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iPad use for instruction

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iPad use for instruction

Old 17th Sep 2020, 09:13
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iPad use for instruction

I remember a year or so ago I saw an instructor using an iPad with students in the aircraft. It was fairly practical for SkyDemon use, making a few notes and showing chart extracts/plates.

I have, in the past few months, started instructing myself and I am primarily using a knee board and a few print outs to make notes and show useful things. And then using my phone for skydemon if itís beneficial in the lesson.

I am considering getting an iPad as Iím wondering if itíll help to improve lessons and to also make myself more efficient in some aspects. Do any other instructors/students have any experience as to whether itís beneficial to get one or not? And if so, any recommendations in the best ways to utilise it?

Thanks in advance
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 13:28
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Pros:
- Can hold loads of documents, approach plates, charts, various other information.
- May be useful to show Skydemon or other applications when beneficial in the lesson

Cons:
- You may still need a backup chart, set of approach plates etc. to cover tech issue or battery problem.
- Cockpits get hot, tablets shut down when overheated.
- May be a major distraction as well.
- Must be used in such a way that it does not impair view or obstruct controls or otherwise becomes a hazard.

I don't have one/don't use one myself but this is based on what I have seen, experienced with students and read about tablets in cockpits. I don't really have a preference myself to be honest but stick to a mix of a paper chart, some charts/plates and a kneeboard, and some apps on my phone that assist with flight preparation and such.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 14:08
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Hello!

Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
Pros:- Can hold loads of documents, approach plates, charts, various other information.
On mine, I have all the training manuals, aircraft manuals and checklists of our flying school aircraft. Especially the checklists are extremely useful because they tend to get lost all the time (usually students taking them home with their charts and other stuff by mistake). I also load the MET and NOTAM briefings on my iPad which saves a whole tree every year.

Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
- May be useful to show Skydemon or other applications when beneficial in the lesson
There are some really useful apps as welll which demonstate radio navigation procedures like interceptions and holdings.

And then I use the iPad to take all my notes during the flight including takeoff and landing times, number of landings and type of approaches.

Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
-Cons:
- You may still need a backup chart, set of approach plates etc. to cover tech issue or battery problem.
Yes, but this is not my problem. The students must bring all the required charts anyway. My iPad is rather a backup for the charts not carried by the students...

Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
-- Cockpits get hot, tablets shut down when overheated.
I keep reading that, but after 9 (or is it already 10?) years of using my iPad in the cockpit (training aircraft and bizjetzs) it has not shut itself down once. Just make sure it isn't exposed to direct sunlight for longer periods of time.

Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
- May be a major distraction as well.
Could be. But working with pen and paper can be distacting too. How often have I had to look for pens dropped by myself or the student under the seats, rudder pedals, ... Sometimes one even has to undo his belt and climb over the seat back in order to retrieve his pen from underneath the rear seats. Not something that is likely to happen with a tablet.

Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
- Must be used in such a way that it does not impair view or obstruct controls or otherwise becomes a hazard.
It is about half the size of a standard kneeboard. Why should it obstuct the view more than a kneeboard?

Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
I don't have one/don't use one myself
Then hurry and get yourself one :-) Apple has just released new models this week. For me, the iPad is the most useful gadget/electronic device that I have come across so far. I use mine for almost everything, aviation and normal life, starting with reading my paper in the morning on it.
And there is a reaon why the vast majority of commercial operators have introduced electronic flight bags (mostly based on tablets or small notebook computers) during the last decade. It is just so much better than paper.


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Old 17th Sep 2020, 16:42
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I've been using one for years and encourage my students to. The minute the student finishes training they will never look at a chart again and will be following a magenta line on SkyDemon or something similar. NATS and the CAA have been quite clear - almost all airspace infringements are committed by pilots not using a moving map. Yes, you need a plan "B" in case of failure - but that is usually "get the phone out".

I've had iPads crap out when they have been left on the glare shield on a sunny day while we go for coffee and cake - so I don't leave them in the sun any more! I've also had them fail on cold days in open-cockpit aircraft - that can be mitigated by keeping them on charge.

Full size ipads tend to be a bit big - I use an ipad mini or an 8-inch Android tablet.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 17:30
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Just bear in mind that not all iPads have GPS installed! Bought one before I discovered this so no use for navigation.
I have used a number of Android devices, much cheaper, they all have GPS and represent good value for money. Wouldn't waste my money on another iPad.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 17:38
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Is Jepps available for Android yet?
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 17:45
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The term Ipad seems to be used as a default as it became with the name Hoover: meaning a vacuum cleaner. You can buy an android for half the price of an ipad without any loss of facility. There is also a greater range of units that are produced by a range of manufacturers which are all compatible each with each other: including electronic and projected whiteboards. Apple and Ipads can be very limiting in many respects.

The big problem with all this stuff is the use of them: "death by powerpoint." comes to mind. People of my generation were brought up on white chalk and blackboards. We then moved on to coloured felt pens and whiteboards and this was a revolution. However, should a bunch of coffin dodgers like me rule the roost, most certainly not. The latest technology is fantastic. But as with the misuse of powerpoint the misuse of all this latest technology also provides a trap. So, as before, you need to think of creative ways of engaging the student just the same. Stuffing a downloaded image in front of the student and demanding engagement is lazy and appalling.

When using the whiteboard or the blackboard and chalk before that you can, from the beginning, take the student with you towards the completed brief. Moving on and using all of the attributes that the modern technology offers you still need to engage the student and from the first sentence. Whatever you do, don't forget the model if used properly you can put it into the hands of the student having them follow your brief, keep them part of it.

