"Required" GPS Unreliable?

What’s this all about? I fully understand ATP is not making any money on the purchase of our iPads. So why would they say cellular-capable iPads are required if they know it’s unreliable and DO NOT USE IT? Sounds to me like I can use the difference in cost, get a Wi-Fi-only iPad and then buy the external GPS. I’ll just go ahead and give ATP the benefit of the doubt and consider that an oversight…I hope.

Links are to the pages I found these screen shots.



I’m not sure why there is the differing information, but I myself have a WiFi only iPad (mini 4) with the DualXGPS150A unit, and it works great.

That being said, there are several folks who just use the cellular iPad with the internal GPS. Although not the most accurate, it gets the job done, so the choice is up to you, honestly.

Not only that, but you’ll notice it says do not use the internal GPS for means of primary navigation. However, no iPad is legally approved for primary navigation, whether using the internal GPS or an external one.

I promise, I do get it. I just find it so weird that it would seem that ATP is so adamant about the cellular capability being required.

It’s saying to not SOLELY rely on the iPad GPS to determine your current position. If you want to do that, use an external receiver, or onboard instruments (G500, Moving map). You want a GPS iPad for Foreflight, that’s about it.

I’m gonna go with a Sentry myself.

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You only circled the “Do not use” part. How about the rest of the sentence where it says FOR PRIMARY NAVIGATION? I assure you there’s nothing nefarious or sinister going on here. ATP wants you to have the cellular so you have the GPS functionality built in. Want more accuracy and the ability to use it for “primary” navigation they’re telling you get the external.

Btw, all ATPs aircraft are Garmin GPS equipped and you’re meant to use the actual aircraft avionics as your primary source of navigation.



I have an iPad with cellular and it works just fine to me. When I was getting my ppl I was flying steam gauges and for the majority of my ppl I was using the trusty sectional and “whiz wheel” and calling a FSS before every cross country. After getting my iPad I will say that the cellular has made things more convenient and hadn’t noticed any type of unreliability. Transition to another flight school that uses G100 aircraft and the only reason I look at my iPad is for briefing approach plates and taxi diagrams.

It is NOT used for primary navigation. The GPS function is used for added situational awareness. Airport Taxi Diagrams, Enroute Charts, Approach plates, etc. We have the same at the airlines. My aircraft shows up on the Taxi diagram. While we never use this as our primary navigation around the airport, it helps significantly in situational Awareness.