We have written extensively about pilots using the iPad in the cockpit but recently someone named Phil, presumably a CFI, has posted a great question on Ask a Flight Instructor about the use of iPads during flight training by student pilots. Specifically, Phil wrote:
This question is in regards to the use of iPads and iOS applications for flight training, specifically when do you recommend their use and how to incorporate apps in your training syllabus…
….What do you think about iPads in the cockpit for students, when do you recommend their use, and how do you incorporate them into your training syllabus?
Phil further added that they have been testing an application with some students called AeroFlare that will record and analyze landings and landing performances plus record cross country flights. So far, Phil says they have found the application useful for student solos in the pattern and cross country flights because naturally, CFIs can then debrief the student pilots afterwards regarding any issues about air speed, location and altitude. However, Phil also commented that adding a tool inside the cockpit could be a distraction along with an additional layer of complexity on top of a complicated training program.
Nathan Parker replied to Phil’s question by writing that as long as the iPad wasn’t mounted and visible to the student at all times, it could be a valuable tool in the cockpit. On the other hand, Nathan added that he does not think he would require a student pilot to use an iPad during flight training unless they already use one.
In addition, Sam Dawson doesn’t have an issue with starting a student pilot with an iPad from day one of flight training but he also wrote that there are times when an iPad needs to be folded up and set aside. Nevertheless, Sam says an iPad in the cockpit is a useful tool and student pilots need to learn how to deal with distractions – including those created by iPads.
However, we want to hear what you think – especially from any student pilot or pilot who is not accustomed to using fancy new technology: Do you think using an iPad during flight training as a student pilot is a good idea or should student pilots concentrate on learning the basics of flying first e.g. the old steam gauges verses glass cockpit argument?