Essential tip: turn off wireless radios before takeoff


It’s important before each flight to properly configure the iPad’s wireless radios, especially when using a Bluetooth or WiFi accessory. This will help to both maximize battery life and reduce the potential for interference with the panel-mounted avionics. Here are our recommended wireless settings for various iPad and accessory combinations:

iPad with plug-in Bad Elf GPS

Preflight bad elf

iPad with Garmin GLO, Dual XGPS or Bad Elf Bluetooth GPS

Preflight bluetooth

iPad with Stratus ADS-B/GPS Receiver

Preflight stratus

Cellular iPad with Internal GPS Receiver

Preflight gps


  1. I use an iPad Mini 4 with cellular, and I have that activated with Verizon. My headset, a DC One-X, is paired to the Mini so that I hear ForeFlight’s aural warnings. The Mini is also connected to a Stratus 2 via WiFi. My practice has been to switch off cellular as part of my iPad preflight. That leaves both WiFi and Bluetooth on.

    You seem to be recommending turning on airplane mode, then separately turning on both WiFi and Bluetooth for my setup. Is there any benefit to your method over my method? Thanks.

    • Your method works just fine, Cary, especially since you’re using both WiFi and Bluetooth. Our suggestion is just one step shorter if you’re not using any wireless radios, or just one. So if it’s just a Bluetooth GPS, you can tap Airplane Mode, then Bluetooth back on.

  2. My iPad mini with internal GPS is a backup to my Aspen and Garmin units. I use FlyQ for flight planning and inflight information. I have been leaving the iPad mini in the airplane mode off so I can do other things in flight. What is the advantage of turning the airplane mode on. Heat? Will its internal GPS still track with airplane mode on without an external device? Thanks.

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