iPad mini vs. iPad vs. iPad Pro?

When using an iPad for aviation, which one is recommended by the aviation industry, generally?

The iPad mini has all the features of compact ability that you would want, the iPad standard has the classic vibes with a price tag that says yes, and the iPad Pro has all the quirks and features someone looks for when buying a new piece of technology.

For someone who is thinking about starting flight lessons, and whom is a college student, which would you recommend?

When I started with ATP, I believe they recommended the iPad Pro 9.7 in or 11 in. I have the 11 inch one and if I had to choose again I’d probably go with the 9.7 because the 11 inch is almost slightly to big. Like it doesn’t get in the way but it’s just kinda bulky. It does seem that the mini tho is the choice that a lot of my buddies have gone with they love the size and compactness of it

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I’m with Josh. Anything between 7.9in - 11in. Anything else is too small or too big.

Next I would think about how you will use/mount your iPad. That’s a matter or preference. I used a kneeboard. Kneeboards are versatile. They function as an iPad and checklist holder and a writing surface.

Another nifty option is an X Grip or a yoke mount. These allow for the iPad to be more easily included in your scan. If you have the money, it’s worth the investment, but not necessary. It still doesn’t negate the need for a kneeboard as you will still need something to write on and hold your scratch paper and checklists.


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Hi Jacob,

I went back on fourth on this prior to beginning my training as well, and when inquiring I felt like I received almost 50/50 recommendations for the Pro 11 and the Mini. I wanted the Pro 11 for the convenience of the larger screen, but wanted the new Mini due to space concerns. I ended up going with the iPad Mini which I’m very satisfied with, but an in between model like the 9.7 would’ve provided the best of both.

I don’t have a laptop, therefore the larger screen would’ve been nicer for studying at the facility and for things such as completing performance charts, etc, but I’ve gotten used to doing them on the mini. As far as cockpit space goes, although the mini is smaller I’m in the process of getting an iPad mount as the mini/knee board is still affecting my flare on landing. My instructor has the 11 and he juggles it around quite a bit during our flights. It really does come down to preference which is why you’ll find people recommending various models, but if I were to do it over again I would go with the 9.7 or stick with the Mini.



I was on the fence about the Mini or Air (10.5”), and went with the air. At first, I sort of regretted it because it was a tad bit bulky on my lap during my first few flight, but I got used to it pretty quickly and now really appreciate the larger screen…especially looking at taxi diagrams on ForeFlight and sitting in on the Zoom online classes.

I use the standard 9.7 iPad and it’s good enough for me. It’s small enough for cockpit space but large enough to where I can read plates without having to zoom in on anything. I would say that if you’re planning on mounting your iPad on the windscreen, then I’d personally get the mini but since I sit mine on my lap the 9.7 works great for me IMHO.