Real Answers from Real Pilots

iPad Purchase?

I understand I’ll have to purchase an iPad with Wifi+Cellular and 32GB. However, which iPad should I purchase?

iPad Pro
iPad Air 2
iPad Mini 4
iPad Mini 2

Any of those are good choices depending on your budget and eyesight. I use a Mini 2 in the cockpit and it works just fine.


Keep in mind that you can maybe save a few bucks buying from a site like BHPhotovideo. They typically charge less and offer no tax (outside NY and NJ) and give free shipping. Same guarantees as buying from Apple.

From our website:
Required iPad
ATP requires students to have an iPad with iOS 9.2 or later with WiFi + Cellular. Needs to be 32GB or larger.

Cellular is required because it provides the GPS receiver for ForeFlight and improves situational awareness. You do not have to activate a cellular data plan to use the GPS.

ATP recommends the medium-sized iPads (9.7” iPad Pro or iPad Air 2) which balance ease of studying with a practical size for use in the airplane. Pick whichever model you like best. If you already have an older model iPad, it will work fine provided it meets the minimum requirements of iOS 9.2 and WiFi + Cellular.

Also, I would check the Apple website “Refurbished” page. Full apple warranty and usually 15-30% off list price, not always every model and option in stock but there has always been a decent selection when I’ve looked…


James and Zac,

Thanks for the feedback. I have an iPad Mini 2 (A1489) and hoping to use it.

I have bought all of my Apple products from the Refurbished section of the Apple store and have never been able to tell even the slightest difference in them other than the price being significantly less.


Chris - I can’t tell you where I picked up the information, but I’ve always been under the impression that when Apple refurbishes their products they only reuse the internals (and reset them back to factory), the screens and cases are always replaced.

Emmit - I use a Mini 2 64gb wifi only model currently, but I use a Stratus 2s for GPS which has the added benefit of giving me ADS/B weather and traffic. The Mini 2 runs ForeFlight just fine if you have enough storage and some way to get GPS, either internal or external.


Yes, Apple refurbished iPads use the same internal components. The only thing that is new is the battery and outer shell.

Perfect! Thanks again for your feedback!!