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Backup nav app on android or Dedicated GPS

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Backup nav app on android or Dedicated GPS

Old 14th Jan 2018, 00:30
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Backup nav app on android or Dedicated GPS

Hi All

I am returning to flying from a long break and whilst I enjoy dead reckoning in the trusty c172 I see the trend these days is to utilise GPS tracking via android apps eg OZ runways and some other feature rich apps that display GPS geo positioning on maps. I have seen a lot of videos where light plane pilots in the US are using the tablets to display real time information on their position as I backup I would hope. Whilst I would be reluctant to rely on this around control step boundaries or for dedicated position fixing I see it as invaluable as a backup position check. So my question really is do any of you folks use these apps and what level of success are you having and what apps are you using. And my final question would it be better to just purchase an Aera 660 or similar portable GPS instead as I suspect it would be more feature rich and more reliable than a smartphone or tablet, thanks for any advise offered

Wayne
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 02:38
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Avplan and Ozrunways are infinitely more feature rich than a Garmin Aera660.
I have all three of the above, and for me Avplan and Ozrunways are both equally good, Garmin very much less so.
With Ozrunways/Avplan can avoid buying and carrying paper maps, although a back up paper map is not a bad idea.
Ipad only issues for me is occassionally sunlight readability difficult (and that is fixed by angling/moving ipad), and shutdown due ipad getting too hot.
The only area that the Garmin is better is sunlight visibility, and it does not seem to shut down in heat (I have had ipad shut down once for short time when in direct sun and mounted on thigh so no air gets to back of ipad - ipad restarted after 5 mins held up so air vent blowing on back of ipad).
So ipad or android for first pref, and a dedicated GPS as a backup if you want.
And yes, before someone pitches in, we should not become reliant on GPS.

Last edited by rjtjrt; 14th Jan 2018 at 04:24. Reason: Typo
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 02:45
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I guess you are saying the Garmin is dependable and the apps running on the Ipad are NOT dependable.

hummm.
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 02:52
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I have had the same experience. iPad shut down several times due to heat. Yoke mount Garmin 296 fine. It has to be a hot day though.
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 03:02
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AvPlan or OzRunways have it all over other solutions. Not only moving map, but weather, ERSA, AIP, fuel, AOPA guide, country airstrips, etc etc.

TBH - I would trust the iPad around CTA steps rather than my eyes (although use both).

I've also had an iPad shut down, left on glareshield, never done that again and no further problems (although if you do have it on a kneepad it does get pretty hot). And that's why you have a backup.

For mine, 2 430W's, Avidyne MFD, 2 iPads, android phone and paper maps almost gives me enough redundancy!
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 04:35
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Originally Posted by jack11111 View Post
I guess you are saying the Garmin is dependable and the apps running on the Ipad are NOT dependable.

hummm.
Not so black and white at all.

Bottom line I use the ipad with Avplan/Ozrunways all the time, and have not yet had to use the backup Garmin.

Garmin so called map on all its VFR products here just its base map, which not much better than the screen on Garmin /IL Morrow GX50 from 20 years ago. They provide vfr charts in North America and Europe, not elsewhere.

Garmin refuse to provide any local vfr charts here, and have refused to allow third parties here to provide vfr charts for use on their portable or panel products, something other manufacturers (Dynon) encourage/allow.
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 05:52
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Originally Posted by rjtjrt View Post
Avplan and Ozrunways are infinitely more feature rich than a Garmin Aera660.
I have all three of the above, and for me Avplan and Ozrunways are both equally good, Garmin very much less so.
With Ozrunways/Avplan can avoid buying and carrying paper maps, although a back up paper map is not a bad idea.
Ipad only issues for me is occassionally sunlight readability difficult (and that is fixed by angling/moving ipad), and shutdown due ipad getting too hot.
The only area that the Garmin is better is sunlight visibility, and it does not seem to shut down in heat (I have had ipad shut down once for short time when in direct sun and mounted on thigh so no air gets to back of ipad - ipad restarted after 5 mins held up so air vent blowing on back of ipad).
So ipad or android for first pref, and a dedicated GPS as a backup if you want.
And yes, before someone pitches in, we should not become reliant on GPS.
Many thanks, which one do you prefer, avplan or ozrunways

Wayne
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 06:51
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Best not to ask that here, it's like a Ford versus Holden debate... but I will say one thing - one of them has a bucket load more subscribers than the other. Work out which one and you'll be on your way :-)
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 07:01
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Originally Posted by rjtjrt View Post
And yes, before someone pitches in, we should not become reliant on GPS.
Too late - someone should tell Airservices that - they are shutting down all the ground-based navaids, with GPS/RNAV approaches sprouting up everywhere...

