Hi Guys! I have just very recently signed up for ATP at the Mesa Gateway location (very excited). I wanted advice from other pilots who went through the program of what iPad they chose. As of now, I am deciding between the iPad Air and the iPad Mini. Both seem to be great with computing power but obviously the Air is larger than the Mini. I like the idea of the Air because the bigger screen size will make studying on it and using the various apps easier. However, will that size be too big for the cockpit? My second question is in regards to mounting whichever iPad I have chosen. I have seen that we should be buying kneeboards that can support an iPad, however, I was trying to see if mounting the iPad could be an option. Specifically, I was looking at PIVOT cases with their mounting options. They have straps that can go on your leg or windshield mounts (which I like the idea of more). Would a windshield mount occupy too much space, or would it make the cockpit seem less “cluttered”? Thank you in advance for all your advice, and I look forward to beginning my journey!
The iPad you choose will be up to you, this is a commonly asked question for needed equipment when it comes to an iPad. I’ve become accustomed to my iPad mini and love it for its versatile use and ability to use either a kneeboard or yoke mount. To me I am able to zoom in when I have to or if documents fit perfect, have a good size page that I can read without trouble. I tend to go for walks often, so having an iPad mini that is more of a book size is easy to carry and read or study off of if it’s nice out.
For mounts, it comes down to what you prefer, if you want something to be on your knee, a kneeboard that you could acquire from Amazon or a Pilot shop like Sporty’s or PilotMall is sufficient. I’ve tried both kneeboard and yoke mount, I like a yoke mount better. I am also able to get cooling to the iPad when in the hot summer days, the iPad tends to overheat on my thigh a bit too much. During Instrument training I found having my charts in front of my eyes rather than having to look down and potentially disorient myself. Fun fact, during my Instrument training on a hot August day, I was doing holds and unusual attitudes and got sick from looking down and scanning my instruments back and forth - purchasing the yoke mount made it easier for me to scan instruments and brief an approach plate etc. If you do decide a yoke mount I recommend a RAM one from Sporty’s I’ve used it for almost two years now and works perfect everytime.
This all comes down to preference of the user, everyone has different likes and experiences. If you think your iPad is too small/big you may be able to exchange it for a smaller size depending on return policy and where you purchase from.
If you are considering the Air, the Pro has about the same dimensions as the Air, but a larger display.
I used a kneeboard. It gets the job done. Some like the yoke mount, but I don’t because I don’t like the idea of my iPad moving every time the yoke moves.
I’ve seen more students use an X-Grip although I am not certain if there is enough room for that if you’re using an Air or a Pro.
Wish I could give a better answer. The most popular choice is the kneeboard. Mesa is a pretty big location. Perhaps someone at the training center can ask around for you?
I always advise to avoid suction mounts.
There really is no perfect setup, only what pros and cons you will/won’t have. It’s up to you.
You might be able to get a used one for cheap via the training center or aviation FB group. When my friends and I went to the Airlines we donated or sold our stuff to students (E6B, kneeboard, fuel strainer, and so on). Rather y’all put it to use than sit in my drawer collecting dust.
I am looking to start ATP soon, and I see that a potential added cost be a iPad. I already have an iPad Pro but it is the WIFI version. Does the iPad have to have cellular? Or will the wifi version of the iPad suffice.
Hey Brandon I did have the same question about the iPad and you do need the Cellular capable iPad you don’t need to activate it. You can find more information here Preparing for your Airline Career.
Sergio answered your question, I just wanted to include the screenshot below to reference the link he added above.
Depending on what model iPad you have, you may be able to trade it in and get some credit towards a cellular enabled iPad.
I know ATP requires you to have ForeFlight, but they don’t specify what subscription to purchase. Does anybody have any recommendations for what subscription on ForeFlight is best for ATP Student Pilots?
This has commonly been asked in the past, it has been a while since I’ve seen this question. Simple answer is you can go which one you prefer; however, I believe for the Private stage, basic is good enough. Once you start indulging into Instrument and further phases, I believe the pro is sufficient as it allows some more features. While you’re in the private stage, you really won’t be using the iPad as much as an actual sectional chart and preplanning on paper. Once I started instructing, I upgraded to the performance which was a little ‘overkill’, but I wanted to try and see some of the other benefits from another plan… I’ve since kept the performance subscription.
In your resources, there is a ForeFlight guide provided by ATP, you will want to read through that as well. Below are two other threads that I’ve found on the forum that may also be useful in discussion:
Just my own experience: there’s really no reason to have anything but the basic subscription for your PPL training. I upgraded to the second tier subscription for instrument training, and I highly recommend that. The extra features (geolocated approach plates and taxi diagrams, to name two) have been amazing.
Logan recommended exactly what I would. Basic is fine for private. Plus is better for instrument. Up to you how you get there. Cheap at first then just supplement the upgrade price later or get pro right out of the gate.