iPad: Friend or foe?

August 21, 2012

Since the first-generation iPad stormed into the consumer market—and general aviation cockpits—in 2010, pilot reactions have been mixed. Many swear by the flight planning, electronic flight bag, and weather capabilities; others, frustrated by screen glare, unwieldy mounting, or application overload, are more inclined to swear at it. And some are just curious what the tablet can do.

Whether neophytes or regular IFR iPad flyers, pilots can learn how better to make the iPad work for them at AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, Calif., Oct. 11 through 13. Seminars range from “iPad 101” to “Advanced iPad: Tips and Tricks for Becoming an Expert,” offering guidance on everything from choosing hardware to making the most of your apps.

Pilots who are thinking about buying or recently purchased an iPad can get a jump on what they’ll need to know in “iPad 101.” Find out what accessories to get and how to set up the iPad for cockpit use, and bring your questions to this seminar designed for the iPad newbie. See the schedule for times and further details.

Experienced iPad users can jump to “Advanced iPad,” where they’ll learn tricks for putting their favorite app to its best use. This seminar, hosted by 2010 National CFI of the Year Jeffrey Robert Moss, digs deeper into topics such as use during instrument flights.

Short presentations in the Learning Pavilion will take a look at some of the myriad apps that make the iPad such a handy tool. In-flight weather can help you get a picture of the situation around you, but should you choose satellite weather or ADS-B? “New Apps/Tools: iPad Weather Options” discusses your options for in-flight weather and how to connect the hardware you’ll need. And if you’re only using your iPad as an electronic flight bag, you may be missing out. Find out about other apps to use for flying in “New Apps/Tools: iPad: Beyond the EFB,” also in the Learning Pavilion.

Find out about AOPA’s new suite of digital flight planning products, AOPA FlyQ, in “New Apps/Tools: AOPA FlyQ: Flight Planning on the Go.” The products provide robust flight planning capability, airport directory information and aviation weather, allowing pilots to sync all of their FlyQ flight planning activities between a computer, smartphone, and iPad seamlessly.

Aviation apps have blossomed in the years since the iPad’s inception. What’s next for this medium? AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines, industry experts, and AOPA Government Affairs staff will discuss what the growth of the iPad and other tablets means in the long term in “New Technology: Top Technology Changes You'll Face in the Next 10 Years: Avionics—Unplugged” in the Learning Pavilion.

AOPA Aviation Summit takes place Oct. 11 through 13. Find a schedule of seminars and a full schedule online. Register now for special advance pricing.