Entries by John Zimmerman

Garmin PlaneSync: long term test report

Many new cars now come with remote access capabilities that make it easy to start your Chevrolet’s engine or check your Tesla’s battery level from anywhere, using nothing more than a smartphone app and an LTE connection. Garmin is hoping to bring that same convenience to aviation with its new PlaneSync system. We’ve been testing an early version of it for the last three months in a 2005 Cirrus with a retrofit Garmin glass cockpit. Here’s how it works.

New slimline kneeboard offers universal fit for under $25

The perfect iPad kneeboard doesn’t exist: every pilot has unique needs and personal preferences. But if you’re looking for a simple and affordable option, the new Flight Gear Slimline Rotating Kneeboard is a great choice. It has a couple of thoughtful design choices but still costs less than $25. Here’s what we like after flying with it for a few months.

ForeFlight buys debriefing app CloudAhoy—what comes next?

ForeFlight began as a pre-flight app and over time grew to become a powerful in-flight tool as well. The weakest (and, to be honest, least important) phase has been post-flight. That may change now that the electronic flight bag giant has acquired CoudAhoy, an innovative software company with robust flight analysis tools.

Getting started with Sentry: models, mounting, and setup

An ADS-B receiver is an essential tool for any pilot flying with an iPad. These portable devices deliver critical information to your favorite app, including datalink weather, nearby traffic, and GPS position. The Sentry family is the best-selling option right now, with three models to suit different needs and budgets. Here’s what each model can do and how to get started flying with Sentry.

How to send text messages in flight with the Garmin inReach

Flying a light airplane doesn’t have to mean pilots are totally cut off. Garmin’s inReach portable communicators are becoming increasingly capable and affordable. They certainly don’t enable email or web browsing, but they are useful for short text messages, flight tracking, and even emergency messages—and they integrate nicely with the Garmin Pilot app. Best of all, you can be up and running for less than $500 all-in.

iPad kneeboard buyer’s guide—2023 edition

Every pilot should secure their iPad in the cockpit, for both convenience and safety. The most popular ways to do this involve either a mount or a kneeboard. In this article, we’ll review some of the most popular iPad kneeboard options, so you can make an informed decision if you’re not a mount person. There are more options than ever, and most of them are quite good.

How to free up storage space on your iPad

It has happened to almost every pilot: you’re excited to download that new app or it’s time to download charts for your big cross country, but you get the dreaded “iPad Storage Full” message. Over time, as you download more apps and take more pictures, you can quickly fill up the storage space on your device and run into this alert. This means it’s time to start thinking about freeing up some space by deleting unused apps and media.

How to find your iPad model number

If you’re shopping for a mount or kneeboard you’ll quickly have to answer the question, “which iPad do I have?” It’s not always as simple as it might sound, so if you’re not sure which model you have, you’re not alone. If you need to look that information up here’s how to do so.

Three cheers for the iPad—an aviation miracle

Dramatic advances in tablet technology have slowed down, small companies have been snapped up by major industry players, and prices have crept up. Some pilots have noticed, and started to share their frustration. One relatively new private pilot recently told me, “maybe the iPad is just a rip-off after all.” Hardly. The iPad and aviation apps are nothing short of a miracle for pilots.