Now that most of us have some sort of iPad, let us look at managing it in the cockpit. How can we best mount it so that it is out of the way, yet available for easy usage? I know a lot of people probably just set it on a leg, or in their lap. I have done this ! in the past, but I am beginning to see the need for a more secure solution, something that will keep it from sliding off my leg and hold it steady during turbulence.
When it comes to a mount, there are basically two different options. You can either put it in one of the kneeboard mounts so it?s available in your lap, or you can mount it on a yoke, a glare shield, or even off of a seat track. If you own your own airplane, a mount in the aircraft may be your best option, but for me flying many different airplanes on a daily basis, a kneeboard becomes more practical.
For a kneeboard, there are a lot of options with many different features. Some of them are a kneeboard you put the iPad in for flight, while others are a full case that can strap on to your leg. You can also find them with other storage built-in for documents, papers, and pens. Another handy feature some have is the ability to still rotate between landscape and portrait mode while attached to your leg. This can be helpful when switching between viewing a section and viewing an approach plate. Probably the biggest practical feature that I would look for in a kneeboard is the ability to adjust the viewing angle. With any display, glare can be an issue, and the ability to adjust the angle is the only practical way to overcome that. The price of a kneeboard is usually less than a mount, so for many, it may be a better option. Kneeboards start around $25.00 and go all the way up to the high end, where you have the MyGoFlight’s iPad Kneeboard Pro C which retails for $189.00. A quick Google web search for iPad Kneeboards is a great place to start looking. There are a lot out there, so just peruse around till you find one in the right price range with the features you want.
If you are looking for a more has semi-permanent installation, go with an aircraft mount. The two biggest factors on choosing a mount are the aircraft it’s going in, and where exactly you want it. Some people use a yoke mount– it is easily viewable and centrally located in front of you, but it can cover up some of the instrument panel. Others would rather have it mounted up higher, either on the glare shield or even up on the windshield or a side window. Sportys has a large selection of different mounting options as well as a helpful article on which mounting options will work best in different types of aircraft. The RAM iPad mounts that Sportys sells use the same cradle for the iPad, yet attaches to multiple mounting options, making for an easy, modular system. Aircraft mounts range in price from around $50.00 up to $150.00 depending on the options.
Next month, we will take a look into the host of accessories that can dramatically increase the capabilities of an iPad.