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Anybody use an Ipad in the gulf?

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I've been looking at using an Ipad mini in the gulf and was wondering if anybody uses an GPS app for VFR use?

 

I'm a 206 driver and would like a backup GPS. Our company doesn't always have the nicest equipment, but we're getting there. I've been looking and so far I think that the Garmin Pilot application seems like the best deal. But don't know if they carry our sectional. I've used my full size Ipad in the Gulf before the mini came out and put the foreflight app on there and it worked but not great. It didn't have the correct map either. Adding a GPS enhancer would also help the lag the GPS antenna in the iPad has.

 

If you guys use one or know someone who does please drop me a line. I'd like to hear what works for other people.

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For rig locations: http://helicopterforum.verticalreference.com/topic/16829-gom-platform-gps-file/

 

I would email the developers of the apps you are looking to use. They should be able to tell you whether or not they have the sectional you need.

 

EDIT: The link below is most likely where the developers are getting their geo-referenced charts from. Looks like they don't make them geo-referenced for the Gulf yet. A third party company might, but I personally don't know. I also don't fly in the Gulf, so my knowledge here is limited.

 

You can, however, do what is mentioned in the link above and add the coordinates for your rigs as way-points to a chart that covers your area. Might not be ideal, but it's better than nothing.

 

I'd still recommend emailing the various developers and see what they can do for you.

 

http://aeronav.faa.gov/index.asp?xml=aeronav/applications

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Deleted by author and apologies...

Edited by Wally

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I use the iPad mini mounted with RAM mount "EZ Roller". I run AirNavPro on mine, it's a great VFR navigation app and does everything your average 296 would do, except faster and better. It's $50 for the app, and a few more dollars for various maps you can buy for it.

 

The built in GPS works perfectly fine (you need the LTE version, the WiFi one doesn't have built in GPS), reception is great, it's quick and very accurate. I've used it in temperatures from +30C to -25C without issues, although it does like to be plugged into a charger in the cold. Without the charger I get about 6 flying hours of battery life in moderate temperatures.

 

You need to remove it from the dashboard when the machine is parked in the sun or it will overheat, no issues in flight though.

 

This is now my main GPS and I would never go back to a Garmin. It also runs my logbook, weight and balance calculator, coordinate conversion software, flight and duty tracking, has a copy of the ops manual, weather, flight plans etc etc. I don't have a SIM card in it, but if I was flying in an area with better mobile coverage I probably would, and get live weather overlay as well.

 

All this for less than the cost of a 296. I don't remember how I ever flew without it.

 

I have the software installed on my iPhone as well as a backup, but I have never needed it.

Edited by lelebebbel

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Bump*

 

I know there are lots of people out there using Ipads and Ipad minis, because I see them, and I am jealous. As far as I know Foreflight works fine with them, I know it works great on my phone and I use it almost every day. I am looking into getting an ipad mini now, and want to make sure I get the right thing. I have heard that I will need the GPS -- does this mean not the Wifi version? Am I going to have to have this on my cell phone account as well even though I don't have any coverage offshore? I would rather avoid one more monthly fee but might go ahead if necessary. Or just get a new phone and continue to squint.

 

What's good?

 

 

I've been looking at using an Ipad mini in the gulf and was wondering if anybody uses an GPS app for VFR use?

 

I'm a 206 driver and would like a backup GPS. Our company doesn't always have the nicest equipment, but we're getting there. I've been looking and so far I think that the Garmin Pilot application seems like the best deal. But don't know if they carry our sectional. I've used my full size Ipad in the Gulf before the mini came out and put the foreflight app on there and it worked but not great. It didn't have the correct map either. Adding a GPS enhancer would also help the lag the GPS antenna in the iPad has.

 

If you guys use one or know someone who does please drop me a line. I'd like to hear what works for other people.

