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Thread: Charts or iPads?

  1. #1

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    Charts or iPads?

    On the topic of Flying into Controlled airports, I wrote about having a sectional, that is a real chart.
    Another pilot disagreed and pointed out that with an ipad one could have every Ifr chart and approach chart as well as vfr sectionals and wac on the tablet.

    So, here are a few questions for him or others that promote the iPad over charts.

    1. How long has it been since you flew outside of the area on your local WAC chart?
    2. How many actual Ifr approaches did you make this year?
    3. How long has it been since you made an actual Ifr approach outside your local state/area where you needed ifr charts from another part of the country?
    4. A sectional chart is roughly 2 x3 feet per side, so usually to show a state and more, and covers a good bit of area. How big is the screen on the iPad? Is it about 3x3 inches?
    5. Is it easier to control the attitude of a plane when you can see the whole horizon out the window or easier when you are flying blind on just a 2 1/2 inch attitude indicator?
    6. Do ipads ever fail, such as batteries running down? Have you ever had a battery fail in a real chart?
    7. Is it legal for a pilot to fly with no real charts?, keeping in mind the rule about "having all information".
    8. If you are taking a flight test, the instructor may "fail" an engine and you are expected to make an emergency landing.
    If you are taking a flight test, with an ipad. but without real charts, and the instructor "fails" (turns off) your ipad, how do you navigate, and or fly into an airport or an ifr approach?


    Now, I can see the advantages of having an iPad as a helpful addition, and I might even get one this year and maybe learn to use it, but I also see some disadvantages of it vs. real charts.
    For a charter or airline pilot who actually needs charts from all over the country it might be good. For most of us costs may also be and issue. An ipad with a chart subscirption might run $500 and for that price one can get 50 sectionals.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 01-01-2014 at 10:26 PM.

  2. #2
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Since I fly open cockpit, I sit on my chart to keep it from blowing away. This would be uncomfortable, with an Ipad. :-)

    Ron Wanttaja

  3. #3
    zaitcev's Avatar
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    But I'm sure that a man who built an ejection seat for his FlyBaby is fully capable of rigging up something as simple as a craddle for iPad.

  4. #4
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaitcev View Post
    But I'm sure that a man who built an ejection seat for his FlyBaby is fully capable of rigging up something as simple as a cradle for iPad.
    Don't have room, with the espresso machine and the microwave for the popcorn... :-)

    Ron Wanttaja

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Since I fly open cockpit, I sit on my chart to keep it from blowing away. This would be uncomfortable, with an Ipad. :-)

    Ron Wanttaja

    I, too, fly open cockpit, and I, too, sit on my chart to keep it from blowing away. I've never been able to figure out how to read the chart while it's secure under my butt, though. :0

    OTOH, I have no problem navigating with Foreflight on my iPhone, which I have clipped to the instrument panel...

  6. #6
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Boatright View Post
    I, too, fly open cockpit, and I, too, sit on my chart to keep it from blowing away. I've never been able to figure out how to read the chart while it's secure under my butt, though. :0
    New Ap, called "Smartbutt". :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Boatright View Post
    OTOH, I have no problem navigating with Foreflight on my iPhone, which I have clipped to the instrument panel...
    Paranoid as I am, I'd hate to have to try to secure an Ipad when I stopped somewhere, and it's a bit too bulky to carry around. However, in lieu of a gold watch for a 30-year-anniversary, my employer gave me a Galaxy Tab. About the same size as an Ipad mini. Been contemplating potential uses for it in the airplane, though I'm cautious about full-sunlight visibility. Don't think it's got a GPS in it, so it'd have to be passive navigation. But at least I could pull it out and tuck it into a pocket.

    Space is often at a premium in a single-seater, though, and I'd probably have to rig up some sort of folding arm so I could push it away while getting in and out.

    WWII Navy airplanes often had pull-out chart tables at the bottom (or even the middle) of the instrument panel.

    TBM_panel2.jpg

    I've been tempted to try add something like this to the Fly Baby... it's a free run for ten inches or so under the panel, so I could put in a short pull-out table there. There's a potential for interfering with the stick, though (especially if something broke), and my knee room is tight enough already.

    Have to hold out for Google Glass.

    Current project is attempting to build a headset out of Romex cable and a gooseneck LED lamp. Was using an oil can, originally, but the flex spout was too short. Figure my total cost will be under hundred bucks, for a slimline in-the-ear headset that can be worn under a leather helmet without modification.

    Ron "Cheap is my middle name" Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 01-01-2014 at 04:55 PM. Reason: Whim

  7. #7
    danielfindling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Since I fly open cockpit, I sit on my chart to keep it from blowing away. This would be uncomfortable, with an Ipad. :-)

    Ron Wanttaja
    Strap the Ipad to your leg and use your phone as a backup. No worries and no paper charts to fly away or ever purchase again. Foreflight and some other apps are truly game changers. Plus the Ipad has hundreds of other uses.

    Daniel

  8. #8

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    With the correct options turned "on", I find WingX on my iPad Mini or iPhone (I really like the iPhone's readability) is almost as good as a chart. In a perfect world, I'd always have the appropriate (current) paper charts because I think my situational awareness is better when I use a chart.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Since I fly open cockpit, I sit on my chart to keep it from blowing away. This would be uncomfortable, with an Ipad. :-)

    Ron Wanttaja
    Ron,

    Maybe you need a "padded' Ipad!!! Oh my!!! I'm here all week, tip your waiters!

  10. #10

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    I'd actually like to have a tablet for nav. I'll keep my chart handy too. I just haven't been able to save up enough to buy one yet. A friend uses a Kindle with AirNav. It work great.

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