Video tip – How to incorporate the iPad into flight training

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Many students beginning their training often ask the question “is the iPad the right tool for me in my flight training?” To help with the decision, Dave Zitt, a senior flight instructor at Sporty’s Academy, shares his thoughts on best practices for incorporating the iPad as an EFB when learning to fly.

8 replies
  1. Vince Massimini
    Vince Massimini says:

    Hi. Suggest you use “tablet” instead of “IPad.” There are lots of different tablets. Good video, however. Best, Vince

    • Norton
      Norton says:

      iPad is the de facto choice for several reasons, any other tablets will add to many variables to the equation, due to the broad options of systems available, that can make the experience from comparable to terribly worse in comparison. It is what it is.

      • David Smith
        David Smith says:

        I agree, I have a number of other Apps I use for aviation such as the E6B, the FARAIM App to quickly find regs, quick reference to other files i use such as spreadsheet calculations, iBooks for some books, POH, etc.

  2. DJ
    DJ says:

    Couple of thoughts:

    1. From experience the iPad mini is a way better option. The smaller form factor is much easier to manage in a small cockpit. If you’re using a yoke mount the normal size iPad can block the view of your instruments and not allow for full aileron deflection because it hits your knees. I don’t have this problem with my mini. The mini is also considerably lighter, meaning less stress on the yoke column and less weight in your flight bag. Is almost the exact same size as a traditional paper approach plate.

    2. The glare shield is not a shelf… avoid putting [any electronic device] up there and the likelihood of it overheating is reduced considerably.

    3. Yoke mounts vs lap mounts each offer their pros and cons. Will largely depend on how physically big the pilot is and what type of airplane you’re flying. If a new student is considering an iPad I’d have him/her borrow a one or two, sit in the airplane, and try them on for size with different mounting options. The biggest issue I see is iPads interfering with full deflection of the flight controls, which can happen on both lap and yoke mounts. That’s a problem.

    4. Definitely agree keeping the GPS function turned off during initial training. Both for private and for instrument. For instrument training my dad used to say 1 peak was worth 1000 cross-checks. I find students “cheating” by using the iPad and never really getting comfortable with the onboard avionics… a more modern interpretation of my dad’s saying.

  3. David Smith
    David Smith says:

    A few comments, I use ForeFlight when I am flying a Cessna 172 (which I fly all the time). I have tried the iPad Mini, different suction mounts, etc. What I found works best for me in that small cockpit is: iPhone 12 Max mounted to the side windshield for quick reference and changes especially during those times when i do not want to look down. I do all my planning and annotation, weight and balance, etc., on my iPad 11″ Pro with Cellular. I have a strap that goes around my thigh that is Velcro and works great for my iPad Pro. Below are some links to the mount and strap

  4. Thomas Bell
    Thomas Bell says:

    XNaut has a knee pad that cools the Ipad. It is almost an essential kneepad to keep your Ipad from overheating in the summer months.

  5. John Light
    John Light says:

    I’ve been using Foreflight with my iPad and Stratus for quite some time now VFR as well as IFR and I’ve flown back and forth to Oshkosh for years as well as a ton of cross country flights
    This method has yet to fail me.
    And yes, I’ve grown up with steam gauges years ago.

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