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ForeFlight iPad Glare in the Cockpit

This is a discussion on ForeFlight iPad Glare in the Cockpit within the iPad Apps forums, part of the iPad App Store category; I bought my iPad mostly to use with ForeFlight for flying. IMO for anyone looking for flying applications for both VFR or IFR, ForeFlight is ...

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  1. #1
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    ForeFlight iPad Glare in the Cockpit

    I bought my iPad mostly to use with ForeFlight for flying. IMO for anyone looking for flying applications for both VFR or IFR, ForeFlight is the best.
    Good:
    ForeFlight does it all from flight planning to viewing approach plates and airport taxi diagrams. Go to the ForeFlight website and view the demo videos. They offer a 30 day free trial.
    Bad:
    Nothing bad about ForeFlight with the exception that you cannot expand the IFR low altitude charts beyond a certain point to get more detail. You'll probably still need a paper chart to see the details you need when flying through congested areas with lots of stuff on the chart.
    But, here's my problem. While waiting for my iPad to arrive I bought a RAM yoke mount and Otterbox case intending to mount the iPad in front of me for ease of viewing and to minimize cockpit clutter. Yesterday the iPad arrived and I warped out to the airport to check it out. Snapped it into the yoke mount, turned it on and........ couldn't see a dang thing. The glare inside the cockpit on a sunny day wiped it out. What a disapointment! Anyone own an iPhone and try to use it outside in the sun? Same thing with the iPad. And, you can't really adjust the viewing angle of the RAM yoke mount to get a more direct view. You're looking down at it from an angle which makes the glare effect worse. (I'm average sized 5'11".) I tried to max out the brightness control but that had little or no effect. Placing it on my lap helps but defeats the whole idea of what I had in mind for it in the cockpit. I want it right out there in front of me so I can view the approach plate like it was clipped to my yoke. In IMC, glancing down at my lap periodically to view my iPad is a distraction I do not need.

    I'm hoping someone who has experienced the same glare problem will read this post and will perhaps have found a good solution to recommend. I know there are a bazillion anti-glare screen protectors out there but which one is actually effective for eliminating or reducing glare in the cockpit?

    Meanwhile, I can imagine using my iPad in the cockpit will be great when flying at night but worthless on a sunny day. (sigh)

    August 2011 Update:

    Since my original post I tried a PowerSupport anti-glare shield. Although it helps and is much better than what I had, I still cannot see the display all that well on a sunny day inside the cockpit. I dropped by an Apple store last week and asked them about it. I mentioned that I was curious why I can see my Garmin 430 mounted in the panel with no problem but can't see my iPad under the same lighting conditions. They said the screen on the Garmin and the iPad screen are illuminated by two different technologies.

    As a result, I have essentially given up using my iPad in the cockpit and am back to using paper. I still use Foreflight for flight planning at home before I fly but other than that the iPad is mostly extra weight I don't need while flying.
    Last edited by DaveMurf; 08-08-2011 at 11:02 AM. Reason: Update

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  3. #2
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    Thanks for your very interesting review. I'm a PPL/IR too and would love to use my iPad in my C172 but have about the same problem as you do! (though it's not that sunny in Scotland when flying VFR ). I hope someone finds a solution to this problem. I don't want to start trying all the anti-glare protectors either, so just hoping someone out there has a solution.

    There have been a couple of news threads here suggesting that the USAF is now using iPads, so I've been wondering what they're using - the reports weren't specific enough to know whether they're simply using them for check lists, which wouldn't be a problem, or for in-flight charts.

    Tim

  4. #3
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    Have a look here http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...ad.php?t=72291

    @ Tim, I remember taking flying lessons in a C172, great fun......except when the instructor turned the engine off so that I could learn to recover from a stall, closest I have ever come to heart failure!

    The Archangel

  5. #4
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    @Gabriel1. Thank you for the link. Took a quick look at it this morning and there are lots of good leads and suggestions. Sounds like stall recoveries was your last flying lesson? I think you should give it another go. The airplane is quite happy to power off glide providing one adheres to the old maxim, "Always maintain thy airspeed or the ground shall rise and smite thee".

    @Tim. Gabriel1 suggested an excellent link to a flying forum that may have some good leads. I've never been to Scotland but would very much like to go. I suspect from my username you can surmise my ancestors came from Ireland. Haven't been there either.
    Last edited by DaveMurf; 06-12-2011 at 07:55 AM. Reason: Add content

  6. #5
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    When I learnt to fly many years ago my instructor was a 70-year old veteran of the Second World War, who had flown Spitfires, and he was full of similarly useful maxims.

    The one I always recall is 'Why is Monday the best day to have an engine failure?' - answer, 'Because that's the day housewives are hanging out their washing and so you can see which direction the wind is blowing...'

    Another one involves an engine failure at night - what's the very last thing you do before attempting to land - 'Pray!'

    Tim

  7. #6
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    Isn't the issue bigger than the glare? Doesn't your iPad on the yoke mount block your view of the instrument panel or does it also obstruct your access to the yoke handles?
    Would you use a smaller form factor device?

  8. #7
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    I am a software developer interested in creating the best tool for the cockpit.
    I know there are currently many systems like the Garmin 696, and combinations of various software (ForeFlight, Xwing) with the iPad.
    Do you think you can build a better system and application? I think so.

    Please spend 12 minutes on the following survey to help me understand your needs and your thoughts on the limitations of existing solutions.

    http://kellogg.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0i9J5FSxbYZryUk

  9. #8
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    Amazingly my iPad mounted on my yoke does not block my view of the panel to any great extent. All of my key instruments are in view without having to peer around the iPad. I thought it would block my view but it does not in my airplane. Nor does it get in the way of my yoke handles. It's not perfect and I would much prefer something mounted in the panel itself rather than on the yoke but it is a reasonable compromise if I could just see that darn thing.

  10. #9
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    Hey Dave,

    I just installed foreflight on my iPad and did the same with the RAM Yoke mount. Flew from LA and had a bit of the same issue - tough to see.

    Did you by chance increase the brightness to max in both the iPad settings page AND Foreflight? I did and saw a measured increase in brightness. I also disabled autobrightness in the iPad settings page.

    Even with the visibility issue on bright days where the sun is glaring right in, it's still worth it. Totally.

    Phil

  11. #10
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    Can't comment on how well it works but Belkin has a "matte" screen protector designed to reduce glare. Wouldn't be worth mentioning except that it is currently reduced from $40 to $20 with a promo code (FB50).


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