It's never overheated in the yoke mount, but I'm often too lazy on flights to local destinations to rig up the yoke mount.

    When I redo the panel for ADS-B, I'll probably slide a GTN device in, which is likely to free up the slots on the right side of the panel. Maybe I'll put a more permanent mount for the device there.
     
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  16. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ En-Route

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    Direct sunlight on the glass is the culprit. I've had it happen twice. Last was just last week. It was on my right knee and the sun through the canopy of a DA-40 did it in. A few minutes in the map case and it cooled down.

    First time was on the wife's lap, sun through the canopy in a C-182 directly on the iPad heated it up.

    iPad has a temp monitor, flashes an overheat warning and could shut down. I moved mine in time to avoid a shutdown.
     
  17. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ En-Route

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    Too big for most cockpits.

    Sometimes my standard size iPad seems to big and I've thought of getting a mini just for flying.
     
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  18. Tantalum

    Tantalum Cleared for Takeoff

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    I bought a mini and frankly I find it to be the perfect size... even with its smaller size I struggle to find a comfortable place for it in the cockpit
     
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  19. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I think if you run them LOP they run cooler. ;-)
     
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  20. Dirtflyer

    Dirtflyer Filing Flight Plan

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    Left mine on the glareshield last summer for about an hour, it was about 100f oat. Got taxi instructions and started taxing out, tried to turn the iPad on and it stated it was overheated, problem was I couldn't get it cooled down until I got to altitude to get the cold air on it. Never made that mistake again.
     
  21. ZeroPapaGolf

    ZeroPapaGolf Line Up and Wait

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    The 9.7 is the standard size. You're thinking of the giant 12.9.
     
  22. DMD3.

    DMD3. Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've always wondered if running Foreflight had something to do with it due to the workload. The battery definitely drains faster than when I'm just causually websurfing at the house, though this could be due to the screen brightness being set on 80%+ (which also may have a hand in it overheating).
     
  23. SoCalPilot88

    SoCalPilot88 Pre-Flight

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    The only time my iPad overheated was when it was sitting on the Cessna 172 instrument panel in direct sunlight. It was not plugged in, and was running FlyQ. Cabin temperature was upper 70s. I took it out of direct sunlight for a few minutes and it worked fine the rest of the flight. It does have a fake leather cover so that may have contributed. I'm never without paper charts and paper navlogs so it was no big deal.
     
  24. arnoha

    arnoha Line Up and Wait

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    It's not screen brightness, it's ForeFlight. If you have FF up during flight, I'll give high odds the map screen is the screen you're using most frequently. The moving map massively taxes the processor, with the only thing that wants more power is the synthetic vision. The power controller will crank the processor's clock up for that. Maximum clock means maximum power draw. Max power draw means max heat.

    For reference, an idle iPad with the screen on draws around 4W. Crank that processor to maximum and it's up to around 11W. You'll see the battery come down three times as fast. The greater draw on the battery also means the battery heats up more. Synth vision will keep it near that 11W max. Moving map won't be quite that bad, but it will also be quite high, especially if you have many layers turned on or connected to a Stratus.
     
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  25. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    These things were made to work in the lab in Cupertino.
     
  26. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I'm telling ya, some GAMI injectors and LOP and these iPad thingies make it way past TBO. :)
     
  27. DMD3.

    DMD3. Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks everyone for your replies. While mine got hot, it never did give an overheat warning.

    Another probable downside to overheating is shortening the life of the iPad and battery.
     
  28. arkvet

    arkvet Line Up and Wait

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    Agree with the above. Cases and direct sunlight are your enemy.

    Never really thought about processor use having a significant impact on heat but it does make sense.
     
  29. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Still wondering why I'm confused by the FAA encouraging their use for ADS-B, and why I refuse to do so? The joys of uncertified equipment.

    Don't get caught with an overheated tablet, or dead battery, if it's your only source of charts, approach plates, weather, traffic, etc. How fun would it be trying to get under the Bravo shelf and transition a couple of Delta areas, and oops, your iPad shuts down? What was that next frequency, and just where does the airspace start?
     
