iPad type - What are you flying with?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Pierce Warren, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. Pierce Warren

    Pierce Warren Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm getting back into flying (I've had my PPL for about 10 years) more regularly now and I'm new to Foreflight. WOW is all I have to say. I don't have an iPad (yet) but was curious what the consensus was on the iPad mini? Specifically one with data or is data not necessary?

    My situation: I'm an A/C renter so I'll be moving around in different planes. Mainly C172's for now. I'm not a fan of the yoke mount so I'm thinking left side just off the panel suction cup mount. I think the iPad mini would be a nice size.

    What are your thoughts on getting data with the iPad? What does data get me in the cockpit? I've heard sometimes you can't get data at altitude but can't confirm this.
     
  2. LesGawlik

    LesGawlik Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think it depends on your age. If you're young, the mini might be fine. I like the bigger ones, and the yoke mount is fine. If you want a more traditional kneepad, I just got a kneepad mount for my iPad that elevates it a little. You can adjust the angle of the iPad so that the top edge tilts up about an inch. It's all velcro, and the height is adjustable.
     
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  3. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    11” pro
     
  4. Pierce Warren

    Pierce Warren Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm worried it would hit the yoke at maximum deflection. Ever have that problem? I've got a notepad for pen and paper on my kneeboard but I think it's thinner than an iPad would be. Just thinking out loud.
     
  5. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I Pad pro with foreflight.
     
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  6. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    Mini for mounting and iPad Pro 11' in the right seat.
     
  7. LesGawlik

    LesGawlik Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It can be close, but you have a lot of options. The kneepad I'm talking about has two primary plastic surfaces. One is attached to the straps which go around your leg, and the second which can be made to lie directly on top of the first, or which can be canted so that the top edge of the iPad is raised towards you for a better viewing angle. This is adjusted by means of velcro, so if you raised the iPad a little too much and it interferes with the yoke, you can re-adjust the cant to that it is not so high. Of course, since it's a kneepad, moving your leg will change the position of the iPad in relation to the yoke.
     
  8. Doug Reid

    Doug Reid Line Up and Wait

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    I use a modified yoke mount and an ipad pro 9.7" .
     
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  9. Pierce Warren

    Pierce Warren Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for the responses everyone! I'm actually surprised that the majority of folks are using the larger sized ipads versus the mini. I had made the assumption that the mini would probably win.

    Do you all have data on the ipad? Or is it just a wifi ipad? I'm trying to figure out what data does for me with foreflight. I know you can download pretty much everything before flying. I guess without data you don't get your position information?
     
  10. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    I use an older model I pad Pro 9.6 inch suction cup mounted to the front window on my left. It is just a bit large. If I had to choose today, I would get the new I Pad mini. The mini's today are almost as large as the normal I pad of years back. The "non mini" options today are larger than my old 9.6 inch pro, and would be too large for me.

    Cellular vs WiFi - many discussions on that. You get the cellular version even if you never get cellular service because with that you also get an internal GPS. Absolutely needed? Not really because in your plane you connect your I Pad to the transponder via bluetooth or WiFi go get the WASS GPS moving map, traffic and weather. But as I'm cheap/frugal and use my I Pad for other things, I sprung for the cellular version so I can use it for other things besides flying that need GPS.
     
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  11. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    I use an 8 or 9 inch Android tablet which is compatible with my phone which I use as a backup. The tablet goes in my lap and is continuously charged via USB port in the console. Android wifi tablets include internal GPS. No need to buy a cellular model. Cell data is not really practical in cruise. Weather and traffic data is displayed from ADS-B via Bluetooth or wifi link.
     
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  12. Pierce Warren

    Pierce Warren Filing Flight Plan

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    Let me make sure I understand this properly. If I got an ipad with Wifi only, I would have to make sure it could connect with my transponder in order to get the traffic/weather etc. The cellular option only benefits those that want cellular data outside of the cockpit? If my transponder/GPS doesn't connect because it's not new technology, then I would definitely want cellular on the ipad to at least get GPS/weather on foreflight (but not traffic because it's not connected to the plane).

