iPad for ATP. Mini okay?

Hi, I’m starting ATP this September at the Hillsboro location. When I search online for what kind of iPad I need to get for ATP, I’ve found that people recommend either the full size 10.5 inch or 9.7 inch. However, my instructor on my admissions flight recommended the mini.

I would think the mini would be good as to reduce overall size of stuff you’re lugging around, fits in lap easier, and can be mounted on the yoke. What do you guys recommend?

Personally I have the 10.5 and first off, its hard to find inexpensive kneeboards for the 10.5 inch. Also, personally I like have the bigger screen while doing instrument stuff. Makes things a bit easier to see when you need to glance at it periodically, so I think the 9.7 inch would be perfect. but thats just my opinion :slight_smile: each persons different so you gotta figure out what works for you :slight_smile:

I used the mini as a student and now I use it as an instructor. It works great. These aren’t the biggest planes so pulling out a TV screen for an IPad isn’t always practical. To each their own though…


Mini or 9.7. Pick one. You’ll love either.


I traded my 9.7 for a Mini. Much more practical in a small plane.

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I’m using the iPad 4 and had no problem during Instrument.

I can’t confirm as I have the 4 but I’ve heard apparently ForeFlight lags a bit more on older models so if you go Mini get the 4 or newer

I use the mini and it works for its purpose (briefing approaches/taxi diagram). Familiarize yourself with the G500 system and GNS430 system as they have features like uploading frequencies, real-time flight plan information, etc. It also keeps your head up on the panel. Fixating on your iPad during flight can put you in a dangerous situation.

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Not trying to steal the thread, but I have different question. I also have ipad mini but it is WI-FI only. Is cellular must for flight? I do have dongle that gives GPS connectivity and don’t want to swap the ipad if it is okay with regular ipad with GPS dongle.



Hopefully a more recent student can give your their perspective. I was able to get through the program with a WiFi only iPad.



I have the iPad mini with WiFi only (I’m cheap) and I’m doing just fine. ATP “requires” it as a tool for better situational awareness (flight tracking, etc.) however the Archers with the G500 and WAAS capable GNS430’s provide more than enough tools for situational awareness. As I said in my previous comment the iPad can become a distraction while in the cockpit.

Needless to say the cellular capability does offer some options, but the GPS tracking is limited and of course is not certified for IFR navigation. However if your school has an older model Cessna 172 (K-P), then the extra features may be worth the extra bucks.

Best Regards,


I have been speaking a lot with Tom, and admissions representative at ATP (super resourceful and just plain nice guy). He said you need the Cellular one, however you don’t have to activate it on your plan. I’ve been looking at them to figure out what I’ll need as well. The CFI for my intro flight said you don’t need the Pro, and whatever you do, DONT BUY THE BIG ONE. You have to be able to keep it on your lap in a small airplane.

You don’t absolutely need the one with cellular.

I am a student now, I have the Mini (WiFi only) and have both a Garmin GDL-52. I also have the small Dual unit XGPS150A.

The Garmin is great for everyday flying, but with many of the aircraft (particularly the newer Archers) having ADS-B and dual WAAS GNS430’s, it’s not needed, and I prefer the Dual unit in that case, which is smaller and takes up less space.

I believe I got the Dual when it was on sale around Christmas time, and paid $87.95 for it. In any case, the dual (or Bad Elf makes a similar product, I believe), can be normally had for about $100 or a little less.


Thanks. I will stay with my combo and see if I need to upgrade or not.


Can an Ipad air with wifi only, work?


The iPad requirements are found at the below link. If it meets those requirements, it is fine.




It’s not recommended to use an iPad that doesn’t meet ATP’s iPad requirements, but it would work.