Use your iPhone in flight with the DeLorme inReach

DeLorme inReach with app
The new inReach pairs with an iPhone to enable tracking and texting anywhere.

Many pilots have come to depend on their iPhone for most of their communication needs, but in the air cell phones are useless. That’s why the new DeLorme inReach is such a great idea–this portable device pairs with your smartphone to add two-way communication capability to any iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Android device. And because it uses the Iridium satellite network, it works almost anywhere in the world–even in flight.

With the inReach and a free app, you have a lot of power on your iPhone:

  • Compose and send emails and text messages to your contacts (up to 150 characters)
  • Allow friends or family to track your flight with user-selected tracking intervals and beautiful online maps
  • Send manual status and position updates at any time
  • View your path on a variety of topographic maps
  • Call for help with the SOS feature, including your GPS position
Some of these features have been available with devices like the SPOT, but where the inReach really shines is the two-way communications features (an exclusive for DeLorme). In addition to sending messages, you can receive replies from friends or family right on your phone. Rescuers can also confirm your SOS call, a very helpful feature DeLorme calls “interactive SOS.” It’s not a full in-flight internet connection, but it’s pretty powerful.

The inReach includes a built-in GPS and connects to your phone via Bluetooth. A dedicated SOS button on the device means that even if your phone is destroyed in a crash, you can still call for help.

The inReach does require a service plan, but a variety of affordable plans are available. One attractive option for pilots is the Seasonal plan that can be activated for only four months, perfect if most of your trips are during the summer.

Getting started is a simple three step process:

  1. Buy a DeLorme inReach ($249.99).
  2. Activate a messaging plan.
  3. Download the free Earthmate app.


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