Real Answers from Real Pilots

iPad Requirements

Hey everyone. I did a quick search and couldn’t find my answer. I’ll be starting in Denver this January, and I’m getting all my stuff together. I’m hearing that cellular is required for the iPad. What type of data plan should I be looking at? How many GB are people typically using in a month?

I’ve been lucky enough to acquire a free headset, and I already have a bag. Any other $$$ saving advice would be welcome and appreciated. Thanks everyone.

Hey Jerry,

The iPad with cellular, as opposed to the WiFi only version, has a built in GPS receiver. You are not required to purchase a data plan for it because the GPS will work without it.
Having a data plan allows you to get weather and download charts while flying, but you will rarely need it as you have WiFi at the training center. So if you are looking to save some $$$ where you can, don’t bother with a cell plan.

Yarden

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Thanks for the heads up. I suppose I could get a data plan later if I decide I need the ability to get weather and charts in-flight.

Jerry,

Cellular data will not get you access to weather (or anything else) inflight as it generally does not work above just a few thousand feet. I would save my money and rely on wifi for your chart updates, I don’t think that you will have any issues at all with that approach.

Chris

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Thanks, Chris. I take it some of the apps I will be using require the GPS in the cellular compatible devices. I appreciate the input, guys.

You got it. I am a big fan of saving money anywhere I can, this seems like an easy one to me.

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I see that ATP requires an Ipad mini 2. do i have to have the mini 2 or I can get an earlier generation?

Mendgy,

ATP requires an Ipad mini 2 with cellular coverage. I would purchase that one.

Chris

Mendgy,

Foreflight, which is the main app that you will be using for flight training, just announced that they will be terminating the support for iPad 1 and iPhone 4 in the beginning of 2017. I would assume the iPad 2 and iPad mini (1st gen) will be soon to follow.
Also, an older iPad will give you a lot of trouble, even if it is supported currently. The iPad is going to be your best friend at ATP, and you want it to be reliable.

Don’t hesitate adding a few extra bucks to get a new device, you will thank yourself later on. Plus you can write it off as an expense at the end of the year.

Yarden

Hello All,

I have been preparing to apply to ATP Sacramento for a few months now, just about 3 months left at my current job (changing careers after 14 years takes some planning), and have an iPad related question which I thought I would tack into here instead of creating an entirely new conversation…

I have, and have been flying with an iPad Mini 2 which is WIFI only, I have gotten away with this quite nicely because I can “pack” foreflight in advance of a flight while I’m still at home, but also because I use a Stratus 2s for GPS and ADS/B In weather/traffic (my current rental 172 has ADS/B Out in the transponder). The question being: will this likely be acceptable at ATP or will I not be allowed to use the Stratus in the cockpit for some reason that you guys know of? Of course I will specifically ask at the training center in an official capacity, but I’m curious before I get to that point I suppose.

Thanks for any thoughts!

James,

There is no problem using a stratus during training.

Yarden

Awesome, thank you!

It should be very helpful since I am already familiar with my system.

Also, I really appreciate the posts in the forum, reading them has been very helpful in navigating what I needed to accomplish to prepare for applying to ATP. Despite this being my first question posted.

James,

I am glad that you have found the forum helpful and that Yarden was able to help you with this specific question. Please come back and ask us any questions that you think of as you prepare for training.

Chris

Updating an old post but I want to add that the Ipad Pro 9.7 Wifi only has built in GPS. Could I just get away buying this and saving more instead of cashing for a cell data enabled ipad?

Angel,

This is from the ATP website:

ATP requires students to have an iPad with iOS 9.2 or later with WiFi + Cellular.

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.

Adam

Angel,

The WiFi only model will give you location information based off of the wifi network, it does not have a built in GPS receiver. That means that you will not have location services (little airplane locator) in flight.
It is not required that you have location services but it sure does help a lot during training. Well worth the extra $100 or so.

Yarden

Angel,

Apple also sells refurbished iPads on their website. It can save you up to 100 after taxes. It comes with the same warranty as a brand new iPad. Apple also replaces the battery and outer shell of the product..in other words it is essentially brand new. I purchased mine refurbished to save a few . Here is the link if you are interested: http://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals

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Hello everyone,

Just want to throw a quick question out there, in regards to the ipad, what are your suggestions for size/model, I was initially looking at the air 2, but in visiting the Morristown branch a couple of instructors there recommended the Mini, as the cockpits are fairly small, any thoughts on the matter, also how many GB do you really think I would need? Thanks allot.
Kris

Raymond,

I have purchased every single one of my laptops as refurbished from Apple. I have never been able to tell any difference at all between a refurbished one and a brand new one. Thanks for sharing that info!

Chris

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Thank you Raymond for the suggestion!

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