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No additional monthly fee required. Buy the iPad mini you want (I believe they all offer Wifi), install ForeFlight on it and go through the setup to get the desired charts for offline use. The GPS thing that people are talking about is that the iPad's don't have built in GPS. The newer ones might, but I'm not sure. I know the older ones don't (or it might be that the wifi ONLY versions don't). This means you need to buy an external GPS receiver and link the two together using bluetooth. Just make sure you do your research on which one you plan to buy. If it doesn't have builtin GPS, you'll need an external one like This One

 

 

I personally use a Nexus 7 (Android) tablet. Android has a few free options (Avare being the most functional), but DroidEFB offers a free subscription to active CFI's. Most Android tablets have built-in GPS so you don't need to spend more money on an external one.

 

 

 

Side note: for anyone looking into ADS-B receivers (such as stratus), you should look into Stratux. It's a low cost, DIY ADS-B receiver. Click on the very first link (DIY ADS-B receiver Part 1) for parts, to read the how-to, then Part 2 for new info regarding set up.

Edited by ridethisbike
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Thanks Ridethisbike.

 

I guess I will have to convince Santa that I've been extra extra good this year and need a gps receiver as well...

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Another option if you're interested is to add a GPS receiver to that Stratux unit. Only a marginally higher cost.

 

Also, I talked to a friend and he told me that iPad mini 2 and 3's have built in GPS, which means you wouldn't need the external one, fyi. Quick specs check online confirms it

 

http://www.gsmarena.com/apple_ipad_mini_2-5735.php (look under the COMMS section)

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I'll speak on what works for me as I haven't seen anyone else in our company use the same setup as I do.

 

I have an older iPad mini (3G model) that does NOT have the data plan active. But the GPS inside the iPad obviously still works. I downloaded foreflight's application and put on all the applicable maps and charts that I needed. So glad in my time away from the Gulf they added the Gulf Heli map. This wasn't the case before I left the Gulf to go on deployment for the Guard.

 

Inside the cockpit I use a RAM suction cup mount and place it on the windshield.

 

It's become so handy I don't know how I lived without it. There is sometimes a slight lag in finding your position, but certainly no worse than any other GPS at times. Searching for the center of the block is easy. I find this iPad to be very easy and recommend it to everyone if your company allows it.

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Thanks Ridethisbike.

 

I guess I will have to convince Santa that I've been extra extra good this year and need a gps receiver as well...

 

Buy the "LTE" version, not the WiFi version. The LTE one has a built in GPS. The reason for this is that apparently the GPS receiver is located on the same chip as the cell-phone module. This is the same on all versions of the iPad or iPad mini.

 

You do not need to get a sim card or a plan for it, the GPS works independent of the cell network and doesn't require a sim card. However, you can get a card if you want to - there are apparently some completely free plans available in the US that give you a limited amount of data each month, designed to entice you to buy a full plan.

 

 

 

The built in GPS gets excellent reception and accuracy, even when using a protective case, and it is one less thing to keep track of, charge etc.

Edited by lelebebbel

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Not a gulf pilot, but just a tid bit of wisdom.

 

Don't become dependent on it. It's a consumer device with consumer standards for reliability. There are a lot of reasons it might not be there for you when you need it:

  • overheating
  • software instability (the OS, or the app you're using, or some other app that's running)
  • settings you changed and didn't realize might be a problem while flying (like screen auto-shutoff)
  • you put gloves on and can't put in your PIN to unlock the screen
  • you spill something on it or crack the screen
  • the sun hits it at the right angle and the glare makes it unreadable

The iPad has very powerful apps built for it, but it's not a particularly good device from a hardware perspective.

 

We all say "yea, yea, I won't become dependent on it", but over time it can lull you into complacency and many people start to slack off on using the certified avionics.

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I have a wifi only ipad mini which has the built in gps. It's very slow and lags behind as the 2013 post mentions. The blue dot on foreflight is intermittent and will remain off for long intervals. The 3G version may do a better job because it uses cell towers in addition to GPS but I'm not sure. Nor am I familiar with coverage in the gulf. I would recommend all you landlocked pilots keep one of those cool paper charts on board with you, and every once in a while pretend that magical gps is offline and figure out where you are without it.

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