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  30. Chrisj13

    Chrisj13 Pre-Flight

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    Put one end of a towel over the iPad. Put the other end of the towel over your head. No more heating up, and no more glare problems either. Turn on synthetic vision and you'll be fine. Nobody looks outside the cockpit anymore. Just fly through the boxes and it'll take you right down to the flare.

    I wish I was a DPE. I'd fail everything and hand the examinee a paper chart. I think aviation is getting too video gamey, but that's just me.

    And yes, I use FF as well. sigh....
     
  31. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan Pattern Altitude

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    I have flown with an IPad for over five years now without overheating. This is very simple to accomplish: simply keep it out of direct sunlight. Do that and it will be very unlikely to overheat. That is not to say that I have not had the IPad fail in other ways, but you have control of keeping it cool.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  32. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan Pattern Altitude

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    I agree, but if you do that, you should probably declare a 430/530 failed as well. Not as likely in the real world, but it could happen. I have had my Foreflight fail, but have yet to see the 430 go away.
     
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  33. Lon33

    Lon33 Pre-Flight

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    I bought an X-Naut and it works perfectly, even when my iPad is in direct sunlight.
     
  34. Tantalum

    Tantalum Cleared for Takeoff

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    I keep an old paper chart as a super backup

    There is a crazy level of redundancy in most cockpit
    *Ipad and FF
    *spare power booster pack that will keep the ipad alive for another 5 hours
    *typically two 430s at least, or a GTN 650, etc.
    ^then if by some crazy all those fail you still have your iPhone or Android with a GPS and map on there and apps

    **My bigger fear, and a very irrational one, is that something would cause the whole GPS network to go down... then it doesn't matter what you have all your devices will be out of commission. How many of us could get home in IMC with the use of VORs?

    I know they're antiquated, but I was surprised that there aren't any self contained positioning systems out there using accelerometers. They had those in the 1960s that worked "sort of well" - I'm sure with today's tech you could build a GPS unit that had accelerometers as a self contained back up. When it had a signal then calibrate itself every 60 minutes or so, but if you lost signal or the power went down it would still keep your oriented
     
  35. arnoha

    arnoha Line Up and Wait

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    It exists! http://www.vectornav.com/products/vn-200 $2,100+ for the part, but I don't know of any full products built around it. Wouldn't surprise me if it's intended mostly for military drones.

    EDIT: Also, GPS going out is not an irrational fear. The GPS signal is very weak. So weak, it's routinely under the noise floor. (Weaker than the background noise at that frequency.) Jamming or even accidentally interfering with the civilian signal is really, really easy. Maybe that's not a system outage, but if it's where you are, it might as well be.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  36. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan Pattern Altitude

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    Redundancy:

    Cessna:

    Custom Panel with Dual VOR's, one being glide slope, localizer
    IPhone FF on yoke
    IPad FF in lap on lanyard.
    Battery pack available for Apples
    Chart at hand

    Mooney:

    430W with glide slope indicator
    VOR glide slope, localizer
    IPhone FF on yoke
    iPad FF in backseat turned on and ready
    Power outlet with APPLE power supplies for both Apples
    Chart at hand
     
  37. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan Pattern Altitude

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    I hope I am never tested with your dead sattelite scenario, but at least at this point in time I believe I could find my way in with VORs and glide slope, but doing it single pilot would be a sphincter shrinker.
     
  38. Tantalum

    Tantalum Cleared for Takeoff

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    this thing is pretty sweet... I wonder if you could build something around this with a Raspberry Pi and sync it up to your iPad and Foreflight a-la bad-elf or Stratux. I must say, I'd feel pretty invincible if I knew I had a GPS independent INS on board the plane...
     
  39. coach

    coach Pre-Flight

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    I've had my yoke mounted iPad over heat when the sun is on it. I either shield it or turn it off to prevent. I have also had the iPad shut off when it is too cold. It was 5 degrees outside prior to take off and the iPad shut off during run up. Bright sunny day and it didn't seem too cold inside the plane.
     
  40. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    A very minor point, but it may make a small difference...

    Black absorbs more heat than white. So, all things being equal a white-faced iPad should run a tiny bit cooler than a black-faced one in the sun.