Last edited by Fl1ingfrog; 17th Sep 2020 at 18:02.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 17:56
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Originally Posted by Duchess_Driver View Post
Is Jepps available for Android yet?
No.

My iPad has GPS but I don't use it for navigation ("verboten" in my environment...) so I could have one without GPS as well. You don't need GPS for the Jeppesen charts either.
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 09:29
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Originally Posted by what next View Post
It is about half the size of a standard kneeboard. Why should it obstuct the view more than a kneeboard?
Indeed it should not, but I have seen pilots sticking suction cups and mounts to all available windows around their Cessna until they were effectively inside a simulator. There's a bit in Part-NCO somewhere that states that personal electronics shall not obstruct the view in any way. If you keep your tablet in your kneeboard or mounted to your knee in some way, this will not be an issue.
Originally Posted by what next View Post
Then hurry and get yourself one :-)
I'd love to, but right now I'm not flying enough to be able to afford the investment. I mainly instruct to PPL level, with a focus on the first part of the syllabus. Within these lessons I focus on getting students comfortable in the aircraft and with basic flying and the basic manoeuvres, all stuff that doesn't need much in the way of additional teaching tools beyond my airfield charts. If and when my yearly hours pick up again and I end up doing more navigational stuff, I will certainly give this another thought. An iPad with ForeFlight on it would be a very handy bit of kit I suspect...

But the aim of the thread was not me getting my credit card out, the question was whether it would be a useful tool during instruction. I haven't missed one yet, but that may be due to the specifics of my flying. I do my W&B and check the weather on my phone, maintain an electronic logbook, check NOTAMS using EasyVFR Basic... I'm certainly not against electronics around aircraft!
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 09:45
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Originally Posted by what next View Post



There are some really useful apps as welll which demonstate radio navigation procedures like interceptions and holdings.

And then I use the iPad to take all my notes during the flight including takeoff and landing times, number of landings and type of approaches.
What are the apps that you mainly use on the iPad for these functions?
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 09:53
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And then I use the iPad to take all my notes during the flight including takeoff and landing times, number of landings and type of approaches.
I find a pencil and a piece of paper work perfectly as well.
the question was whether it would be a useful tool during instruction.
As wonderful as these devices may be, I have never found them of any help when giving instruction and in many cases are a totally unnecessary distraction.

Not so long ago a man arrived to do a test, I asked for his CAA reference number and he asked if he could put his ipad in the fridge because it had overheated (in his car) and had shut down.
As a moving map display whilst flying they are superb.
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 10:19
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Shouldn't students still be thought how to make use of a map and paper flight plan inflight? Like raw data flying. These are the basics they will never train or develop later on in everyday flying if missed now. Partial panel training should include some iPad unusable scenario.
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 12:42
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Originally Posted by Baggy95 View Post
What are the apps that you mainly use on the iPad for these functions?
For taking notes I just use the Notepad app. And to fill in the mission cards (a PFD form) that we are supposed to hand out to the students, I use "PDF Editor". Instead of printing them I send them to the students by mail.

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Old 18th Sep 2020, 12:51
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
Shouldn't students still be thought how to make use of a map and paper flight plan inflight? Like raw data flying.
Yes of course. We are not talking about students using an iPad here but about instructors, or did I miss someting? I certainly don't use my iPad to show a student how to draw a line on a chart... (other than using it as a ruler)

Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
Partial panel training should include some iPad unusable scenario.
I haven't used it for that yet but it could indeed be useful.

And one more thing about paper vs. iPad: I am over 50 unfortunately. I cannot read the smallprint on Jeppesen charts under dim cockpit lighting any more. Not even with my varifocal glasses. The same applies to almost every other pilot my age and above that I have flown with. So you either shine a flashlight at the chart (which will riun my (otherwise excellent!) night vision for 15 minutes) or use a tablet instead which allows you to zoom in as much as required. For that alone I will, for my own flying, never ever again use paper charts.
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 22:49
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Wow. Do you have a red screen that stops your night vision being ruined?
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Old 19th Sep 2020, 09:53
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Originally Posted by rarelyathome View Post
Wow. Do you have a red screen that stops your night vision being ruined?
Very interesting reading regarding this subject: Night Vision - The Red Myth
One of the statements in this article says: "Note: The red filtered light at the intensity most people use is likely decreasing night vision much more than a properly dimmed white or blue-green light would!" which is exactly what I have been observing on myself in decades of amateur astronomy and night flying.

NB: Jeppesen Mobile Flight Deck does also have a night mode which is not red (just like the cockpit lighting in most modern aircraft is not red either)

Last edited by what next; 19th Sep 2020 at 11:14.
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Old 19th Sep 2020, 23:08
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No argument. Properly dimmed red is still preferable to properly dimmed white.

ďNote: The red filtered light at the intensity most people use is likely decreasing night vision much more than a properly dimmed white or blue-green light would!Ē
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Old 20th Sep 2020, 13:27
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Originally Posted by rarelyathome View Post
No argument. Properly dimmed red is still preferable to properly dimmed white.
So be it. But then, why don't modern (younger than 30 years or so) transport category aircraft, and also many smaller ones, have no red cockpit and instrument lighting any more?
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Old 24th Sep 2020, 19:59
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If you are going to use an ipad for instructing navigation may I suggest you look at Runway HD, it uses the CAA format charts so makes much more sense to your student.
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Old 23rd Oct 2020, 08:32
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An ipad that comes with GPS built in will have a sim card slot, thats how to make sure you get the right one.
I would highly recommend a ipad mini as the size is extremely convenient and get one of those protective enclosure cases for it, so it can take the rough treatment.
The only negative point I can think of is that its a added distraction and more time eyes down instead of out the window or watching the student, and not something you really want to set as an example for the student to follow.
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