Real Answers from Real Pilots

iPad, Headset, Course Materials

So I am still a long way from starting at ATP (starting once I am done with college, but I have been on multiple intro flights and simulations) but I was looking at the needed iPad and headset, etc.

Of course I am planning ahead but my friend has given up on flight training and had some Lightspeed Zulu 3’s that he would give me for a lower price and my University is giving huge discounts on iPads this year.

I read that you need an iPad with WiFi + Cellular but you do not need a cell plan for it. Also I heard you might as well want to get a refurbished iPad 128 gb minimum.

So my question (just to be extra clear on this) is…

  1. Do we get the WiFi + Cellular iPad for just the GPS device or do we eventually need to get a cell plan for that GPS to activate?

  2. What headsets do you recommend?

  3. Are there any other extra things you would recommend getting that ATP does not really require, but may be useful? (Ex. Flashlights, radios, maps, etc)

Again I know I am thinking ahead, but while I still have the chance to save while getting college discounts on iPads, bags, etc I want to use that opportunity to save as much money as possible for the future.

Any recommendations and advice is greatly appreciated!


I don’t know why Wifi + Cellular is required. If you really want to know
I would check the FAQs on If you can’t find an
answer there then I would call Admissions. My advice though, if it’s
required, buy it. No different than an airline requiring pilots and flight
attendants having all black luggage.

I always recommend investing in a good comfortable headset. You’re going
to be using it almost every day. Just make sure it is TSO approved! You
mentioned buying a Lightspeed. Those are notorious for NOT being TSO
approved. I have Bose A20s. David Clark makes good headseats too.

A flashlight with a red lense is required. When you enroll, you will be
sent a list of items to buy. If you want to use the benefits of a Stratus,
you can buy one online. I never owned one, but it was always a treat when I
got to fly with a student that did. I also recommend buying a portable
battery pack. During long cross countries the battery pack is a life saver.
You can buy a descent one online for around $100 now.


Thank you Tory! Yeah it seemed like there was a couple of people who posted earlier and it kind of confused me when I read their posts.


I would not purchase anything now, even if it is a good deal. Requirements and technology change rapidly, in the few years it takes you to be ready for ATP the iPad you purchase today could be way out of date. Save your money for when the time is right. There are always deals out there, especially on eBay.


I will keep that in mind. Thank you for your time and post Chris!

Anytime, let us know how else we can help :slight_smile:

Hi Hosam,

I agree with Chris that it’s better to wait to buy devices such as the iPad. But in case you’re still wondering about the wifi + cellular, it is required because of the gps functionality. No data plan is needed to use the gps.

Thank you Nana! I will keep that in mind when I get one in the near future.

1 Like