    This is all literally brand new to me. As mentioned earlier, jumping back in the game and everything has changed! I learned on paper charts only, not a bad thing, but this is much more efficient when used properly imo.
     
  13. Pierce Warren

    Pierce Warren Filing Flight Plan

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    I've got an iphone so I was considering keeping all of my devices on the same platform. But if I'm only using a tablet in the cockpit, I wouldn't mind jumping to android. Standard internal GPS sounds nice!
     
  14. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    If your rentals have a Garmin or stratuss transponder with adsb then you should be able to connect via blue tooth or wi fi regardless if you have the WiFi or gps/cellular model.

    Planes need adsb - so your rental has to have it somehow.

    Getting an I pad with cellular capability isn’t about getting cell service. It is because only that model has internal gps.
     
  15. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    If your rental doesn’t have a modern adsb in transponder, then you buy a sentry that is a battery operated you mount on the rear pass window. That will give you adsb in traffic, wass gpss, weather, etc

    They cost $400 or so.
     
  16. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    Just to be clear, in order to get ADS-B information (e.g. FIS-B and TIS-B) on your EFB, you need to have ADS-B IN and some sort of communication capability in your transponder, or you will need a separate ADS-B receiver with wifi or bluetooth communication capacity. Meeting the FAA requirements for ADS-B out (say a UAvionix tailbeacon) does not guarantee you will also have ADS-B IN capability.
     
  17. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    To be honest, I'm thinking of just using my phone for my EFB, as long as my tiny print eyesight holds out. The 6-7" screen of a phone is actually not that much smaller than an 8" tablet, and is easier to handle or hold up to eye level in flight during single pilot IFR. I already use my phone as a back up for my tablet, and usually hand my phone to my wife and copilot. I have an NGT-9000 with wifi for ADSB-IN so unlike bluetooth multiple devices can connect to weather and traffic at the same time. Handy!
     
  18. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    iPad air 3rd gen RAM yoke mount with FF connected to stratus 3 for gps/adsb in. Works great. Runs FF. Some say it is too big. Not for me. Ram mount upside down and I can see the entire Aspen PFD. Peek around it a bit to see the MP gauge. It's a very personal thing -

    Some people like -
    Big. Small. FF. GP. Socialist open source free EFBs. Yoke mount. Suction cup mount on the window. Glareshield mount. Mounted somehow in a blank panel hole on an arm that swings out. Wife holding it. Kneeboard. iOS. Android.

    Then the complaints -
    Too big and can't see panel. Too small and can't read plates. Too heavy and it makes the yoke feel mushy. Suction cups fall off. Wife hates to hold it. Wife holds it, but then ends up watching netflix during an approach and I need it to see the plate. iOS sucks. Android sucks. FF sucks. GP sucks. I only use open source EFBs that you have to compile yourself while eating granola and doing yoga.

    The only thing I can be sure of is that all answers are wrong except - RAM yoke mounted iPad Air 3rd Gen running FF.

    Kidding of course (sort of). Google some pics of different mount options in your particular airplane. See which one you like best. Then get a Bonanza and a RAM yoke mount.
     
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  19. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I was using my iPhone X, and it worked fine. Just upgraded to an iPhone 12 Pro Max, just a tad larger, and it’s all I need. The key is a mount that puts it not much more that a foot or so away from your eyes. And that distance it’s quite readable.
     
  20. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    I like having
    You are correct - good catch. Which means the OP should call the rental place(s) and see what transponder they have.
     
  21. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    Heat - the next topic.

    So, the I pad / any tablet can over heat in the summer. Some solve this by putting a towel over the back of the I pad. Works better than putting in over the front. ..... (dad joke there).

    I solved it by buying a somewhat expensive Xnaut cradle to fit to my current Ram suction cup mount.

    Power - the other topic
    Easy enough to take care of. Just get a long (4 or 6 foot) lightning / UCB charge cord and a plug in cigarette lighter/UCB charger. Some planes already have a USB charger which also works well.

    ForeFlight Training -
    Sporty's has a great monthly ForeFlight web special you can sign up for. Then just view a lot of the YouTube FFlight videos. F Flight is quite amazing IMHO, but takes a bit of time to figure out all the bells and whistles. I won't fly without it.
     
