Pre-flight your iPad with this helpful checklist

What’s our number one recommendation for iPad pilots? Always, always, always pre-flight your iPad!

Sure, the iPad is easy to use and awfully reliable. But just like with your airplane, you want to find out about any issues with your iPad while you’re on the ground (and have an internet connection). This could take 30 seconds or 10 minutes, depending on how you use your iPad and how comfortable you are with the technology.

You’ll want to create a checklist that works for your apps, accessories and your airplane. Customize it so that you’ll actually use it before every flight. With that in mind, though, here’s a basic checklist to consider that applies to most apps:

  • Battery charged on iPad–it’s a good habit to always take off with a full charge (it takes 4-6 hours to charge a drained battery)
  • Battery charged on external GPS or Stratus weather receiver–these have about the same life as iPad, so charge alongside your iPad
  • Backup power or charging cables available–make sure you have a plan B if the battery dies
  • Run the application once–especially if you’ve updated the app, check to make sure it won’t crash or lock up on initial start-up
  • Load routes and favorite airports–doing this on the ground saves a lot of heads-down time in the cockpit
  • Databases installed and current–check your charts without an internet connection (see this tip)
  • Turn off wireless functions that aren’t needed–turn off Bluetooth, cellular data and WiFi unless you’ll need them in flight, as they drain the battery. More info on how to configure these settings here.
  • Clean the screen and adjust the screen brightness to less than 100% if conditions permit. Lowering the screen to around the 70 – 80% brightness level can add an extra hour or more of battery life.

Do you have any tips to add? Share them below.

2 replies
  1. Art Friedman
    Art Friedman says:

    Also…
    – Get and REVIEW a full/standard preflight briefing
    – Make sure your app is set to display TFRs.

  2. Mark
    Mark says:

    Carry a set of charts even if they are out of date as a back up. This was a suggestion from a webinar I participated in.

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