I think the more important question is - is your GNSS receiver compatible with GLONASS and GALILEO?
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 07:44
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they are shutting down all the ground-based navaids
Never let the truth get in the way of a good (scare) story -
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 07:45
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Originally Posted by Jetman346 View Post
Many thanks, which one do you prefer, avplan or ozrunways

Wayne
Wayne
As said above, it is a choice between 2 excellent and quite evenly matched programs.
I use Ozrunways a fair bit as I now find the flight planning intuitive, but I really like the Avplan airport weather and airport frequency presentation for it’s being so easy to find/display.
I started using Ozrunways first and thus find it hard to get the hang of the Avplan flight planning steps.
So best you try both out (they both have a free trial period).
The above refers to Ozrunways and Avplan on ipad. I can’t say what the android versions are like.

Last edited by rjtjrt; 14th Jan 2018 at 08:31.
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 08:06
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Android versions are very much stripped down, but getting better.

Agree both are excellent, comes down to personal preference. I started on OzRunways, but switched to AvPlan because I liked having my flight plan visible next to the map (I still tend to work on headings from the plan rather than blindly following the magenta line).
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 09:40
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Jetman, Given that the aircraft I fly, C172, all have ships GPS fitted, not surprisingly I use it for VFR nav assistance. Being old fashioned I still like the 3 Cs, Chart, Compass and Clock. In the air I use my iPad with OzRunways more like a chart, meaning I take a look at the displayed map and find landmarks just like with paper charts. If however I am navigating close to DME steps, zone boundaries et al I turn on own ship position and take a peek at the moving map position just in case. Hence my iPad is asleep most of the time and overheating has never happened to me in the air. I always carry a spare power source for the iPad.
I use OzRunways just because it's the first one I tried and I find it intuitive to do flight planning, fuel ordering and weight and balance. I'm reliably informed that Navplan is just as good.
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Old 15th Jan 2018, 22:10
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You call OzRunways and Avplan backups but both are CASA accredited sources for charts, ERSA etc. you pay a comparatively low yearly fee for all updates. The AERA 500, 550 and 660 are toys by comparison. Expensive monthly updates which may not affect Australian operations. Silly Garmin non-aeronautical map display. Small screen.

If you want a decent size display with all the relevant information in a familiar format, get OzRunways or Avplan. If worried about backup, carry some paper and/or pay the few extra dollars for a second subscription on your phone.

OzRunways has excellent support and answers questions on line very quickly. I assume Avplan is similar but havenít used it.
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Old 15th Jan 2018, 22:22
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Thanks all for the great info after investigating i concur ozrunways leaves the portable dedicated gps in the dust. The ios version has far more functionality than the android version though at this present time, a truly amazing program to use in conjunction with dead reckoning and an additional map source, very accurate also

Wayne
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Old 15th Jan 2018, 23:09
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Originally Posted by fujii View Post
If worried about backup, carry some paper and/or pay the few extra dollars for a second subscription on your phone.
I cant speak for Avplan, however OZRunways includes a free subscription for your phone.
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Old 16th Jan 2018, 00:02
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AvPlan same, plus free for second iPad.
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Old 17th Jan 2018, 04:27
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From OzRunways FAQ.

When you pay for a basic OzRunways account it includes 1 tablet (e.g. iPad or Nexus9) & 1 phone (e.g. iPhone, Nexus6) to start with. You can add a second tablet personal backup for only $20 by adding that as a product on your account page, here:
https://www.ozrunways.com/store/account.jsp
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Old 17th Jan 2018, 04:53
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I have both Ozrunways and Avplan at the moment.
I must say Avplanís allowing to be run on 2 ipad for the basic subscription is a boon for me, compared to the Ozrunways 1 ipad and 1 iphone. I use an ipad mini in cockpit but use a full size ipad at home and find the iphone too small to comfortably look up weather and webcams at home.
Thus Avplan is significantly more generous for my use in this regard.
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