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  22. Pierce Warren

    Pierce Warren Filing Flight Plan

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    Hey everyone! Learning a ton here. Thanks a lot. I may try out my iphone Xs on a suction cup during my Flight Review (BFR?.. :) ) next week to see how it goes. Then if I really can't see anything, I'll upgrade in size. A friend of mine has yoke mount and likes it but I haven't tried it.

    @Deelee Freakin hilarious!! All of those must be from first hand experience.

    @WDD @chemgeek really helpful on the technical aspect. I'm going to give the flight school a call to see what they've got and go from there. I suspect older technology for the planes I'm trying to rent...although one has a Garmin 430 for whatever that's worth. Transponders don't look very new..more to come. If I end up flying quite a bit, $400 seems like a nice feature for what you get with that Sentry unit in case what I end up flying is older than the wright flyer.
     
  23. Pierce Warren

    Pierce Warren Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm located in Tulsa....the heat sucks. I can remember sweating through my entire shirt before even getting off the runway a few Summers ago. I really just need to go take a look at the planes in person to see what they've got (USB/Transponders etc.). But now I know what to look for. Thanks!
     
  24. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    I use my [android, with Avare] phone for local flying, I always have it so if a friend says, "Let's go to KXXX today," I have it available, in a bicycle handlebar mount clamped to a frame tube, I also use it for flight logging and sometimes as a g-meter. If I'm planning a cross country, I use an 8" tablet on a kneeboard, with the phone as backup. Android devices usually don't have the overheating issues that iStuff does.

    Even with devices with built in GPS, sometimes they won't get a reliable signal in the cockpit of some planes. In that case a cheap bluetooth GPS stuck somewhere where there's a better signal can be useful.
     
  25. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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    I have an iPad Mini 4. To me, anything bigger than an iPhone 6 mounted on the yoke blocks too much of the panel. Similar to you, I learned without GPS, so that probably affects my flying technique a little. :) I fly alone 99% of the time, so I just lay the iPad on the seat next to me or on my right leg (not on my left leg just in case a door pops open!). I use Garmin Pilot rather than ForeFlight, but have used ForeFlight and they both do the same things. Our airplane has a combinatioin transponder/ADS-B Out and a Garmin GDL39 for ADS-B In. If you have an airplane with the Tailbeacon or similar, like others have said you will need something for ADS-B In, like a Stratus or similar on top of your iPad.
     
  26. Arrow76R

    Arrow76R Pre-takeoff checklist

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    iPad mini yoke mounted on X_Naut cooling mount with with FF.
     

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  27. Pierce Warren

    Pierce Warren Filing Flight Plan

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    I looked up Sentry unit and noticed they actually make a $200 unit called "Scout". Not as many features as the full blown Sentry, or even middle of the road sentry mini but for $200, could be a nice addition to get ADSB in. Again, I appreciate the thoughts on this. A lot of different routes to go here. I should be flying next week and will be sure to play around with placement etc.
     
  28. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    To data or not to data is a personal preference question. Lot of people like it for the data. Some people get a data-capable ipad for the internal GPS. FWIW, my 10th anniversary as an iPad EFB user is this month. Three iPads in that time. All WiFi only, no data capability. Haven't missed it, and I don't reserve it just for aviation.

    Size-wise, I started with the original full-size ipad. No problem with a yoke mount. Eventually went to the Mini. Size seems perfect for the cockpit but I've seen pilots happy with larger.
     
  29. dennisc172

    dennisc172 Pre-Flight

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    I use the ipad mini 4 on my knee or attached to right side of the window, not blocking any instruments (sorry pax ha-ha). I use to

    I do have the data version but not using it anymore, only for the GPS. The newer IOS allow you to connect to your iphone as 'hotspot' easiliy without draining the battery quick.

    See the picture (fisheye), still pretty good view to the right although the picture does not makes that clear.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  30. Kent Wien

    Kent Wien Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Rumors are that a new iPad Mini with a slightly different design is eminent.
     
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  31. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    Vintage Snazzy (so my adult children say)
    Eh. There is always a new I pad. Planned obsolescent. We’ve moved beyond the quantum leaps of 286 to 386 to 486 to pentium, etc. Wow - did I just date myself!
     
