iPad pilot gift guide—2021 edition

Whether you're a pilot shopping for another aviation enthusiast or you're a non-pilot desperately trying to figure out what to buy the (slightly odd?) aviator on your list, iPad apps and accessories are a good bet. Over 10 years into the tablet revolution, pilots are still snapping up this gear at a tremendous rate. Here's our list of the top 10 things any iPad pilot would like this Christmas.
18W iPad charger

Tips for charging your iPad before flight and in the cockpit

One of the standout features of the iPad is its long battery life, but it's always a good idea to charge the iPad the night before your flight and start with a full battery. In fact, running out of battery power is about the only problem we've had in ten years of flying with the iPad. Here's how to avoid that situation, including some recommendations for the right charging gear.

Video: how to use SiriusXM Weather in Garmin Pilot

Datalink weather has transformed in-flight decision making, especially since it can be accessed with affordable portable receivers and displayed on popular EFB apps. This quick video tip from Garmin shows how to set up SiriusXM satellite weather on the Garmin Pilot app, how to enable different weather layers, and even how to use widgets to get detailed data on airport conditions. If you're only looking at radar, this video will help you dive deeper.
GPS outage

GPS outages—how ADS-B receivers can protect against jamming

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.

Video: comparing the top 4 iPad kneeboards

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Kneeboards have changed drastically over the last 15 years. Once used for charts and flight plan forms, kneeboards are now used to hold the most trusted navigational tool: an iPad, tablet, or phone. There are more options than ever, ranging from very basic to deluxe, so the decision can be a difficult one. In this new video, Sporty's John Zimmerman compares four popular kneeboards, and offers his thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of each one.

Which kneeboards work with the latest iPad Pro?

The iPad Pro 11" has proven to be the top choice for pilots interested in peak tablet performance. But once you have your fancy new iPad, the question naturally comes up: what mount or kneeboard works with it? We are big fans of the Robust Mounts, since their universal design accepts many different size tablets, but the story with kneeboards is more complicated. Let's examine the options.
Garmin inReach Explorer+

In-flight connectivity on the cheap: inReach and AirText

Flying a general aviation airplane usually means being disconnected, unless you're willing to spend over $50,000 on hardware and at least $1000/month for data. That doesn't mean pilots are totally cut off, though. Two products, Garmin's inReach portable communicators and AirText's semi-permanent boxes, offer reasonably affordable services for sending text messages or retrieving text weather. Here's a long term test report.
Robust mount

How do I mount my iPad in the airplane?

Securing your iPad while you fly is important for safety (to prevent your tablet from flying around the cockpit), but also for convenience (to keep it close by and easy to use). There are plenty of different mounts to choose from, but they aren't all universal. Which one is right for you? It depends a lot on the type of airplane you fly. Let's look at some examples.

How to use the Robust clamp mount in multiple locations

Finally, there is a universal solution that can provide more than one mounting option. The Robust Mount Yoke Clamp will fit almost any diameter of yoke shaft. The unique jaw design allows it to clamp down on tubes as small as 0.25”, yet still open wide enough for tubes up to 2” in diameter.

iPad Connected Panel Buyer’s Guide

More and more connected panel options are hitting the market, allowing you to wirelessly connect your iPad to panel-mount GPS and ADS-B receivers. Here's a rundown of all the aftermarket GA avionics options and mobile app compatibility with each.

What’s new in iPad flight bags

The iPad may be called an Electronic Flight Bag, but most pilots still need a real flight bag to stay organized. Fortunately, a slew of new designs offers some great options for staying organized and protecting your aviation gear, without breaking the bank.

How to use iPad audio to make flying safer

The iPad is an engaging visual tool, but many pilots forget about its many audio uses. Especially for those pilots who worry about spending too much "heads-down" time with the iPad, it's worth understanding how apps use audio to make flying more efficient and safe. Let's look at some of the options, and how to set up an audio connection to your headset.