Doug Toppin's Blog

My thoughts on technology and other stuff

General Aviation Technology (iPad, GPS)

It is amazing how rapidly technology utilization in general has evolved in recent years. In my case my iPad is essential for my flight planning in advance, monitoring while in flight (along with using approach plates on it for instrument flying) and in general just browsing airports around the country when I am not flying. The ForeFlight app and the G1000 (glass cockpit) has completely changed aviation for me. ForeFlight integrates all aspects of flying into my iPad. Not long ago I started flying with the XGPS150 to provide more precise position data in general and when cellular reception is not possible on my iPad (generally while in flight). I recently saw an ad for a new version of it (the XGPS170) that will include weather data on a non subscription basis which will be excellent. That can already be found in a couple of recent products but their cost is a bit out of my range for the amount that I fly. One key element of this that pilots must recognize is that any digital weather product has the potential to be minutes or long out of date. I would not use it as my primary source of weather (and while instrument flying you can not do that anyway) but it provides more situational awareness in general which is always a benefit.