One of the most common questions we hear as pilots is, “Do I really need to put my phone in Airplane Mode?” The airlines have been saying yes for years, but many travelers think this advice is outdated and it’s safe to ignore. Is that true in a small airplane? And what is Airplane Mode anyway? Here’s our advice.
Author Archive for: johnz
About John Zimmerman
Coming from an aviation family, John grew up in the back of small airplanes and learned to fly as a teenager. Ever since, he has been hooked on anything with wings and regularly flies a Citabria, a Pilatus PC-12 and a Robinson R44 helicopter. He is an ATP and also holds ratings for multiengine, seaplanes, gliders, and helicopters. In addition to being Editor-in-Chief of Air Facts, John is a Vice President at Sporty’s Pilot Shop, responsible for new product development and marketing.
Entries by John Zimmerman
One of the standout features of the iPad is its long battery life—a fully charged battery should last you about 9-10 hours (more like 4-6 when using an ADS-B receiver and when the screen is on full bright). Here’s how to keep that battery charged up for your next flight, including wall plugs, battery packs, and more.
In a market dominated by do-it-all apps like ForeFlight and Garmin Pilot, it’s a pleasant surprise to find a simple app that aims to do just one or two things, but do them very well. So it is with SkyTimer, an easy-to-use app that makes logging trips and tracking fuel burn as easy as tapping a button.
Portable ADS-B receivers for the iPad (like the Sentry, Garmin GDL 50 and Stratus 3) can receive ADS-B traffic in addition to weather. But unlike weather, which is broadcast continuously, traffic is only transmitted in certain cases. This can make ADS-B traffic very confusing—when does it work and when does it not work?
The Settings app was fairly basic when the iPad was first released in 2010, providing control of the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless radios, screen brightness and email account settings. Ten years later it has evolved into a collection of hundreds of settings, with multi-tier menus that can make it difficult to find what you’re looking for. Here are 8 pilots need to know.
Our never-ending quest for the perfect iPad kneeboard has turned up a new contender: the Slimline Rotating Kneeboard from Flight Gear. This simple, no-frills kneeboard is (as the name suggests) small and unobtrusive in the cockpit—perfect for the pilot who’s worried about a kneeboard interfering with the yoke during takeoff and landing. At only $22.95, it’s also one of the least expensive iPad kneeboards we’ve seen.
Portable ADS-B receivers like Sentry are must-have devices for many pilots, delivering subscription-free weather that helps make better in-flight decisions. Beyond datalink weather, many pilots have also discovered the value of having a portable ADS-B receiver as a backup. There’s another level of redundancy that most pilots don’t consider, though: GPS failure.
Lightspeed Aviation has long been a leader in headset technology for pilots: they were the first to offer a Bluetooth audio connection and their FlightLink app was the first to offer customizable headset options in an iOS app. Now there’s a new app, called simply the Lightspeed App, and it has been released to pair with the all-new Delta Zulu headset. This makes it easy to monitor carbon monoxide levels, create custom audio profiles, and record in-flight communications.
Digital logbooks have been around for many years, but ForeFlight’s introduction of this feature seems to have made it mainstream. More and more pilots are using the app to log flights and track currency, but there’s more to this feature than just basic flight logging. Here are eight ways to get the most out of your new logbook.
When you’re flying long cross-country flights or variable routes due to challenging weather, it pays to have an orderly way to charge electronics. In fact, a depleted battery is one of the few issues we’ve ever had with an iPad. That’s why we love this new charging kit—it provides everything you need to keep all your devices topped off, from iPad to iPhone to ADS-B receiver.
Keeping your panel avionics updated with the latest databases is essential for both safe and legal flying, but that’s not always an easy task. If you have a glass cockpit, you might have up to five avionics to keep updated—that’s a lot of data cards and downloads. Garmin set out to solve this problem about six years ago when they introduced Database Concierge, a wireless update option that uses your iPad. Here’s how it works.
ForeFlight, aviation’s most popular app, has come a long way from the days of basic weather maps and digital charts. In this fast-paced webinar, ForeFlight product expert Josh Berman shows off some of the latest enhancements to the app and shares some advanced tips for getting the most out of the app. You’ll learn about the new downloads view, enhanced weight and balance, terrain advisor changes, weather forecast tools, and much more.
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