Pilot's! iPads in the cockpit.... whats your setup?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by rz-jacks, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. rz-jacks macrumors member

    Mar 26, 2012
    West Lafayette IN
    Whats your setup with the different apps and different carriers? and post some feedback

    mine (well used to be but waiting for a replacement):

    iPad 3rd gen
    foreflight + pilot mycast
    AT&T (getting data up to 5500 feet no problem around northern indiana)
  2. FamiliaPhoto macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    So you don't turn off your radio while flying.

    Please don't take this the wrong way, then why do I have to? :)
  3. seadragon Contributor

    Mar 10, 2009
    So it doesn't interfere with the pilot's iPad! :D
  4. Type121 macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2004
    I haven't flown for a while, been spending too much money on iPads. But I do love Foreflight. Had no problems with AT&T reception at 2-3000ft staying under the Class B airspace here.
  5. laurenr macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2008
  6. BFizzzle macrumors 68020


    May 31, 2010
    Austin TX
    thats what i was thinking
  7. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Apr 14, 2010
    Washington State
    1. He should, part of the reason antenna stuff has to be turned off is for FCC and not specific to flying (So it doesn't interfere with other devices. And with how low private pilots tend to fly,it will interfere. Now, on an airline plane, you go high enough it won't, but you'll also just eat your battery, you're not going to get coverage so there really is no point for you anyways ;) ). Honestly it's probably not the hugest deal and probably one of those on the off chance it interferes with something like a radio to an emergency dispatch (or also maybe just if every pilot had it turned on it could cause major interference).

    2. The difference between you and him is you are flying on a large airline that will be landing and taking off at very busy airports (most likely, him being a private pilot he is not). Cellphone antennas can cause radio noise if you don't turn them off (my roommate is a private pilot, I have experienced this when we forget to turn off our iphones). It's not constant, it's just sometimes. But imaging your plane you are flying on comes into a very busy airport where traffic control does not have a lot of time to dedicate to you. Now imagine radio noise happening right when they tell you, "Pull up/abort your landing, we have an emergency landing" and you didn't hear that due to the random radio noise. Or some other really important message they need to tell you that you need to hear right then.

    Now, as for private pilots having the ipad, my roommate would absolutely love to have one... if it was smaller. He flys a Grummen Tiger and he says at the size it is there really isn't any good place to mount one (and according to him on the pilot forums he is on most people end up holding it in their lap or having a passenger hold it which to him is just too awkward and for him to get enough incentive to buy one it has to be mountable. So until Apple makes a 7-8" ipad, he won't have one. And he doesn't like the other tablets because apparently the software he'd like to use is on the iPad.
  8. falcora macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2011
    yeah, it's common knowledge that most electronics don't interfere with flight instruments. Unless you are intentionally broadcasting high powered transmissions at the same frequency that airplane communications operate on, you won't see any interference.
  9. Type121 macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2004
    I can't imagine it being useful smaller. It would be a bitch to look at sectionals, approach plates, airport diagrams, etc. on a smaller screen. The iPad is no bigger than the kneeboard I've been using for years. Pilots I know using the iPad have bought kneeboards similar to this one from Sporty's:

  10. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Apr 14, 2010
    Washington State
    I dunno, I'm not the pilot ;) (and he's not on these forums nor could I get him to "waste his time" being on here, he's not a big tech geek, nor is he a techno phobe, he just wants it to be useful). Apparently he feels it would still be useful and it would be useful for his purposes if he could mount it up.

    Maybe he'll change his mind when I get my iPad (My mom is sending me one). Though not sure it will be useful for him, it only has wi-fi so no GPS (I do have an old GPS reciever that transmitted its info via bluetooth... is there a way to set up the iPad to use that? It was originally designed to send info to a PDA that had software that could use it <- at the time an iPaq I had).
  11. X-rated macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2010
    This thing is a godsend in the cockpit. I fly professionally and we are getting these company wide soon. As far as ease, more situational awareness, and not having to deal with paper charts anymore is huge. We are going to use jeppessen FD which I haven't used much p but if it is as good as Foreflight then I am looking forward to it. I also use RadarUS+ and Radar Scope.
  12. rz-jacks, Mar 28, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012

    rz-jacks thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 26, 2012
    West Lafayette IN
    honestly the ipad is not bigger that your average kneeboard. And the reason I use cellphone/data in the cockpit is because there's only one of me in there (maybe 4 with more passengers) which isn't really a risk when flying. but when there's 200+ devices inside a commercial jet then its a little bit more likely you could potentially have interference with radio communications. In a small plane, the only time I've had interference is when the cord from my headset is within about a couple of inches from my phone and the phone is "looking for a signal or recieving stuff" which is when you hear the usual beeps we're all familiar with, just move your phone a few more inches and it goes away.

    Anyone using verizon up in the air?
  13. 7timethecrystal macrumors regular


    Mar 21, 2011
    I've read, I believe here on this site, that the FCC is looking into modifying the requirement to turn off things like iPads during landing and takeoff, but the restriction would still apply for cell phones.

