Monday, August 27, 2012

Garmin Pilot for I-Phone and I Pad - Possible Problems

Garmin Pilot

As a backup, in private aircraft flying, the I-Phone screen is quite small. In turbulent conditions, during IFR approaches, controlling and reading the device is nearly impossible.

As a flight planning device it has exceptional features. Use a  Search Engine to find test results and/or detailed information on the Standard or Pro versions of the Garmin App and the many features the Garmin device offers.

The I-Pad has a larger screen. Easy to read screens, in flight, are a blessing. Information is available and good.

There are still some disadvantages that interfere with the I-Pad.

A common one is glare. Ever try and read a modern gas pump screen if sunlight is hitting the screen? You get the point. Glare on the I-Pad screen makes use almost impossible. Later models of the I-Pad have brighter screens that make use possible. Changing the position of the I-Pad screen helps. Ton of kneeboards and mounts that alleviate some of the glare drawbacks.

Electrical discharge in the latest and greatest I-Pads, controlled by fast processors, adds up to heat. Heat will cause an I-Pad to shut down when you need it the most. Aircraft cockpits in direct sunlight and dark surfaces allow heat to build quickly inside the plane. Couple this with any heat producing electrical device and shutdown can occur. 

When an application uses more power than what is supplied from a charger, the time of operation is compromised. The power required to operate all the bells and whistles is greater in the latest models. Cutting the power to some features will eliminate the discrepancy between power out (device) and power in (charger).

The trade off between size of the I-Pad and placement in the plane may present problems. If the device covers instruments that is a no-no. Yoke mounting can eliminate the instrument problem. A neat idea is mounting the device on the co-pilot yoke. Aiming the device at you makes reading the information provided easy. Placing the I-Pad on the floor and bringing it up to view charts is another solution. Be careful, if unsecured by a retaining structure, the I-Pad slips behind the seats. Moving your head about to find the I-Pad can result in disorientation.

Finally, trying to use any device in turbulence is very difficult when your holding the I-Pad with one hand and inputing information with the other hand. A dash or yoke mounted I-Pad is safer to operate.

Modern gadgetry is great but a few problems exist. Keep in mind, though, the many great features that exist to make the purchase of the App a wonderful addition to flight safety.