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  32. Trogdor

    Trogdor Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I use a Treo 650 and an E6B most of the time. It sucks that I can’t get very good beeper reception in the pattern sometimes. :)

    Ipad Air Gen 3 + Garmin Pilot + GDL 50 FTW!
     
  33. Country Flier

    Country Flier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I use a mini, and I'm surprised at the number of people that don't use a mini as well...they must have more room in the cockpit than me.

    As far as data, I couldn't imagine using an iPad without data, because I do all my filing through the iPad and Foreflight. Now, it just occurred to me that I suppose if you have a cell phone with data, you can create a hotspot, so maybe its not all that important after all.
     
  34. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's what I do, when needed. The iPhone and the iPad seem to know about each other.... in a friendly way. So when my iPad is close to my iPhone and iPad is not on a wifi network already, it will prompt to connect to iPhone's hotspot.... sort of romantic, in a way. Like two devices, bonded by love for each other and radio waves.

    But I usually just use my iPhone to do the filin'
     
  35. MICHAEL MAHN

    MICHAEL MAHN Pre-Flight

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    I fly with a Samsung Galaxy S5e running Garmin Pilot. I keep it mostly in my lap on top of my knee board. Some day I'll explore a yoke mount -- I worry it's too big for that location. I avoid Apple products. My wife and kids have just about every Apple product ever made -- I don't want to know the $Ks wasted when there were much cheaper and just as functional alternatives. That said, when my Samsung dies, I'll likely replace it w/ an iPad. The Garmin Pilot Android software lags behind Apple. I'll read about a cool new feature only to be disappointed the feature is not yet implemented on Android. Also, I assume b/c it's more of an open system, stability can be a problem. When preparing for my IFR check ride ~2 months ago, any time I created a flight plan including the destination airport requested by the DPE, Garmin Pilot would crash. I opened a ticket with Garmin but never heard back. I had to use my wife's iPad for the oral/flight planning questions and used my Galaxy for everything else. Very annoying.
     
  36. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    iPhone XS Max. I have iPad mini and a Pro. The phone is better.
     
  37. RussS

    RussS Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I use an iPad 7 but not mounted anywhere. I train in a Diamond 20....there is hardly room for pilots, let alone iPads. I end up with it on my leg when using it but stick it next to my left hip on the seat when it’s not needed. Diamond uses a stick rather than yoke, so anything on your lap/leg gets in the way. I make it work though.

    I also built a Stratux....super easy to build and gets me ADS-B and GPS for my non gps iPad. Cost me about 200 total for all of the pieces and it’s been great so far!
     
  38. LesGawlik

    LesGawlik Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I used a Palm Pilot with CBAV (Cheap Bas**** AViation) to get "real time" radar. It worked as high as 10,000. This was before there was any other than panel mount weather options.
     
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  39. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I use a Mini and yoke mount and have a knee thingy and am a renter of 172’s like you. It works for me. But there are things to be done like making sure the seat height is right. Let’s talk about the free part of “controls free and correct.” Correct should have been done during pre flight but ‘free’ can change after you put people, including you in the seats. I’ve always been able to adjust things so they are free and have a view of flight instruments without having to crane my neck. Or adjust things after getting airborne. Be very careful of that.
    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/community/threads/things-on-the-yoke.114412/
     
  40. AlphaMike

    AlphaMike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I started off with a mini mounted to the yoke. It worked great when flying VFR. When I started doing instrument training it became a bit of a problem. I would need to zoom in on the approach plate and charts ,my 47 year old eyes aren’t what they used to be. flying VFR I could just put on my “1.5 cheaters” if I needed. Well I couldn’t find any 1.5 Foggles so that didn’t work so well. I decided to barrow my wife’s 11” pro and see how that worked. It worked great! I keep it in the door pocket or just rest it in my lap. When I want to look at it I just picked it up and hold it at the yoke. That way I don’t have to look down or away from the instruments. I still have the mini and still use it depending on what type of flying I’m doing but if I’m planning on using Foggles I bring the 11 pro.