Ipad GPS Receivers

Well I finally got my plane a nice 2002 SR 22. I bought a couple of Bose A20. I just paid my state use tax and

registration fee. When all is said and done I have a couple of pennies left for and IPAD and Foreflight. I have read

a lot on the COPA website about IPADS and ForFlight and the ForFlight is a no brainer but I am not sure

what combination of IPAD and GPS Receiver to get. Would like to here different ideas from fellow Cirrus

pilots. I would rather not do cellular as I don’t have an apple phone and my carrier wants a lot for just adding

the IPAD. What can’t I do with just and external GPS Receiver ?



Search inside the paid member forum and you will find a very recent thread on just that topic.


iPad with no cellular chip means no internal GPS. Having an external GPS does it all for you. But consider the cost of the external GPS is about the same as the difference between an iPad with and without the cellular chip and it becomes a wash in my opinion. You do not have to activate the cellular service for the GPS to work. So, once you buy the iPad, it cost you no more than an iPad without the cellular service. All of the functions on Foreflight used in the air only need the GPS and nothing else.

Just to be clear, you do not have to activate the cellular service on your cellular-capable iPad to use its GPS. I never have. Just get the cellular-capable iPad and that’s that. If you ever need to / want to activate its cellular capability, you can always do so on-the-fly, but you never need to do that to use the GPS.

Just to elaborate on this a bit…

I had never activated my iPad cellular service either. But recently my home Internet was out for two days and I faced the prospect of no COPA in the evening. Horrors!

I found the process easy and cheap. The iPad will connect to let you subscribe, even though you have no cell service. I chose the smallest option – IIRC it was 250MB for 24 hours, no automatic renewal. $5.00 all-in cost. Fast, too. I don’t plan on buying any kind of “plan” for the iPad but is nice to know it is so easy and quick and cheap if I ever need it again. I have an AT&T iPad Air. I don’t know if other providers differ much.