Having up-to-date charts on your iPad is easy with an app like ForeFlight or Garmin Pilot, but there's a trap if you're not careful. Because there is no internet connection in the airplane, you must download the chart databases before you go flying. This is not always as obvious as you might think.
For aircraft owners looking for a more permanent charging solution, there are some great options now available. Mid-Continent Instruments, a respected manufacturer of avionics, has a variety of dual USB charging devices that can be permanently installed to provide full-time access to power for portable devices.
A new weather app called Weekend Flyer provides an interactive map that allows you to view the aviation weather forecast for airports across the U.S. for up to 3 days out. This is a great resource when heading out for a weekend trip to get a feel for what the weather will be like on the flight back home.
iPad panel mounts have been around for years, but we think the latest designs from Guardian Avionics may be the best yet. These durable mounts are made from ABS plastic, and they mount to the panel with just four screws. The end result is very clean and professional installation.
The 2016 edition of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh was notably upbeat, with large crowds and plenty of new product announcements. The positive momentum was evident in the world of iPad apps and accessories, especially from big players like Garmin, ForeFlight and Avidyne. While we can't possibly recap every announcement and new feature, here are three trends that dominated the discussion in Wisconsin.
Pilots tend to focus more on optimizing the iPad's battery life than the average iPad user, since this is critical to keeping the device functioning in the airplane over the course of a flight. Fortunately there's a dedicated utility in the main iPad settings to help shed some light on which apps are using the most power, possibly while running in the background.
LogTen Pro X is one of the premier digital logbook apps available in the app store. The app recently received a big update, adding new smart logbook sharing features, remote endorsement capabilities and expanded backup options useful for sharing or archiving.
There is finally a good option for pilots worried about overheating iPads, with the release of the X-Naut Active Cooling Mount. This cradle has a vented case and built-in cooling fans that direct airflow over the back of the iPad, aimed at the areas of the tablet that run the hottest. It may sound like overkill, but we've flown with it and the X-Naut really works.