Sometimes it seems like pilots specialize in old wives' tales, like: "Well, that fancy iPad app doesn't count as an official weather briefing. You have to call Flight Service or the FAA will nail you." It makes a great story, and it plays to pilots' innate paranoia, but it's completely false. It's time to bury this old wives' tale once and for all.
In Apple's latest new product update, a relatively modest event, the company introduced a number of product revisions. While there was a lot of news about a lower cost iPhone and some Apple Watch updates, the biggest news for pilots is the new 9.7" iPad model. It might be the best tablet for flying yet.
As the old saying goes, "train like you fly, fly like you train." If you fly with an iPad, don't hide it during your training flights. Better to make it an integral part of your proficiency program, whether you're on your own or with an instructor, including what to do if it fails. Here's a suggested list of topics to cover.
Everyone knows how to open an app on the iPad--just tap the icon and it's off to the races. But what about closing apps--do you know the difference between sleeping an app, shutting down an app and deleting an app? It's an important distinction that comes into play when an app starts misbehaving.
Many students beginning their training often ask the question "is the iPad the right tool for me in my flight training?" There are many schools of thought on the use of technology during flight training and I couldn’t possibly cover all of them, so rather than try, I will stick with how we recommend the use of technology in a balanced learning approach to flight training.
Here's an issue we see all the time. You've got the perfect weather map, ground map or nav log displayed on your iPad screen. The only problem is you're sitting in the FBO using the free WiFi, and you'd really like to have that chart in the cockpit in half an hour. What can you do?