    I've also heard that the REAL reason these devices are restricted during takeoff and landing of commercial jets, apart from interference, is so that they are more likely to have your attention if something goes awry. This is statistically more likely to happen during takeoff and landing.
  14. whtrbt7 macrumors 65816

    Jun 8, 2011
    Here's my setup:

    Angry Birds
    Angry Birds Rio
    Angry Birds Space
    Flight Control
    Sky Gamblers Air Supremacy

    j/k If you're in aviation some of the best apps are:
    Flight Track Pro
    Beacon North America
    Flight Guide iEFB
    Flight prep
    i Flyte TC (it's ok for checklists and estimated flight time)
    Flight timer pro (much better for flight time tracking)
    Logbook Pro (for logging your flights)
    Wing X (pretty complete set for route planning)
  15. Eddie Bombay macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2011
    I can see pilots with their iPads in the air trying to connect to the network. "damn no network at 6k think I'll fly at 5.5k and see if that works nope think I'll fly lower..."
  16. Bheleu macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2010
    Reminds me of the two pilots

    ...that watched a movie on their iPad with Autopilot on, and overshot their airport by an hour. Yes the passengers were late, and disgruntled and the pilots fired.
  17. seajay96 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    The restriction is not from the FCC (although I'm sure they like the restriction too), it's from the FAA (FAR 91.21) which also grants the option to the Pilot in Command or the Commercial Carrier (United, Jet Blue, etc) to operate any device that they have determined will not interfere with the navigation or communication system of the aircraft.

    The FAA has left this on the books since the 50s or 60s because the cost of testing every possible configuration would be quite prohibitive and it offers the Carrier the option of doing their own testing. However, none of the carriers have taken this on and may point to the distraction/obstruction factor to justify no further testing. But really, which is more of an obstruction, that 30 pound Bridal magazine the lady next to me last weekend was reading or my iPhone/Kindle/iPad?

    Uhm, no. The pilots were doing work(maybe not?) unassociated with flying the plane on a laptop, not an iPad.
  18. eq2675 macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2008
    I wonder if a 16 gb iPad is large enough to carry all the required apps for a pilot.
  19. seajay96 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    If all you have is aviation apps, 16 gb is plenty. For reference, WingX Pro (without chart data) is about 40 mb and AOPA airport database is about 50mb.

    I don't have any charts loaded right now, but I would guess that all of the sectionals, approach plates and IFR charts will add up to less than 2gb.

    Edit: according to WingX website, the maximum hdd space it will take is 3Gb, but that is literally everything for the entire country.
  20. thatsmyaibo macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2007
    I fly in the LA basin area and usually can't get decent cell reception past 3,500. I used to use foreflight quite often as well as the far/aim on the ground. Also, the AOPA app is pretty handy as well as aeroweather and the Sporty's E6B.

    I just got hired at ZLA as a controller and have been studying the FAA material on it as well.
  21. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Apr 14, 2010
    Washington State
    Yeah, you don't get much but you do get some (at least we seem to more than you do. Maybe once per flight a little bit of buzz, annoying and we're like, "Oh yeah, we forgot to turn off the phones, heh". Hell, my roommate gave up on some weather ATIS (Or some automated system near some really podunk airport) that apparently wasn't working or something and just brought out his iphone to get the info.
  22. thatsmyaibo macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2007
    Especially here in the LA area, I always check WX on my phone instead of dialing into ATIS. Last thing I want to do is miss a call from SoCal because I have to listen to a robot tell me the weather.
  23. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    Not necessarily. It's more like it is highly unlikely, but still possible. On an international flight, a passenger turned on their cell phone which caused the plane's auto pilot to slightly bank. They brought the cell phone into the cockpit and whenever they turned it on the plane would slightly bank. The FAA took the same model aircraft and flew the same route and couldn't replicate it.

    A professor here at ERAU taking off out of KLGA I believe it was experienced her navigation instruments inop when a passenger still had their cell phone on.

    So it's possible for our electronics to interfere, but it's a crap shoot and hard to replicate.
  24. emuyshondt macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    I have WingX Pro and ForeFlight. Currently like WingX Pro better and have let my Foreflight subscription expire, but the apps leapfrog each other in features and functions. I just saw today that Garmin came out with Garmin Pilot today. The description says: "Easy-to-use menu icons mirror those on the newest Garmin touchscreen avionics" so it should work like the Aera and maybe even 796 aviation portable GPS units.

    Aeroweather is also pretty useful to me, especially before heading out to the airport.

    I use Navigon for car navigation. Each of these apps takes 2-3 GB of space when you load up all of the US. A 16 GB iPad is enough if all you use is a couple of the navigation apps along with a good selection of other kinds of apps. If you also want to carry around a lot of music and movies, then you will need more space.

    Most people in aviation-related fora really like their iPads for aviation use. ForeFlight is the most often mentioned, followed by WingX Pro. I haven't read of any problems in general aviation aircraft.
  25. ewo1992 macrumors regular


    Mar 11, 2012
    Southern, CA
    I use foreflight, but I'm going to have to try out some of these other apps.

Share This Page